Let Us Handle the Dirty Business

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Pet waste - health and environmental hazards

Additional Information

 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deemed pet waste a “nonpoint source of pollution” in 1991, which put poop in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals!


Dog feces are one of the most common carriers of the following diseases:

  

  • Heartworms
  • Whipworms
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Parvo
  • Corona
  • Giardiasis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Campylobacteriosis

  

Beyond your grass, it has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. EPA even estimates that two or three days’ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and shell fishing.


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pet droppings can contribute to diseases animals pass to humans, called zoonoses. When infected dog poop is deposited on your lawn, the eggs of certain roundworms and other parasites can linger in your soil for years. Anyone who comes into contact with that soil—be it through gardening, playing sports, walking barefoot or any other means—runs the risk of coming into contact with those eggs; especially your dog.


Some of the hard-to-pronounce parasites your lawn could harbor include Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Salmonella, as well as hookworms, ringworms and tapeworms. Infections from these bugs often cause fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea in humans. Children are most susceptible, since they often play in the dirt and put things in their mouths or eyes. Others neglected to do so because they assumed it eventually goes away, or because the dog deposited the feces in an area far from the water, such as in the owner’s yard or in the woods. For all of these reasons, EPA says, “The reluctance of many residents to handle dog waste is the biggest limitation to controlling pet waste.”


So, in essence, the cycle begins and ends with you. In the instance of the Chesapeake Bay survey, 44 percent of dog walkers who did not pick up after their dogs indicated they would still refuse to pick up—even if confronted by complaints from neighbors, threatened with fines, or provided with more sanitary and convenient options for retrieving and disposing of dog waste.

5 Important Reasons to Clean up Pet Waste

 

By Drs. Foster & Smith Veterinary Staff


 Dealing with pet waste is one of those topics that every pet owner must deal with but no one likes to talk about. The fact is that the majority of community and neighborhood pet problems result from the inappropriate handling of pet waste. In addition, pet waste is the greatest source of potential health risk for your pet and your family. This article will highlight the five most important reasons to properly dispose of pet waste and will also give you some tips and products to make this chore easier.

#1. Disease Control

There are several very common diseases that can be transmitted to dogs, cats and people through feces. These include giardia, roundworms, salmonella, and Ecoli. In addition, your dog can spread or contract parvovirus or coronavirus through infected feces. All of these diseases are very serious and common and every effort should be made by pet owners to keep their pets and family away from potentially infected feces. One of the easiest ways to do this is to install an in-ground stool digester like the Doggie Dooley. These digesters work like mini septic systems, safely breaking down feces and then allowing the residue to harmlessly sink into the surrounding soil. These handy little gadgets are one of the best ways that I've ever found to deal with dog or cat waste.


#2. Make your Yard more Useable

Nobody likes to walk through a yard that is hiding "doggie land mines." If you and your children are afraid to use your yard because of the dog, then you are wasting one of your biggest time and financial investments. In addition, the pets will get less interactive exercise and suffer as well. Once or twice a day 'scooping' off your yard with a shovel or Grabber pet waste shovel will only take a couple of minutes and make it a place where everyone enjoys spending time.


#3. Fly Control....

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