Much "a doo" about dog droppings

walking dogTo you, that pile of dog feces your neighbor’s German shepherd has left as a gift on your front lawn is an annoyance. But did you know that dog stool is actually hazardous to your health? Dog droppings can carry a host of bacteria and parasites, such as roundworm and hookworms, and can trigger infections such as campylobacteriosis, a diarrhea-inducer in humans; salmonellosis, which can cause fever, headache and vomiting, among other symptoms; and toxocariasis, which can cause symptoms such as vision loss, rash, fever or cough. The Environmental Protection Agency warns it can be a contributor to water pollution if not disposed of properly. If you have a dog, make sure to clean up after it. The EPA recommends the following:

  • When walking your dog, bring a bag with you to collect and dispose of pet waste in a trashcan to avoid it becoming part of storm water runoff. You can also flush pet waste down the toilet.
  • Don’t walk your dog near bodies of water. Opt for grassy areas, parks or underdeveloped areas.

Get the word out by telling friends and neighbors why picking up pet waste is so important.