Ew! You just stepped outside and stepped in a pile of dog poop! Scenes like these may make the mantra, “Scoop the poop!” a well-deserved one, but more importantly, cleaning up after your dog helps prevent the spread of parasites and disease.

That’s right. There are several risks to the health and wellbeing of your pet, as well as other pets and people, when animal waste is allowed to accumulate in public places.

7 Reasons Why Cleaning up After Your Dog is a Must

  1. The obvious—Let’s start off with the reason that many of us are conscientious about poo patrol, and that is courtesy. Frankly, the smell and the potential for ruined shoes are enough to compel most of us to doo-tifully carry those important dog waste bags wherever we roam with our four-legged friend.
  2. Diseases that are transmissible between canines—One of the most contagious and aggressive illnesses that can befall a dog is parvovirus. And exposure to a sick pet’s stool can pose risks to young and/or unvaccinated dogs throughout the community.
  3. Parasites and diseases that are also zoonotic—Zoonotic diseases are illnesses that can spread between animals and people. And when it comes to parasites like hookworms and whipworms, look no farther than dog poo. Other nasty organisms that can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration in people and pets are E. coli, Giardia, and Salmonella.
  4. It may be the law—In municipal and regional parks, as well as many other public or privately owned venues, cleaning up after your fur friend is the law and can result in hefty fines when ignored.
  5. Fewer pests—From flies to gnats to mosquitoes, there is no end to the number of undesirable flying and crawling pests who would love to partake of the poo. And, as you know, these parasites are unwelcomed guests who can also present diseases risks (such as heartworm disease).
  6. The protection of wild species—Domestic pets carry many diseases that can negatively impact wildlife, from birds to other mammals. This waste can also compromise the quality of the water, air, and resources needed by plants and animals to thrive (so don’t get lazy when in natural areas or on the trail).
  7. To encourage more pet friendly places—One of the best ways to change the hearts and minds of establishments with a No Dogs Allowed policy is through pet owner etiquette. Many parks, venues, hotels, and other fun people places now welcome well-behaved pets precisely because of the simple courtesy and responsibility of well-mannered pet owners.

For the safety and enjoyment of everyone, the team at Arlington Animal Hospital reminds you to scoop the poop (every time). And we thank all of you who exemplify outstanding pet owner etiquette!