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The Inside Scoop | Why Pet Cleanup Matters

While there are many pleasant parts of being a pet parent, cleaning up after them isn’t exactly one of them. However, picking up after your dog is extremely important! It doesn’t matter if your pup relieves themself in your backyard or while on a walk: you should always pick up the poop.

It’s a Pollutant
The Environment Protection Agency classifies dog waste as a pollutant. When pet waste gets into our waterways, it breaks down and causes excessive algae and weed growth. That can make waterways unsuitable for swimming, fishing, and other recreational uses.

Because pet waste can be so damaging to the environment, it is important never to let your pet go to the bathroom in or close to a waterway.

It’s Neighborly
A common grievance on community apps is that people are not picking up after their pets. This un-neighborly behavior is disrespectful to the community and to the environment, so please be mindful of the shared spaces and leave them how you found them… absent of your pup’s poop.

It’s the Law
If those other reasons weren’t enough, leaving dog waste on the ground is illegal. You are required by law to pick up after your pet in public places in Virginia (as well as many other states and localities).

It Transmits Disease
Dog excrement can transmit disease to both humans and other animals. Parasites, bacteria, and viruses can all be transmitted from dog waste to the soil, which can then be passed on to people and other pets. This is especially troublesome for children playing outside or adults who like to garden. Common issues include:

Problematic Parasites:
WORMS*
COCCIDIA*
GIARDIA*

Bad Bacteria:
SALMONELLA*
E.COLI*
CAMPYLOBACTERIOSIS*

Serious Sicknesses:
PARVOVIRUS
CANINE CORONAVIRUS

* Conditions that can be transferred from canines to humans.
Children, seniors, babies, and pregnant women are at higher risk.

Additionally, dog waste is not a fertilizer as some might think. The high nitrogen levels found in your pet’s poop are actually toxic for your lawn.

The bottom line: be sure to bring along a bag so you can clean up on your walk and set aside time to scoop the poop from your backyard!