Pet Waste Facts

Organisms in Pet Waste

How they affect families & pets health?

Waste, more than unpleasant

It can be harmful. Pet waste may contain any number of parasites and bacteria that can infect humans and other pets. In humans, if left untreated, these organisms can cause very serious illnesses.

Ways infections occur

  • Accidental oral ingestion (frequently children)
  • Through the skin (commonly feet)
  • Contact with or drinking contaminated water

Steps for prevention

  • Clean up pet waste and dispose of properly
  • Good hygiene - wash hands thoroughly
  • Take pets for periodic visits to the veterinarian

More Pet Waste Information

Why should I be concerned about properly disposing of Pet Waste?

It can contain harmful parasites and bacteria that infect pets and humans. It pollutes our streams, rivers and lakes. Flies will consume and lay eggs in feces. These same flies will then come into your house and then spread disease as they pause on your counter and food. Need I say more about keeping feces cleaned up to prevent this cycle?

Doesn’t Pet Waste eventually just break down and disappear?

It can contain harmful parasites and bacteria that infect pets and humans. It pollutes our streams, rivers and lakes. Flies will consume and lay eggs in feces. These same flies will then come into your house and then spread disease as they pause on your counter and food. Need I say more about keeping feces cleaned up to prevent this cycle?

What are the proper ways to dispose Pet Waste?

  • Simply flush it down the toilet
  • Bury it away from food producing plants
  • Place it in plastic bags and put in the trash

Why not use Pet Waste for composting for fertilizer?

Potentially harmful organisms are not easily killed through normal composting. These organisms may contaminate plants and therefore should not be used as fertilizer especially on fruits and vegetables. Also dogs and cats have a high protein based diet that creates a very acidic excrement or waste product.

How long can it take for pet waste to decay?

One pile of pet waste can take a year or more to fully breakdown. The common activities of pets in places where there is their own poop increase the chance of getting different parasites, viruses and stages of bacteria. Some activities are: rolling in their feces, pawing at it, and in rare instances even eating it-coprophagy.

There is also the possibility of infection for pet owners. Since several pathogens affect humans in the same way, some ailments such as: Parvo Virus, Trichinosis, Whipworms, Hookworms, Roundworms, Giardia and Coccidia.

Organisms and Possible Symptoms

One gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria.

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Cryptosporidium

diarrhea, cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting

Hookworm

rash, diarrhea, anemia, possible heart issues in left untreated

E. Coli

diarrhea - sometimes bloody, kidney failure in elderly or children (those with weak immune systems)

Roundworm

cramps, intestinal blockage, vomiting, blindness

Salmonella

diarrhea, fever, cramps, joint pains, eye irritation

Tapeworm

diarrhea, fever, cramps, joint pains, eye irritation