Many people have incorrect beliefs about dog waste and the dangers it poses to your health and our environment, such as “If I just leave it out in the yard for a while, it will just go away and not hurt anything.” Another false belief is that dog poop is “fertilizer for the lawn.” Neither could be further from the truth. Keep reading for more interesting (and perhaps disgusting) facts about dog poop.
1. Dog poop is NOT fertilizer for your lawn and shrubs. Due to their high-protein diet, dog waste is highly acidic and will actually burn your grass creating brown patches.
2. Just one gram of dog waste can contain as many as 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which can seep into groundwater and spread salmonella and giardia. This poses a hazard to your pets, your family, and your landscape.
3. Your lawn mower does not chop it up and make it go away. In fact, it makes it worse by spreading it around your yard in smaller, less visible pieces where you, your children, and your pets accidentally step in it and then bring it into your home.
4. Dog fecal matter is a major contributor to stormwater pollution. One out of three households has at least one dog, depositing 10 million tons of dog poop every year. If not picked up and disposed of properly, all that dog poop left out in the rain eventually liquifies and ends up in our storm drains, which lead directly to our lakes and streams.
5. Nearly 20 years ago the EPA classified dog waste as a dangerous pollutant in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil. Not really a great thing to leave in your backyard, or have flowed into our storm drains.
6. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella can be spread by contact with infected dog waste. When dog poop is left to decay, after a long time (it can take over one year for dog waste to decompose) the poop may no longer be visible, but the eggs from these parasites can linger for years in the soil – leaving your family and your pets vulnerable to serious infection.