Dogs can poop anywhere and sometimes they do it on your favorite plant. As dog owners, we thought it was harmless. Yet, others say, dog waste is bad for the environment. Well, come to think of it. Read this article to find out.
Why Is Dog Poop Bad For The Environment?
We considered dog waste harmless but it’s not. Gone are the days we thought of unattended poop as natural fertilizers and below are the reasons why.
Transmits Different Worms
According to a study about parasites, dog waste is bad for the environment. That is because it spreads pathogenic worms to animals and worse, to humans. Sometimes, we see roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms on dogs’ fecal matter.
These parasitic worms cause intestinal problems in dogs. Also, they can survive weeks or even months outside their hosts. Yet, Ernest Ward and Catherine Barnette, both DVM differentiated each parasitic infestation.
- Roundworms- pot belly, chronic diarrhea, stunted growth, and vomiting
- Whipworms- inflammation, irritation, bloody diarrhea, and weight loss
- Hookworms- anemia, and secondary infection such as eczema due to skin itching
Carries A Host Of Bacteria
Is dog poop toxic? Absolutely. Dr. Oscar Chavez, DVM stated that toxins in dog poop don’t only infect animals but humans as well. He added that dog owners should take precautions in handling dog poop.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine stated that a single dog poop contains pathogens that cause diarrhea. Well, what do you call these bacteria anyway? They are the infectious Salmonella, E. coli, Yersinia, and Campylobacter strands.
All four pathogens share common signs like cramps, abdominal pain, fever, and diarrhea. Yet, only E. coli involves vomiting and nausea.
Contaminates Waterways And Soil
Dog poop is an environmental hazard. It poisons both the soil and water, said The Environmental Protection Agency. Besides, dog poop in rivers contains excessive phosphorus and nitrogen that stimulates eutrophication.
Fecal matter in your yard doesn’t just disappear. Over time its toxic gases remain in the air. Thus, a study from 2011 stated that dog feces is one source of bacteria that poisons the air.
What Will Happen If You Don’t Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop?
People don’t know what dog poop really does to nature. Dog poop doesn’t only cause odor it also attracts flies. Anyone can step on it and contract different diseases or parasites.
An estimate of 41% percent of dog owners doesn’t clean up after their dogs. Also, one gram of dog manure contains approximately 23 million coliform bacteria. Plus, the rain washes those bacteria into storm drains that lead into seas, rivers, and streams.
Donielle Stevens and Aaron Hussmann from the Leave No Trace program stated that feces produces algal blooms. Thus, it reduced oxygen levels in seas and increased fish mortality rates.
Moreover, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, dogs poop approximately ¾ pounds daily. If dog owners do not dispose of waste, that amount of poop can end up in streams, agricultural lands, or even in the air.
How Can You Dispose Of Dog Poop?
Over the years, science has proved that dog poop is toxic. Yet, there are ways how to cut that toxicity.
Dr. Cam Day from the Brunker Road Veterinary Centre said that a poop bag is necessary during dog walks. In that way, owners can put the poop in the bag. Seal it, then throw it away in dog waste bins.
Based on a 2004 article from the Rhode Island Department of Health, animal manure can be buried in the yard. But, only under certain conditions though. The hole should be 5 inches deep, isolated from gardens and any forms of waterways, they added.
Meanwhile, EPA stated that flushing dog poop in toilets is also one safe way to dispose of waste. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District supported that claim. According to them, it’s okay to flush poops, but not wipes or plastic bags.
What Is The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Dog Poop?
A study about dog waste in 2007 stated that the best way to reduce it is composting. Researchers, Leah and Judith said that composting reduces waste from going into landfills. Thus, you save 25 to 50% of waste.
What Can You Do To Prevent Pollution From Dog Poop?
We know that dog poop is bad for the environment so as dog owners, we must do our part. Here are some ways how we can prevent fecal pollution.
- Be a responsible owner.
- Clean up after your dog and encourage others to do the same.
- Secure the poop in an environment-friendly bag and throw it in a dog waste bin.
- Flush dog poops in the toilet.
- Do not throw poop, bagged or not, in the storm drain or the woods.
- Join various animal waste management programs.
- Learn proper composting techniques.
How Are Companies Recycling Dog’s Poop?
Dog poop is harmful but with the proper knowledge, it is useful. Some companies are recycling dog poop to produce a profit. How do they do that? Let’s find out.
Composting is a method of recycling organic wastes. It turns into fertilizer and nourishes the soil. Well, speaking of animal waste, dog poop is not an exception.
Researchers from Rio de Janeiro had a study about parasites and bacteria in dog poop compost. According to them, composting decreased coliform levels and killed worm eggs.
Yet, for compost to work, the process must be correct. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, here are the steps for efficient composting.
- Choose a sunny isolated area.
- Prepare the bin.
- Mix dog poop with sawdust or any carbon source in a bin.
- Add little water.
- Continue to put ingredients until the bin is full.
- Record the internal temperature. 130°-170° F kills worms and bacteria.
- Cure it for months or years.
When all material has degraded then the compost is ready. Organic companies can now sell them to farmers to provide soil nutrients.
Another way to prevent dog poop’s bad effects on the environment is the creation of biogas. What is biogas, anyway? Biogas is the finished product of the anaerobic decomposition of organic wastes. That includes grass, vegetables, and even manure.
Brian Harper, the inventor of the poo-powered lamp, confirmed that dog poop is a source of biofuel. Further, by gathering dog poops everywhere, we lessen the possibility of pollution.
Moreover, research showed that dog poop contains methane. Also, that is an essential gas for cooking. But, dog poops are not enough that’s why they’re not used for public biogas consumption.
Dog poop is a waste product that we see on the streets. But, who knew poop can be converted into something useful, right? Indeed, neglected dog waste is bad for the environment. Yet, studies proved that those wastes are manageable. We can transform it into new sources of renewable energy.