The Scoop on Poo

Doesn’t  Doggy Doo fertilize my yard?

Dog poop in particular is not fertilizer like cow manure.  Contrary to popular belief not all poop is the same. Do to a dog’s high protein diet, their waste can be very acidic and bad for your lawn. It can leave your yard looking quite sickly!

Won’t it just breakdown or dissolve into my yard?

One pile of pet waste can take up to a year or more to completely break down.  That’s a lot of time avoiding barefoot walking in that part of your yard! Plus, many bacteria and parasites can live for several months to several years in the soil, long after the feces is gone.

Can dog poop make humans sick?

While most viral and bacterial diseases are not transferable between dogs and humans, many parasites can unfortunately make the inter-species leap.  The Companion Animal Parasite Council terms diseases or parasites passed from animal to human as “zoonotic.”   One gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Some ailments that can affect humans are: Trichinosis, Whipworms, Hookworms, Roundworms, Giardia and Coccidia.

Can dog poop in my yard, make my other animals sick?
Some of the possible ways a dog or cat can obtain various different parasites, viruses and stages of bacteria from their own poop include: rolling in  feces, pawing at it, and in rare instances even eating it.  YUCK!

Animal feces are one of the most common sources of the following diseases:

  • Parvo Virus is one of the deadliest diseases in the dog population, particularly among puppies. Gaining entry through the mouth, the virus attacks the digestive tract and kills cells that are critical in the absorption of nutrients. Severe fluid loss through diarrhea and vomiting can lead to death. Parvo also temporarily affects a dog’s immune system, and can lead to heart failure in some young dogs.
  • Whipworms are blood suckers, tunneling into the wall of the intestine for their blood meals. Vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss are common symptoms, and in large numbers, these parasites can cause anemia. Difficult to diagnose, they are even harder to eliminate because they are often present in very large numbers.
  • Hookworms are blood suckers, attaching to the intestinal wall where they suck plugs of the intestinal tissue into their mouth structures. Anemia and/or intense inflammation can result. Hookworm infections can be passed to humans.
  • Roundworms (ascarids) can affect the lungs and the digestive system, with typical signs being vomiting and diarrhea. Convulsions can occur with heavy infections and the disease can spread to humans.
  • Giardia are one-celled parasites that can cause diarrhea in cats and dogs. Infection with Giardia is often difficult to diagnose and treat effectively.
  • Coccidia are also one-celled parasites that can cause diarrhea, especially in puppies and kittens.