Dog Waste and Pollution

 

Stepping in it is bad enough, and according to Consumer Reports, dog waste is already #6 on the list of America's Top Gripes in 2010. But the true environmental impact is much, much bigger. 

By implementing this program you are taking the first step to providing a cleaner and greener living area for your residents. Not only are you giving them a more beautiful place to live and play, you are also doing your part in saving the environment we all live in! Aside from simply being an unsightly problem, un-scooped dog waste is doing a surprising amount of damage to our environment. You might be shocked to learn that dog waste has a worse carbon “Poo Print” on the environment than a gas guzzling SUV! Yep, you read that correctly. According to CNN a medium-sized dog has twice the impact on the Earth than driving a luxury SUV 10,000 miles! And that’s only one dog! 

On top of accidentally stepping in that stinky pile, here are some other problems you probably didn't even know you were helping to solve! 

  • Bacteria and waste entering the water supply
  • Animal and human health hazards from unclean water - including fish kills and algae blooms
  • Risk to children playing in parks or lakes
  • Roundworm infection posed to pet owners
  • Parasite infections posed to pets
  • Costs associated with pick up and disposal

 

A question we get asked all the time is, “Why blame all this on our four legged family members, while there are so many other wild animals out there whose waste goes un-scooped?” The answer even shocked us a little bit. 

 

Non-human sources account for 95% of bacteria found in contaminated water. Of the sources that can be matched, up to 20% are matched directly to dogs. 

 

Dogs are built to eat almost anything, and they have a large number of diverse intestinal bacteria to deal with that wide variety of food. Combine that with the sheer numbers of dogs we have crammed into our metro cities and the problem becomes significant. 

 

Sure, there are wild animals all around us and they have always been here. Wild rabbits have only 20 fecal bacteria per gram of waste. And mice, which most of us think of as relatively unsanitary, have only 330,000 per gram compared to 23 million per gram in dog waste. Even horses come in with only 12,600 fecal coliforms per gram. Dogs clearly win this race. 

 

Take a look at the chart below to compare other wild animals to our domesticated dogs...The numbers are quite shocking! 

 

 

Here are some other interesting facts about dog waste and your environment... 

  • The EPA places dog waste in the same health category as oil and toxic chemicals.
  • The EPA lists pet waste management at the top of their Pollution Prevention Best Management Practices.
  • According to CNN, a medium-sized dog has twice the impact on the Earth than driving a luxury SUV 10,000 miles.  Click here to read an eye opening article.
  • E.coli bacteria from dog droppings caused a public park in Austin, TX to shut down.
  • Bacteria also led to the close of the Boise River to swimming and fishing.
  • Bacterial source tracking studies in a watershed in the Seattle, Washington area also found that nearly 20% of the bacteria isolates that could be matched with host animals were matched with dogs.
  • Dog waste has been identified as a significant source of pollution in the Fairfax, VA watershed.