In This Section

To Scoop or Not To Scoop

Is there really any question? Environmental Effects of Pet Waste

Man’s best friend. We bathe them. We feed them. We clean up their poop? Most pet owners recognize the social faux pas of not cleaning up after their four legged friends. But did you know leaving pet excrement behind is actually harming your health and the health of your loved ones – including your furry best friend?

Lately, hype has increased surrounding the poop scoopin’ predicament we find ourselves in. Is it really that bad to neglect a steamy heap now and then? Why is it important to dispose of doggy stool? Can’t it be used for fertilizer? How do I get rid pet waste the right way? A lot of hubbub and a lot of mixed messaging… Fear no more. We’re here to set things straight and help you make the best of a crappy situation.

Let’s start with the why. Plain and simple – it’s not ok to leave pet waste. If you trek it in (so to speak), pack it back out. Dog feces can contain bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. This waste et al has a way of finding the water table, typically carried to large bodies of water with spring run-offs and heavy rain. And by large bodies of water, we’re referring to that river fido loves splashing around in from time to time. Doesn’t sound terribly sanitary, does it?

If that wasn’t reason enough, chew on this. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies pet waste as an environmental non-source pollutant, you know along with acid drainage from abandoned mines, oil, grease, and toxic chemicals. Dog excrement alone can contain a laundry list of goodies including parvovirus, giardia, roundworm, and tapeworm – to name a few.

So what does this all mean?! Well… that doggie “fertilizer” you left lying around has been breaking down into the soil, roundworms, parvovirus, and all. Eggs and parasites from infected fecal matter can survive in the park soil and your lawn for years! Which means gardening, slip and slides, fetch, and lawn volleyball just turned into level 8 warfare zone activities!

Enough of the scary talk, let’s get down to business. How do we fix this sitch? Tie that grocery bag with an obscene number of grocery bags stuffed inside to your dog leash. Invest in a compact pet waste bag dispenser. Buy a pooper scooper. Borrow the neighbor’s shovel. Just pick that pet poo up and throw it away!

Many neighborhoods are building pet waste disposal programs and setting up disposal stations with trash bins, free waste baggies, and signage indicating their purpose. If you’re passionate about making a change, check into ways to expand these programs in your neighborhood or park. Check with your city council representative or local home owners association for available funding and resources.

From rally the troops to making a personal commitment to pick up your pet waste, every effort against pet waste pollution helps. Scoop your poop for a brighter (and better smelling) tomorrow.

Novak Sanitary asks you to double bag your cat litter or dog waste and throw in your garbage cart.

For more information about pet waste disposal or to learn about properly disposing of other pollutants, contact Novak Sanitary or call (605) 338-7126.