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Washington Waters  Ours to Protect

pet waste What you can do...

Dog poop

Scoop the poop.
Bag it. Trash it

Dog poop is more than just an icky nuisance. It’s a health risk to dogs and people, especially children. It’s full of bacteria that can make people sick. And it’s a source of water pollution. When it rains, dog poop melts away and runoff carries it to storm drains, ditches and streams that feed our rivers, lakes and marine waters.

Bonus points!

Properly disposing of dog poop also helps you:
  • Keep pets healthy.
  • Make yards and parks safer and more pleasant places to play.
  • Keep your and your family’s shoes clean.
  • Keep out of trouble with local ordinances.
  • Support a healthy watershed.

Bacteria from dog poop can end up in shellfish. People who eat those shellfish can get very sick. The bacteria can also make water unsafe to drink or to swim in. Nutrients from dog poop can also feed the growth of aquatic plants and algae. As these decay, they use up oxygen in the water that fish and other aquatic life need.

Dog poop left on the ground is no small problem. Based on a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association, it’s estimated that there are 1.6 million dogs in Washington State. That means hundreds of tons of new dog poop every day!

Dog poop doesn’t have to be a problem.

What will you do to help?

  • Carry plastic bags when taking your pet for a walk or a romp in the park.
  • Pick up your dog’s waste. Use a plastic bag, scoop or disposable gloves. Remember to wash your hands afterward.
  • Seal the waste inside a plastic bag (or two) and throw it in the garbage.
  • Keep dog poop out of septic systems and sewer systems. These systems are designed for human waste only.
  • Pick up after your dog in your yard every few days— more often if you have small children who play there.

When your dog goes on the lawn, remember
it doesn’t just go on the lawn.

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