Dog feces contains parasites and harmful bacteria including Salmonella, E.coli, hookworm, tapeworm and ringworm. Dog feces that is not removed from the yard will cause discoloration to the grass. During rainfall, the feces can come into contact with ground water and will get carried into storm drains, rivers, streams and lakes, therefore contaminating water. Coming into contact with dog feces while walking, gardening or playing in the yard can cause illness.
Humans Contracting Bacteria Illness
The most common bacterial infection transmitted from animal feces to humans is Salmonellosis. It causes abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches and headache. Toxocariasis, caused by roundworms commonly found in a dogs intestines, cause symptoms including vision loss, fever, cough and rash. Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial infection that causes bloody diarrhea, cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain in humans.
Spreading Infections and Diseases in Canines
Campylobacteriosis is found in the canine gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, enlarged lymph nodes and straining to defecate. Toxocariasis is a parasite found in a dogs digestive tract and is later shed into feces. Symptoms of vomiting, nasal discharge, cough, pale mucus membrane, emaciation, constipation, diarrhea, anemia and noisy breathing can be present in an infected dog. Salmonellosis is caused by salmonella bacteria and is a common infection found in dogs. Salmonellosis can lead to disorders, such as spontaneous abortions, septicemia and gastroenteritis. Common symptoms of Salmonellosis are swollen lymph nodes, fever, dehydration, weight loss, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, mucus present in stool, abnormal rapid heart beat, lethargy and shock. All of these bacteria infections, diseases and illnesses can affect other dogs and humans.
Damage to the Lawn
A pea size amount of dog feces can contain up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. If dog feces remains in the yard for extended periods of time the fecal coliform bacteria multiplies. Dog feces, especially large piles, smother grass by suffocating it and eventually killing the grass, leaving dead grass spots placed sporadically throughout the yard. It can also cause discoloration of the grass, leaving noticeable spots on your lawn. Dog feces that is not removed from the lawn immediately will continue to harbor bacteria and easily transmit it to dogs and humans who come in contact with it. Leaving dog feces in the yard can attract flies, mosquitoes, raccoons and rats.
Since dog feces can last in the yard for up to four years if not removed, water from rain, sprinklers and water hoses can wash the feces and bacteria into nearby water sources. The canine waste mixes with the water and flows into storm drains, canals, creeks, streams, lakes, marine water and neighborhood puddles. Humans and dogs that come into contact with contaminated water, by either swimming, playing or accidentally consuming the water can become infected with disease-causing organisms.
- Seattle.gov: Pet Waste
- Doctors Foster and Smith: 5 Important Reasons to Clean up Pet Waste
- Huffington Post: Dog Poop Poses Disease Risk: Scoop Fido's Feces While It's Still Fresh
- Scoopys: Facts About the Dangers of Dog Poop
- Pet MD: Campylobacteriosis in Dogs
- CDC.gov: Salmonellosis
- CDC.gov: Toxocariasis FAQs
- CDC.gov: Campylobacter
- Animal Health Care Veterinary: Toxocariasis in Dogs
- USA Today: Dog Waste Poses Threat to Water
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images