The Dog Days of Summer are Here

August boasts days of higher-than-average temps – often referred to as the “Dog Days of Summer – and is also host to a literal dog day! Since 2004, August 26th has been recognized annually as National Dog Day. To celebrate your favorite furry friend, here are four ways to pamper the pooch in your life while reducing their carbon paw print.

  1. Best Dog Parks in Your Watershed – Take your four-legged friend for some fun and exercise at a local dog park. Check out these terrific options for each watershed, and don’t forget to scoop the poop!
  2. Ditch the Disposable – Don’t bring a plastic water bottle to offer your dog water while you’re out. Instead, choose a portable reusable water bowl for dogs. Some options have a carbon filter so you can use water from a river or lake.
  3. Doggy Day Spa – If you bathe your pet outdoors, wash them on grass or other surfaces that will absorb the excess water. Be sure to choose products with these natural ingredients. Look for products that are packaged in recyclable materials. Consider trying a shampoo bar which has minimal packaging.
  4. Toy…Toy…Squirrel! – Have some fun with toys made of bamboo or hemp and avoid plastic or rubber toys. Make DIY dog toys by re-purposing old items from around the house like stuffed animals, balls, or braid together strips of an old t-shirt to make a cool “new” tug rope.

Three Tips For Pet Owners in the Watershed

A great way to show some love to your dog is to take them on an outing to a park in a Riverside County watershed. Here are a few tips to make playtime in the park with your pet worry-free:

  1. Check Park Rules: Check online to see if pets are allowed at the park you plan to visit. Some parks may require a pet permit or may have certain areas where your pets aren’t allowed to roam.
  2. Scoop the Poop: Make sure you come equipped with waste bags to properly dispose of their pet waste. Tie up and dispose of the bag in a garbage container with a lid.
  3. Use the Leash: Many parks require that dogs are kept on a 6’ leash and controlled at all times. Some parks are home to threatened or endangered wildlife and this will protect both animals.

Knowing the rules will guarantee a fun time for your dogs and a clean watershed for everyone.

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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