The joy of a day at the park or playground is a universal experience, shared by families and pets alike. But there’s a hidden danger lurking in these communal spaces that many of us often overlook – pet waste. At the Department of Doody, we strive to educate the public about the importance of proper pet waste disposal, particularly in shared environments like parks and playgrounds. Here’s why.
The Health Risks of Pet Waste
Pet waste, particularly from dogs, can carry a variety of harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These include E. coli, salmonella, giardia, and roundworms, all of which can cause serious illness in humans 1. Children, who are more likely to come into contact with contaminated soil while playing, are especially at risk.
It’s not just direct contact that poses a danger. Rainwater can wash pet waste into storm drains, and from there into rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. This contaminates the water, harms aquatic life, and can even affect our drinking water.
The Environmental Impact of Pet Waste
Aside from the health risks, pet waste also has a significant environmental impact. As it breaks down, it releases excess nutrients into the soil. In large quantities, these nutrients can cause harmful algal blooms in water bodies, depleting oxygen levels and harming aquatic ecosystems 2.
Creating Safer Parks and Playgrounds
With the potential risks posed by pet waste, it’s clear that proper disposal is essential for the health and safety of our parks and playgrounds. Here are a few steps we can all take:
- Pick up after your pet: Always bring bags to pick up your pet’s waste when visiting a park or playground.
- Dispose of pet waste properly: Don’t leave pet waste bags by the side of the trail or in the bushes. Use designated pet waste stations or take it home to dispose of in your regular trash.
- Educate others: Share the importance of proper pet waste disposal with other pet owners.
- Hire a pet waste removal service: Companies like Department of Doody can ensure your yard is free of pet waste, reducing the chance of it ending up in public spaces.
The Department of Doody believes that everyone has a role to play in keeping our parks and playgrounds clean and safe. By picking up after our pets, we can enjoy these spaces without worry, knowing we’re doing our part for our community and our environment. Contact us today!