In 1991, dog waste was officially labeled as an environmental pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is in the very same category as herbicides and insecticides, and toxic chemicals.
Toxic to your soil
Unlike the cow and horse manure that can be used a great fertilizer, dog waste can contain a high amount of parasites and bacteria due to their vastly different diet. Due to the dangers the waste contains, it can not be used as fertlizer nor composted for any edible plants. To learn more about this issue and our suggestion for proper disposal, read our article on “Proper Waste Disposal”.
One gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Dog waste can spread giardia and salmonella as well.
Pet waste in our waters
Occasionally your might see a few unpicked poops when taking one of your daily walks. What we don’t see is all the unpicked poo that has been blown or washed into our lakes and rivers. This has been an increasing problem in Asheville as well as many other parts of the country. The EPA explains that pet waste in water consumes the oxygen and releases ammonia, which then in turn hard the fish that reside there. This also increases the danger for humans when swimming or tubing in these areas. Much of the bacteria found in pet waste can not only be transferred to other animals, but humans as well.
That’s a lot of poo
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average dog discards approximately three quarters of a pound of waste per day, which adds up to 275 pounds per year, most of which ends up in the back yard.
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, about 4 in 10 U.S. households include at least one dog. Of that total, 45% were “large” dogs — 40 pounds or more. On top of that a mind-blowing 40% of American dog walkers don’t pick up after their dog.
America’s 83 million pet dogs produce some 10.6 million tons of poop every year.
Important facts to know:
- Studies have traced 20 to 30 percent of the bacteria in water samples from urban watersheds to dog waste.
- Just two to three days of waste from 100 dogs can contribute enough bacteria, nitrogen and phosphorous to close 20 miles of a bay-watershed to swimming and shellfishing, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- It also can get into the air we breathe: a recent study of air samples in Cleveland, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich., found that 10 to 50 percent of the bacteria came from dog poop.
Many pet waste disposal stations have popped up in the most common-problem areas such as recreational parks, dog parks, and many places downtown, which has already made a big difference in reducing the amount of dog waste around those parts. Pet Poo Skiddoo is determined to continue aiding the cleanup effort as well as helping homeowners keep a happy, healthy, and safe yard for their family and furry critters alike.