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Dr. Elliott: Here's the Poop!

We've covered a lot together in past articles: what goes into your pet, what goes on your pet, and now it's time to talk about what comes out of your pet!

May 24, 2018 3 min read
Dr. Elliott: Here's the Poop!

We’ve covered a lot together in past articles; what goes into your pet, what goes on your pet, but now it’s time to talk about what comes out of your pet! Poop. We need to discuss the growing problem of dog poop and the failure of owners to pick up after their dogs.

Reasons why your dog’s poop is such a serious problem in the community:

Removing dog feces prevents reinfestation of your dog from exposure to infective worm eggs and larvae, and dog feces can transmit diseases from your dog to people. Roundworm, hookworm and other parasitic worms may be transmitted to young children and adults who play or work in their yard/dirt when dog feces are present. Ocular larva migrans - an eye disease caused by parasitic worms found in dog droppings can cause serious eye damage to young children. Flies love dog poop - this is another way diseases get transmitted.

Animal waste can be a contributor to storm water pollution. It contains disease-carrying bacteria and toxins that can increase the risk of viral infections, flu, and skin rashes for ocean swimmers near storm drain outlets. More than 10 million gallons of water containing fecal contaminants from human and animal sources, flows into neighborhood storm drains every day, and even more when it rains.  

Some of the seriously nasty bacteria coating dog poop include: fecal streptococcus and fecal coliforms. In sufficiently high amounts, these bacteria can make people sick - sometimes very sick. For example, E. coli bacteria causes gastrointestinal infections, as well as infections to the ear, eye, and throat. Another bacteria, campylobacter, can cause diarrhea in humans. Still another form of bacteria found in dog poop is salmonella, which causes infections that trigger fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea. These are bad bacteria all piled into Poopsie's poop!

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Important reasons to pick up after your dog:

  1. Dog feces and urine can result in lawn burn or dead patches.  When it's your dog on your neighbor's lawn, it causes a great deal of hostility--toward you, and your dog.
  2. After a day of baking in the sun, the odor from dog feces can become offensive. Scoop it!
  3. It can ruin a good pair of shoes. 
  4. Parks belong to everyone, not just your dogs. Kids play on the grass, and families enjoy picnicking; dog feces take the joy out of outdoors activities.  Bag it!
  5. Dog feces are not part of nature on a hiking trail. It's part of your responsibility as a dog owner to pack it out.  Don't leave it behind!

  6. Don't give municipal governments an excuse to ban dogs from public areas or even think about controlling our great American passion of dog ownership.  CLEAN IT UP! You make your kids clean up their rooms--clean up your dog's poop!

  7. Picking up after your dog exercises your waistline (bending), your butt (stretching) and your arm (stretching). A week of dedicated poop scooping and you have burned off at least 30 calories!

Now, let’s work together and remember to carry a little plastic bag with you to pick up after your dog! One swoop and there goes the poop! It’s the decent thing to do.

Questions? Please email Dr. Elliott at