Pet waste is not only smelly and unsightly, but it is a health risk to pets and people and a water quality issue. When walking your dog, always carry a plastic baggie to scoop up the waste. Dispose of sealed baggies in the trash. Clean up dog waste in your yard at least once a week, and either flush it down the toilet or dispose of in the trash. Click here for more tips.
Pet waste that is not disposed of properly can put your health, your dog's health, and your child's health at risk.
Parvovirus is a serious, highly contagious disease that affects dogs of any age, breed, or sex. It is highly contagious to unvaccinated puppies. A dog may be a carrier of the disease without even showing signs of being infected. It affects the intestinal lining, causing diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, and even death. It is transmitted by contact with infected dog waste either directly or indirectly through soiled shoes, car tires, and anything else that it touches. The virus can remain infectious on the ground for six months or even longer!
Dog waste can also affect people. Some of the diseases or parasites that can be transmitted to people from dog waste include campylobacteriosis, cryptosporidium, and toxocariasis. Children playing in the yard and adults gardening can be exposed to these diseases or parasites.
That’s why it is important to not leave dog waste on the ground. Help keep pets and people safe and healthy by picking up after your dog.
Water Quality Issue
Additionally, improperly disposed pet waste may be washed into storm drains by rain or melting snow. Storm drains in North Central Texas then drain directly into our lakes and streams, carrying many pollutants along with the water. This water is NOT treated or cleaned before it empties into a body of water.
When pet waste is washed into lakes or streams the waste decays, using up oxygen and sometimes releasing ammonia. Low oxygen levels and ammonia combined with warm temperatures can kill fish. Pet waste also contains nutrients that encourage weed and algae growth. Overly fertile water becomes cloudy and green--unattractive for swimming, boating, and fishing.
Pet waste also carries diseases which make water unsafe for activities like swimming.
That's why it is important to not leave dog waste on the ground. Help protect our water quality by picking up after your dog.
Tips for Dealing with Pet Waste
Flush it. Pick up the waste with a pooper scooper or slip a plastic bag over your hand. Flush the waste down the toilet (do not flush the plastic bag).
Toss it (in a trash can). Collect the waste in a plastic bag, tie the end securely, and toss it in your trash can.
Bury it. Scoop the waste and bury it at least six inches in the ground and away from gardens and water sources.
Attach a small bag or pouch to your dog's leash so that you can always carry a supply of baggies. Be creative in reusing materials for picking up pet waste. Save plastic bread bags, plastic newspaper sleeves, or plastic produce bags and use them as scooping baggies.
Clean up droppings around the yard at least once a week. Either flush them down the toilet, or dispose of them in a secured baggie in the trash can. Pet waste composters are also available commercially, so check those out.
Take Action and Spread the Message
Model “DOO”ing the right thing for your neighbors and fellow dog owners by picking up after your own dog on walks in the park and around the neighborhood. Be a good example. Others will follow your lead!
View the DOO the Right Thing animations (developed by the cities of Irving, Farmers Branch, Sherman, Lewisville, Grand Prairie, and Plano)