The relationship between a dog and its owner is a fulfilling one; a relationship many of us here in Camas and Washougal, and Vancouver Washington share. This bond can be full of spontaneity and love. However, “man’s best friend” doesn’t come without some inconveniences. Being the clean-up service for our furry friends is a truly undesirable process; one that can contribute to an environmental ripple effect.
How is Pet Waste a Problem?
In 1991, the EPA labeled dog waste as a “non-point source pollutant” (NPS). And, while dog waste seems like merely a nuisance, this title holds serious weight. For reference, other non-point source pollutants include herbicides, insecticides, and even acid drainage from abandoned mines, not the most environmentally beneficial bunch. The EPA estimates that one single gram of dog waste is home to 23 million fecal bacteria; these are notorious for spreading diseases to animals and humans. Dog feces are also common carriers of hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. Stepping in dog waste with a barefoot, or touching some while gardening, are sure-fire ways to come into contact with an abundance of bacteria. Even lawns that are newly waste free can harbor residual eggs from roundworms and other parasites for years to come.
Pet Waste and Waterways
On a larger scale, decaying dog feces have the capability of contaminating our waterways. When heavy rainfall descends onto dog waste, fecal bacteria mixes with groundwater; it is then carried through storm drains, rivers, streams, and into lakes. The decaying waste and bacteria create nutrients that help weeds and algae grow in the waterways. This, in turn, limits the amount of light that penetrates the surface, which can asphyxiate fish and other seafood. The EPA estimates that two to three days’ worth of droppings, from a population of one hundred dogs, would contribute enough bacteria to shut down a bay or watershed area spanning 20 miles.
Pet Waste Disposal
When discussing the methodology of pet waste disposal, the notion of composting will invariably come up. Contrary to popular belief, dog waste does not compost and is not fertilizer. The parasites that exist in dog waste would require consistent temperatures of at least 165 degrees for a minimum of 5 days. Roundworms are especially prevalent in dog feces; this can lead to serious health complications for your furry friends.
Unchecked dog waste comes with minor inconveniences that, when added together, contribute to significant problems. The only action that will chip away at this issue is for everyone to be responsible when disposing of their dog’s waste. Hiring a professional dog waste removal company is a viable option that is often overlooked. Urban Eden Landscaping has implemented dog waste removal as an add-on service. Clients can feel at ease knowing that their dog’s “offerings” are being bagged accordingly and disposed of appropriately. If you or anyone you know are interested in adding this service, feel free to contact us, give us a call at 360-567-6399, or fill out a free online estimate request form!