There are many fun things about taking your dog for a walk, but picking up after your furry friend isn’t one of them. While you can be tempted to skip this task, not cleaning up after your dog can negatively affect the environment and the health of other people and animals. Here’s why we should pick up after dogs.
You’re Required to by Law
We can start with the most obvious – you are legally required to clean up after your dog in many areas. Many locations, such as parks and other public spaces, might have signs posted up encouraging you to pick up after your pet. However, even private areas might require you to do so. Neighborhood homeowners’ associations or covenants can make cleaning up after your dog a legal necessity, and your city or county might also have regulations to ensure that you clean up in public areas.
It Doesn’t Work Like Fertilizer
Some of us may think that dog poop functions in the same way as other fertilizers, which may make sense on the surface. However, dog poop can actually be toxic for your grass. Cow manure is what is typically used for fertilizer, and it is different from dog poop because of what both animals ingest, and how. Given the diet of cows, their waste is essentially composted grass. Meanwhile, dog poop is acidic as a result of the way a dog’s digestive process works, as well as their microbiomes. If you grow your vegetables at home, dog poop could also contaminate them.
It Pollutes the Environment
Dog waste contains two pollutants: pathogens and nutrients. If dog poop gets flushed into waterways, the pathogens it carries can affect other organisms in the water, and make anyone that comes into contact with it sick. The nutrients released from dog poop can also encourage the growth of plant life such as algae, which makes water unsuited to recreational use.
It Carries Disease
Dog waste contains bacteria that can be harmful to other living creatures. The scary thing is that you don’t necessarily need to come into direct contact with this waste to get sick from it. Diseases in dog poop can also be carried by flies or other animals that come into contact with it. Here are just some of the harmful thing dog poop contains:
It Hurts the Ecosystem
While you might be under the impression that your dog’s waste alone can’t possibly do that much harm, your dog is just one of many that lives in your area. The amount of waste can really add up, overwhelming the ecosystem. Doing your part to pick up after your dog can help combat this harm, even if it’s only a little step at a time.
It’s Common CourtesyIf you’ve ever stepped in dog poop, you’ll know that it can ruin a day! When you add that to the harmful effects that dog poop can have on the environment and the health of people and animals living in it, you can easily see how the right thing to do is just to clean it up. So, if you’re taking your dog out for a walk, bring our waste bag holder with you!