The Dangers of Dog Waste

To most, dog waste is just an inconvenient part of being a pet owner. No one enjoys having to pick up after his or her dog, but leaving pet waste unattended in your yard could put you, your family and your pet in danger.

Let’s outline the dangers of pet waste, and why scooping your pets poop is always the best option!

1. Stool Eating

At one point or another, we’ve all witnessed our pets eating their own stool. Dogs are natural scavengers, and while it may be hard to fathom, it’s natural for them to taste the stool they find in your yard. The habit is known as coprophagia and is especially common in young animals.

While the practice is mostly harmless, and usually only requires a begrudgingly clean up, it can be dangerous for your pets. The stool your dog eats can cause stomach aches, vomiting and gastroenteritis. In extreme situations it can cause a parasite to infect your precious pooch.

2. The Deadly Parvovirus

Most dog owners should be aware of parvovirus. This devastating illness can kill dogs in a matter of days and is almost 80% fatal when contracted. The virus is spread easily when your dog comes into contact with contaminated feces, but can also be passed along from dog to dog contact.

Symptoms include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Fever


The good news is, there is a vaccination to prevent your puppy from contracting this devastating disease. However, if your dog is behind in shots, parvo can be extremely easy for them to pick up.

3. Worms, Worms, Worms!

Dog waste that has been left out for long periods of time can also affect the lives of humans. When water enters the environment, it can accelerate the bacteria and viruses that live naturally in waste.

Think about all the adorable puppy kisses your dog has given you. Now think about the millions of bacteria that mouth has come into contact with, especially if you have waste in your home environment.

Hookworms, ringworms and tapeworms all thrive in moist environments and can be passed easily with dog to human contact. Children are more likely to contact these parasites, especially if they are playing in the same environment where your dog poops.

Common symptoms of these parasites include:

  • Itchy rashes
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss


To avoid passing these parasites onto your dog or your family, eliminating your pet’s waste from the living environment is a must.

While picking up poop is hardly glamorous, it is one of the most important aspects of being a responsible pet owner.

Dog waste is the third biggest cause of water contamination in the world, and shockingly, almost half of American dog owners admit that they don’t regularly pick up their dog’s waste.

Time to start scooping!

By: Louise Armstrong

Louise Armstrong is a writer and pet lover based in Houston, Texas. When she’s not working at her regular job, she can be found as the blog author at Scoop Doggie Doo.

By Guest Author

Puppy Education is a site dedicated for dog owners on how to train and look after their puppy. If you have a puppy and would like to share your own experiences and knowledge, you can write for Puppy Education.