If you’re like most people, at some point you’ve noticed that telltale smell that signals you’ve stepped in dog poop. It can be especially infuriating to clean dog poop off the sole of your favorite shoes if you’re a responsible dog owner who always picks up after your own pet. But let’s face it, there is evidence everywhere that many people have a more laissez faire attitude when it comes to scooping their dog’s poop from public places. After all, it’s natural and biodegradable, right? Not so fast; before you walk away from the pile of poop your dog just deposited, check out these reasons why you really should pick up after your pooch (even if no one’s watching):
It’s a source of water pollution: Pet waste is a significant source of pollution in our water supply. Way back in 1991, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled dog waste as a non-point source pollutant. The EPA recommends that we keep pet waste out of street gutters and storm drains as these drain directly into our lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands.
It may be the law: It’s against the law in many locations to leave your dog’s poop in a public place, and you may be subject to a hefty fine if you’re caught doing so.
It may contain parasites and other germs. Dog feces may contain tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, corona virus, parvo virus, and giardia as well as bacteria such as salmonella, fecal streptococcus and fecal coliform bacteria. Any person or animal coming into contact with the waste runs the risk of infection.
It’s gross: Dog waste is unsightly, smelly, attracts insects, and is a breeding ground for germs. It can take over a year for one pile of dog waste to fully break down.
It’s bad for the lawn: Far from being “good fertilizer,” pet waste is actually very acidic causing burns and yellowing of the lawn.
Handling your dog’s feces can be a lot less distasteful if you’re prepared with the right items. The simplest way to dispose of your dog’s droppings is to place it in a plastic bag and drop it into a trash can. It’s up to each person to be responsible for his or her own dog and become part of the solution instead of part of the smelly problem.