Quite the high brow topic, eh?  I realize it’s not the most glamorous of subjects, yet it’s an important one that carries much mis-information and many misconceptions.

Dog feces can transmit bacteria and parasites to humans, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, cryptosporidia and salmonella.  A single gram of waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria.  In fact, in 1991 the EPA labeled dog feces as a non-point source pollutant, which is in the same category as herbicides, insecticides, oil, grease and toxic chemicals.  When infected dog waste is deposited in your lawn, the eggs of certain roundworms and other parasites can linger in the soil for years.  Anyone who may come in contact with the soil is at risk, especially young children who often put things in their mouths and eyes and even your dog.  You can help minimize the risk of transmission by keeping your pet and your pet’s environment clean.  This means, of course, picking up where your dog left off 🙂

Which leads me to my next point.  Simply mowing over the feces can be dangerous and can spread the contaminants; hence, the reason why Sweeney’s will not do this. Once it gets into the mower blades and/or tires, the contaminants can be easily spread to someone else’s yard; thereby, creating a potential endemic.

Contrary to popular belief, dog feces does not make a good fertilizer.  It’s actually toxic to your lawn, causing burns and discoloring.  You mean not all poop is created equal?  That is correct.  Whether or not a specific type of feces is beneficial to plants depends mainly on the animal’s diet.  Generally speaking, for feces to make a good fertilizer, it has to contain digested plant matter – that’s why cow manure (herbivore) makes an excellent and widely used fertilizer while dog poop (carnivore) does not.

In order for dog feces to be used as fertilizer, it must be composted with other materials and allowed to break down over time.  Uncomposted dog feces is simply hazardous and should never be used.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to clean up after your dog, there are companies out there that will do it for you.  Just make sure they trained, licensed and bonded.

“Dogs are animals that poop in public, and you’re supposed to pick it up.  After a week of doing this, you’ve got to ask yourself, “Who’s the real master in this relationship?””

– Anthony Griffin

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney

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