We all love dogs. Our canine brothers and sisters. Who doesn’t? But there are a number of very important reasons why owners should have access to a dog waste station in any public area so we can still appreciate our furry friends. It’s THE most essential piece of dog park equipment.
Sure, as a dog owner you might pick up after Fido does his business. Well, maybe most of the time. But here’s a startling fact: About 40% of people in the US don’t pick up their dog’s waste. They just leave it there on the ground for the rest of us to smell or step in.
Here’s another startling fact: As many as 37%-47% of American households own a dog. That means there could be as many as 80 million canines.
They not only own millions of dogs, they also own millions of pooping machines. The EPA estimates that a typical dog excretes about three quarters of a pound of waste a day. That’s 274 pounds per year! Per dog! That’s not only a lot of dog waste, that’s a mountain range of dog waste.
Now, if most of that pet waste ended up in the garbage can, or even flushed down the toilet, that would be fine. Heck, the EPA even suggests you use it for fertilizer. It’s excellent for plants.
That’s where the stuff belongs, not in an open meadow at our favorite parks or near a walkway at our condominiums or homes. But picked up with proper pet waste disposal bags and techniques.
Dog waste stations prevent the spread of poop/strong>
There’s more to the fall-out of unpicked dog poop than most people realize. First of all, there’s the unpleasant smell and look. Or the fact that this stuff always seems to find your shoes and you only find it after you sit in your car or walk in your home. That’s just on the surface.
A bigger concern is the potential for a dangerous slip and fall. Reportedly in Buenos Aires, which has a major unwanted poop problem, nearly 700 people a year are hospitalized after slipping in bow wow’s business.
The stuff can be slick. And what is one of the main reasons why parks were created? For running and having fun! Certainly park or facility managers don’t want to have local citizens flipping on their backsides because some other local citizen thought the park had plenty of open room for Alfie’s poopy deposit.
There’s an even more threatening downside for dog waste. According the EPA, dog excrement is a major source of bacteria in waterways. When a doggy’s business is not properly disposed, it can be picked up by storm water runoff and end up in lakes or streams.
Decaying pet waste uses up oxygen and sometimes releases ammonia, thereby harming fish. Because it contains nutrients, dog poop also promotes weed and algae growth. No one wants to swim in green, cloudy water. And drinking contaminated water is certainly not fun either as a single gram of dog feces reportedly contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria which results in cramps, diarrhea, stomach disorders and kidney problems.
Twenty years ago, the EPA even went so far as to announce that dog waste was a significant source of pollution. Just like toxic waste.
Now we know our cute little tail-wagging friends don’t mean to mess up our planet. They’ve got to do what they got to do just like humans.
But some humans don’t seem to get the correlation between human waste and dog waste. It’s very similar.
The easy answer to all this is to keep a solution nearby in the form of bag dispensers and a dog waste station. Then there is no excuse for not picking up Bowzer’s waste. Post pet waste stations with signage at EVERY entrance to a park. Same with condominiums. Or post them where you know people like to walk their dogs out of habit.
A dog waste station such as those offered by The Park Catalog even provide instructions on how to use doggie bags to pick up the poop. When you have a pet waste station prominently displayed, other people in the park or the area can simply point them out to people who don’t pick up.
That’s all they have to do. That dog owner will clearly get the message. A person could even compliment the dog at the same time. The key factor: The opportunity is now there for them to dispose of the waste properly. There are no excuses.
After all, dogs love people too. And if they could talk, they certainly would say they don’t want to be responsible for polluting the planet.