Pick up after your dog!
Dogs produce a lot of waste, which if not picked up can pose a health threat to swimmers, wildlife, and water quality.
When you walk your dog, make sure to carry a plastic bag with you so that you can pick up the waste and dispose of it in a trash can. Deliberately leaving pet waste on the ground is not only unpleasant and unhealthy, it is often punishable by fines.
Dog waste carries high levels of harmful E. coli bacteria and other pathogens that can wash into storm drains and waterways, increasing public health risks and causing infections. Health problems include:
- Campylobacteriosis: A bacterial infection that causes diarrhea in humans.
- Giardiasis: A protozoan infection of the small intestine that can cause diarrhea, cramping, fatigue, and weight loss.
- Salmonellosis: Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Toxocariasis: An animal-to-human infection that is caused by roundworms found in the intestines of dogs. The parasite can cause vision loss, rash, fever, or cough, and is a particular threat to children exposed to parasite eggs in sand and soil.
Bacteria from dog waste pollutes local waterways, adversely affecting drinking water supplies and recreational opportunities, such as swimming, fishing, and boating.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that two or three days’ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it to swimming and shell fishing. Fecal waste-contaminated water can cause people to have serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps, and diarrhea.