Now that I’ve got your attention – don’t worry…I’m not about to tell you a story about some evil-intentioned human blowing up dogs, although what I am going to chat about in this article certainly could have its own devastating effects.
What I am going to talk about is a problem that is part of all dog ownership and depending on the size of your dog can be a small, medium, or large problem.
Yes, whether we’re talking about dog feces, doggy do-do, doggy poo, scumber (the fancier name), doggy 2’s, or just that plain, old four-letter word – s-h-IT…whatever you call IT, if you have a dog, and you’re not out there picking IT up every day, you may be guilty of creating a problem far worse than you may be aware of.
Do You Pick Up?
As conscientious dog people, we’ve all seen the little or not-so-little dog poop bombs when out walking, and we’ve all most likely silently cursed those who just left it there for us to get all over our shoes.
However, for those of us who are lucky enough to have a lovely backyard for our favourite fur friend to romp about in, this is likely the first place that Fido or Fifi runs to every morning when first waking up, while we’re busy putting on the coffee pot or getting our kids ready for school, or ourselves together for the start of our day.
So, out runs our best friend(s), and what do they do when they get out in the yard and rip around for a few minutes? Yes, that’s right…they leave you a nice doggy poop bomb, water the grass or shrubs, etc., and back they race inside for their breakfast or hopefully a nice walk with you.
What a wonderful life and what could be easier…but wait…this wonderful and easy life is what could be creating a serious problem, because if you’re not being vigilant about taking the time to get out there and pick up the doggy poop bombs every single day, you ARE guilty of creating a health hazard in your own back yard that can eventually have far-reaching hazardous consequences.
For instance, you might not be aware that over two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated pet waste as a dangerous pollutant, right next to oil spills and toxic chemicals.
Why Are Dog Poop Bombs so Dangerous?
Even though you may not live near water, if you don’t pick up your yard every day, unscooped dog poop bombs from your yard will be carried by overland water flow which is then washed into storm drains, ending up in far away streams, rivers, oceans, and groundwater, and if you do live near a water source, this problem is far worse.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that pet waste can and does spread parasites including hookworm, ringworm, tapeworm, and Salmonella.
For those of us living on Vancouver Island, where it rains a lot, the problem is even more quickly spread, because when infected dog poop comes into contact with your lawn, the dog poop will eventually seem to wash away or “disappear”, however, the hazardous parasite eggs can linger for years!
When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs, even years after the dog poop bomb is no longer visible.
Do you think your dog cares about where it romps when it’s out in your backyard, or carefully makes sure that it doesn’t accidentally walk through some old dog poop bombs? Wishful thinking.
Consequences of Infection
You may not be aware that as much as we love our favourite fur friends, their waste is teaming with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria including fecal coliform bacteria, which causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps, and diarrhea in humans and when you don’t religiously pick up, you subject your children and yourself to infection.
Just 1 Gram
A very shocking statistic you may not be aware of is that there are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!
As well, dog poop bombs often contain roundworm larvae, which can cause blindness. If a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, or eyes. This means that when we humans (especially children) touch the soil, dog toys, or anything that has been in contact with dog feces and then touch their mouths, they can become infected.
Consider that if your dog is running about in your yard that has many dog poop bombs that were just left to naturally dissolve, they could be coming back into your home with this on their feet, then pawing you, your bed, their toys, your children’s toys and then you or your children touch your mouth and become infected.
Even a group of teens or adults playing Frisbee or touch football in an open area where someone hasn’t been picking up after their dogs could be putting themselves in danger. Parasitic infections can make humans extremely sick, and for pregnant women, can pose serious harm to their unborn child.
Further, leaving a yard full of dog poop bombs will also attract rodents, such as rats and mice who can spread Salmonella through their droppings and bring with them other diseases, including murine typhus, infectious jaundice, Weil’s Disease, and rat-bite fever.
What About the Condition of Your Lawn?
Besides all the other toxic and smelly health issues dog poop left on lawns can create, dog feces release nitrogen into the soil and can literally ruin your nice, green lawn. While small amounts of feces and urine create dark green patches of grass and noticeably taller grass, large amounts of feces left on the lawn for a long period of time will kill the grass by smothering it as well as leaving “burn” marks on the grass that creates ugly brown spots.
Pick Up Every Day
I think by now you must be really starting to understand that dog poop bombs don’t just “wash away” or disappear and if you’re not disposing of your dog’s waste every day, whether your dog is leaving it’s smelly calling card out in a public park, on the side of a street, or in your own back yard, you’re putting yourself, your family, your dog, your water supply and your environment at risk.
– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
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