February is Responsible Pet Owner Month, and every week this month we will be giving you tips on our blog about how to be an outstanding dog owner. This week, we’ll start with one of the most commonly overlooked things for a dog owner; Scooping your dog’s poop. The frequent misconception is that your dog’s waste acts as a fertilizer, so it is ok to let it break down over time outside. However, dog waste is actually a pollutant, not a fertilizer. Since it can be harmful to other dogs, humans and the environment, it is extremely important that you always scoop your dog’s poop.
When you don’t scoop the poop, rainwater can deposit your dog’s harmful waste into local streams and bodies of water that can cause serious harm. E. Coli and Salmonella have been found in dog feces, which can easily be spread to other animals and humans if they consume contaminated water.
In addition to harmful bacteria, feces can contain a large number of parasites, including Giardia, Roundworm, Hookwork and Whipworm, to name a few. Exposure to any of these would require a trip to your veterinarian. They are easy to prevent with proper care and disposal of waste.
It is important to note that the longer dog waste sits, the more potential it has to contaminate. In fact, Parasites require time to form, and with time, they can grow and cause more harm. So make sure you scoop your dog’s poop as soon as possible to prevent possible contamination.
Remember that not only is leaving your dog’s feces behind unsafe, it is also illegal in New Jersey. The law states that failure to pick up your dog’s business can result in fines. Be a responsible pet owner by picking up after your dog and making sure you scoop your dog’s poop whenever you are out.