Pet owners have a lot of important responsibilities. Aside from training and socialization opportunities, they must maintain excellent nutrition and provide mental and physical stimulation every single day.
Chief among all the essential pet care tasks is picking up pet waste. Not only is your life less smelly when you scoop the poop, but cleaning up after your pet is a matter of public safety, too.
The Macro View
In general, life is much more pleasant without piles of poop everywhere. No one likes to be surprised by feces left behind by irresponsible or negligent pet owners.
Whether it winds up on our shoes, inside our own pet’s mouth, or simply offends us with the smell, pet waste is a major deal breaker for communities around the world.
The Micro View
Beyond the simple affront to our senses, pet waste has the potential to be incredibly hazardous to health. Pet waste can contain harmful parasites and bacteria that cause disease to other animals, yourself, and other members of your family (zoonotic disease), such as:
- E. coli
Pet waste can also contain parasitic worms, like hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms that are also zoonotic. The worms can survive in soil for a long time, increasing the importance of removing waste from the environment.
Contrary to widespread misconception, pet waste does not act like a fertilizer. Instead of benefitting soil, vegetable garden and fruit trees like cow manure, pet waste is acidic and very high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Plus, the bacteria in feces can contaminate plants and groundwater.
The Gross Factor
Unfortunately, some people think that poop will just wash away in the weather, or dry out. It can take up to a year for pet waste to break down, and it can flow into the drainage system contaminating rivers, streams, and other waterways.
Since proper pet waste removal is essential to public health, there are ways we can all prevent the spread of disease and limit the nuisance:
- Always carry extra pet waste bags
- Be sure that your pet’s parasite prevention medication is up to date
- Follow guidelines for annual vaccinations
- Keep your backyard spotless and dispose of pet waste in a sealed container
- Clean out your cat’s litter box every day, or directly following use
- Always wash your hands
- Train your dog to “leave it” when they approach piles of poop
- Keep your kids away from animal waste
- Cover up sandboxes at night or when they’re not in use
No More Pet Waste Problems
To keep your pet protected from the spread of disease, keep up with their yearly or bi-annual wellness exams. Wee can screen for parasites, vaccinate, deworm, and keep them defended against the problems associated with pet waste.