Picking up for public health

By Connie Orcutt • Published: January 1st, 2015
Category: Animal Airwaves

If you’re a dog lover, cleaning up after your furry friend comes with the territory. It’s true that no one likes to see — or worse yet, step in — a mess. But picking up after our dogs has much bigger implications — for their health and ours.

Dogs can get certain viral diseases, such as canine parvovirus, by coming in contact with waste from infected dogs. Parasites like roundworms, hookworms and giardia are spread the same way and can sicken both dogs and their human companions.

Fecal waste from dogs can also contaminate water in areas that collect storm-water runoff. Some of the offending bacteria, like E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter are carried solely by dogs but can make people very sick as well.

So next time you pick up your dog’s mess, give yourself a pat on the back for being a public health crusader.