The Dangers of Dog Waste
Posted by Dennis Morrissey on Oct 24th 2018
It’s a great time to be a dog owner! More and more, we are seeing businesses and other establishments becoming pet friendly. This is good news for those of us who love our furry friends and enjoy having them with us wherever we go! However, there is a danger from the dog poop that many of us leave behind. It is estimated that over 40% of American dog owners do not pick up the poop after their dogs. There are over 89 million dogs in the US, so that means that over 35 million dogs are not picked up after. It’s not the dog’s fault, it is the dog owner’s responsibility.
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THE REASONS DOG OWNERS DO NOT PICK UP AFTER THEIR DOGS
- Many believe that dog waste is a natural fertilizer
- Others feel it is just plain gross, and refuse to do it or feel it is beneath them
- “I forgot my dog bags”
- “I hate having to carry the poop with me after I do pick it up”
- Many think it’s not a law, or are not aware of any ordinance requiring them to pick up after their dogs.
The truth of the matter is that many counties, towns, municipalities, and communities are passing laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations mandating that dog owners pick up after their dogs. While dog waste is a natural product, it is not a good fertilizer like cow manure is. One reason is that cows eat grass, which makes for a natural fertilizer, and dogs eat meat which leaves acidic waste that is toxic to plants and grass.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF DOG POOP?
Dog poop is the third highest cause of water pollution. In fact, it is so dangerous that the EPA has classified dog poop in the same category as chemical and oil spills. 90% of fecal bacteria in the world comes from canines. 1 gram of dog feces contains 23 million fecal bacteria. When a dog poops and the owner does not pick it up, it can cause many problems to humans, the environment, and other dogs. When many dog owners choose to not pick up their dog’s poop, it causes a calamity! The dog poop seeps into the soil, and can end up in our waterways. When the poop oxidizes, it releases ammonia. The waste contains bacteria such as E-Coli, Salmonella, as well as hookworm, ringworm, and more. Our wastewater facilities do not have the capabilities to solve the dog poop problem. We must do that ourselves as responsible dog owners!
WHAT CAN WE DO?
For those who will not pick up after their dogs because they feel it is gross or beneath them, we need to educate them on these dangers. If there is still resistance, the last resort is to pressure them with rules and regulations or constantly work to convince them with peer pressure. There is a solution for those who forget their bags or don’t like carrying the dog poop with them after they have picked up. The number of dog waste stations that contain the bags and waste receptacles is growing in front of our eyes! Today, more and more subdivisions, apartment complexes, condominiums, HOAs, and campuses are putting up these dog stations for the convenience and safety of their clients. Many counties, towns, and cities are creating green spaces that contain specified areas for dog owners. These areas also have the dog stations, bags, and receptacles that allow for easy pick up and disposal of dog poop. The excuse of forgetting bags or not wanting to carry the poop has been eliminated.
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