Damaging Dog Waste on Your Walk

Dog waste found on your walk seems to be an all to common occurrence.  You find yourself walking in a park, along a woods trail, down a neighborhood road, or sidewalk, but most often you find yourself stepping around dog waste that a previous dog owner left behind.  This dog waste left behind is not only unsightly, but contaminates water, spreads parasites, and in some cases causes dog walking areas to be shut down.

Dog waste left to accumulate whether in your yard or on your walk becomes the next toxin that runs into our lakes, rivers, streams, water tables, etc. “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. Perhaps most importantly, pet waste carries diseases which make water unsafe for swimming or drinking.” (clean-water.uwex.edu)

Many dog owners are responsible and pick up after his or her dog.  Its not a difficult task, carry a poop bag on your walk and clean up as the dog finishes.  It can be a nuisance to have to carry said bag all the way back to where you started your walk, but is better than the alternative of leaving the dog waste behind.  There will be some that “PooPoo”, pun intended, the use of plastic bags for picking up the waste as plastic is harmful to the environment as well.  Problem solved as there are bags that are made from recycled plastic and plastic bags that are biodegradable, not to mention the multitude of scooper products and pet waste removal services available.  Then there may be the dog owners that say oh it won’t matter if I leave it behind, my dog went way into the woods, no one will step in it.  Once again while gross, stepping in the waste is only part of the issue.  The big issue is the parasites that the waste contain.  “The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms pet waste can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms, Salmonella and several other dangerous viruses and bacteria. When infected dog poop comes into contact with your lawn, the poop will eventually “disappear”, but the parasite eggs can linger for years. When humans or animals come into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, playing or gardening, they risk infection from those eggs — even years after the poop is gone. Parents, think of your little ones playing in the yard!” (getbombsaway.com/dog-poop-is-a-biohazard)

Loss of land, is another major issue that many communities are facing in regards to dog waste and those dog owners who don’t bother to pick up the waste.  How many articles to do you see online, in your community papers, on the list of items to be discussed at local town meetings?  Negligent dog owners who fail to pick up their dog’s waste are causing the ban of dogs on beachs, parks, woods trails, etc.  As the saying goes its the few that ruin it for all.

So dog owners lets band together and make dog waste issues a thing of the past.  Lets celebrate clean water, parasite free soil, and more available areas for dogs to walk and be free.  Every dog owner needs to do his or her part by picking up the dog waste on their walk, no matter where they are, in the woods, on a side walk, etc.  Lets make all our walks a poop free zone!