The Dog-ma of Pet Waste

We love our pets, and it’s our responsibility to know how to take care of them. Eating top quality food is important for our furry friends to be healthy, and so is exercise. Taking your pet for a walk is good but usually leads to a potty break. When you walk your dog, are you prepared? You have your leash but do you have your pet waste pick up bag? Many pet owners neglect their pet’s “doo” because they assume the waste eventually just goes away. However, this “nature takes care of nature” mentality is misguided. Microorganisms in animal waste are washed away from grass, dirt and pavement by rain and lawn sprinklers, which leads directly into storm drains and ultimately ends up in our watersheds.

While your pet’s doo may not seem like a big deal, it is important to recognize that a single gram of dog waste contains 23 million viruses, parasites and bacteria. When animal waste is deposited in our waterways, it immediately becomes a breeding ground for disease with 23 million cases of potential infection from hookworm, tapeworm, e coli, giardiasis and salmonellosis among other dangers.

Residents of Riverside County do not want pet doo polluting our water. To prevent harm to our watersheds, wildlife and even people as a result of watershed contamination, responsible pet owners should always carry the necessary products to pick up after pets. The next time you take your pet out for a neighborhood stroll, be sure to “doo your dooty.”

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