Waste Not, Want Not
Waste Not, Want Not
Written by Harry Mahler
Today’s topic may not be the most glamorous topic but it is directly related to dogs. On a side note, we will try to cover the topic of feeding premimum dog food in a future post and how it relates to helping create less mess. Today’s topic is entitled Waste Not, Want Not and is related to another site that features Eco-Friendly topics. If you would like to visit My Eco Maid we will have a link at the end of this posting.
Waste Not, Want Not
There’s one other topic pertaining to lawn care that I’d like to touch on and that’s the effects dog waste has on the environment.
In the US alone, it’s very likely the number of pets is greater than the number of people living here. Now, consider the fact that your dog is most likely not toilet trained. A lot of people don’t even give a second thought to when their dog goes to the bathroom and probably also don’t clean up the mess afterwards. If it’s in their own yard, they’ll get to it…eventually. If it’s in a public place, someone else will be stuck with the dirty work. Most people also have the misconception that dog waste is great lawn fertilizer and will “break down over time”. Guess what? Those people are wrong.
Dog waste (feces) may contain over 23 million types of fecal coliform bacteria. These bacteria have been linked to a number of diseases and infections, including those that can be transmitted to humans. The list of health issues (for either animal or human) include: Heartworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, Kidney Disorders, Intestinal Illness, Parvo, Salmonella, and more. The eggs of these parasites and bacteria can remain in the soil for years, which means you can still be exposed to them even while gardening or walking through your yard barefoot. Children are at an even greater risk at contracting one of these diseases, since they enjoy playing in dirt so much.
If that’s not enough to convince you of the toxicity of dog waste, then check out this information from the EPA:
In 1991, the EPA deemed pet waste a “nonpoint source of pollution”, placing it in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals.
The EPA has estimated that 2 to 3 days worth of droppings from about 100 dogs would create enough bacteria to close a bay and all watershed areas within 20 miles, preventing any swimming or shell fishing activities.
According to the EPA, the decay of pet waste creates nutrients that allow weeds and algae to grow in waterways. As these plants can live off your dog’s waste, they are capable of overtaking waterways and limit the amount of light that penetrates the water’s surface. This causes oxygen levels in the water to drop and the marine life may be asphyxiated.
Now, you may think that it won’t have such a bad impact if you forget to clean up the waste for just a couple days, but what if it rains? That rain will break down the feces and carry pieces of it away. Combining with other nonpoint pollutants, that dog waste can end up on the street, sidewalks, someone else’s yard, or even in public waterways. Now, imagine that every time you go swimming at the beach or fishing in the river, that the water you are in or collecting food from is contaminated with dog feces. That doesn’t sound very pleasant, does it?
The bottom line is, whether you like it or not, your dog’s waste needs to be cleaned up—and disposed of—properly. If you really don’t want to do it yourself, you can always hire a service to clean up the mess for you. However, if you don’t mind a little grunt work, here are a couple tips to keep in mind:
Don’t use plastic bags; go biodegradable instead.
Plastic bags do not break down (at least not for an extremely long time, if ever). So, when you put pet waste into a plastic bag, and that plastic bag into the trash can, it will eventually sit at a landfill, doing nothing more than collecting flies. However, biodegradable bags will break down and so will the fecal matter inside them.
Buy Any 2 Packages of Eco-Friendly Pet Wast Bags and Get a 3rd Package for Free
Install a canine septic system in your yard.
No, this is not a way to train your dog how to use a toilet, but it does make cleaning up after them a lot easier (and even safer than the biodegradable bag option). What you basically have is a hole in the ground, with some stones at the bottom. A special bucket with holes in the bottom is placed on top of the stones, which you will add an enzyme to. All you have to do is put the waste in the bucket. When the bucket is full, pour water into it. The enzymes will help break down the feces and the water will wash it away, posing little to no threat to you, your dog, or the environment.
Ultimately, by remembering to clean up your dog’s waste, you are ensuring that your yard is a safe, healthy place and you also reduce any possible negative impact on the environment.
A final note about dog waste. Did you know that it is possible to cut down on the amount of dog waste by what type of food you feed your dog? By feeding a dog food filled with grain it may seem cheaper but really cost more as a dog will need to eat more and ultimately mess more. A good rule of thumb by feeding premium food is that your dog will eat less and mess less which actually ends up costing less. A great solution all around. If you have questions about this topic or any other topic, I would love to hear from you. Pawrific has a “Passion for People and Pets” and it is our goal to help create a healthy, happy dog by offering holistic, premium dog foods delivered to your home or office. Contact us today to find out how you can have free local home delivery of great dog food and Eco-Friendly toys. Visit us online at www.pawrificexpress.com
To find out more about My Eco Maid you can visit www.myecomaid.com