Harmful organisms that can be transmitted from pet waste to children and adults can persist for on the ground for weeks. And if it’s in the grass, it’s in your carpet, on your feet and in your bed. Fecal coliform and other bacteria found in dog waste can make people sick, leading to breathing problems, diarrhea, blindness and worse. Some of the diseases that can be spread to humans from pet waste include,
- Campylobacteriosis (a bacterial infection frequently causing diarrhea in humans)
- Salmonellosis (the most common bacterial infection transmitted to humans -- symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, and diarrhea)
- Toxocarisis (roundworms transmitted from animals to humans. Symptoms include vision loss, rash, fever, or cough)
- Fecal coliform causes dysentery, hepatitis, typhoid fever and ear infections
- Roundworm, giardiasis, tuberculosis, gastroenteritis and cryptosporidiosis
- Cysticercosis which is a disease of humans involving larval tapeworms in the human body
With 1.2 million dogs in North Central Texas, that’s the sewage equivalent of a city the size of Dallas with no toilets. Dogs produce some 900,000 pounds of sewage per day, much of it contaminating the environment, especially groundwater, area lakes and the Trinity River.
Dog waste is not “fertilizer”
Many people have been told dog waste is okay for composting but scientists now realize that is bad advice. Composting does not kill the smorgasbord of harmful pathogens in dog waste that attack humans and pets. Fecal coliform bacteria are just one of a whole suite of pathogens that can thrive in a compost pile.
Spreading sewage in your yard is going the way of blood letting and other harmful practices held over from more primitive times. A waste treatment facility or landfill is set up to contain fecal matter. Your backyard is not.