A single gram of dog waste is estimated to contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, cramps, dehydration, kidney disorders, and intestinal illness in humans. Every year, more than 70 million dogs in the United States produce 10 million (and more) tons of excrement. Picking up poop can be an unpleasant task, but not doing so can have serious implications on both pets and humans, and the environment.
The Human Impact
Infections can be transmitted via pet waste. Diseases spread between species are referred to as zoonoses in humans. Roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms are all gastrointestinal parasites that lay eggs in dog feces. Other protozoan parasites found in pet waste include cryptosporidium and giardia. Gardening, outdoor spots, and going barefoot in the yard, all increase the likelihood of coming into contact with these parasite eggs and larvae. Young children with poor hygiene frequently go straight from the sandbox to the lunch box, where microscopic eggs alongside soil on the hands are consumed, resulting in diseases. Similarly, dogs greet one another with a nose to the rear, coming into contact with poop, and can get new infections from contaminated areas and yards.
These microscopic organisms are easily transmitted between animals and humans, resulting in symptoms common to parasite infections, like diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, anemia, and lethargy. In certain circumstances, healthy humans and adult animals display no symptoms yet shed pathogens actively. Because humans are not the traditional "host" for parasites like roundworms, larval and adult worms can sometimes be found in other parts of the body instead of the gut. Tissue migration results in disease of the skin, lung, and eye (which can lead to blindness). Aside from direct hand-to-mouth transmission and direct skin contact with larvae, parasites and bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter can be easily disseminated from fecal matter onto the soles of shoes, lawnmower blades, nearby streams and water sources post-rainfall, and flies.
Not only does pet waste aid in the spread of diseases, but it also has detrimental effects on the environment. When the water supply is contaminated by feces, it leads to the excessive growth of harmful weeds and algae, which directly affects fish and wildlife. The US Environmental Protection Agency considers pet waste a nonpoint source (NPS) pollutant that will continue to take a heavy toll on the environment if its removal is not taken seriously. There are also misconceptions about pet waste disappearing into the dirt or naturally becoming fertilizer. As a matter of fact, a single roundworm can lay 200,000 eggs daily, and these eggs can survive for years if not treated by a concentrated bleach solution or flame thrower.
Cultivate Good Waste Disposal Habits with PawPail
Here at PawPail, we have the perfect pet waste management solution for you! Our PawPail pet waste station is a convenient, environmentally friendly, and odor-controlling device that encourages pet waste cleanup and minimizes exposure for you and your family. Feel free to look through our product range or contact us to find out more.