If you’ve ever stepped in dog poop, you already know how annoying it is when pet waste isn’t properly disposed of. But did you know that pet waste can also be harmful to people, pets, and the environment?
People & Pet Hazards
Unattended pet waste hosts parasites and bacteria. Roundworm eggs are able to survive for years, so canine waste should never be used in compost for produce garden fertilizer. Tapeworms, Giardia, Salmonella, and E. coli are also all potential threats. People and pets can be exposed when waste is tracked into the home or left outside in areas frequented by kids and pets. Children should always be encouraged to wash their hands after playing outdoors.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies pet waste as a nonpoint source pollutant, meaning that rainfall or snowmelt runoff can pick it up and deposit it into underground drinking water and natural bodies of water. The parasites, bacteria, and high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus can do serious damage to aquatic ecosystems.
How to Properly Dispose of Pet Waste
Pet waste should be removed regularly from yards and picked up on walks. If you want to be environmentally conscious, find out how your trash is disposed of. If you live in an area where trash is incinerated, any waste bag will do. If you reside in an area with a landfill, you may want to look into purchasing biodegradable pet waste bags.