The unwanted effects of dog ownership: How dog poop harms our environment

Dog ownership is a valuable experience. Our canine companions offer us love, loyalty and fun. At the same time, however, few dog people think about the byproducts of dog ownership that have a negative impact on our environment - namely dog ​​poop. In this blog post, we explain how this “forgotten” pet waste can harm our environment and how you can help reduce its impact on nature.

The impact of dog poop on the environment is far-reaching and should be taken seriously. Dog feces contain high levels of bacteria, including many potentially dangerous pathogens. If it accumulates in nature, on streets and other public places, it can pose a significant health risk to people, animals and the environment. Finally, the decomposition of dog poop produces methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – which contributes to climate change.


How can dog poop harm the environment?

Dog poop is a major environmental problem because it can have a number of negative effects on the environment. Dog feces can contain viruses, bacteria, parasites and other pathogens that can spread through the environment and affect both animals and people. For example, roundworm eggs in dog feces are a common cause of human eye infections.

Dog waste can have very serious consequences for our groundwater if not disposed of properly. Dog feces contain large amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients that can be washed into nearby streams and rivers by rainwater. The nutrients contained in dog feces promote excessive algae growth. This “algae bloom” can lead to a reduction in oxygen levels in the water, causing fish and other aquatic life to suffocate. Additionally, the growth of algae means less sunlight is available to aquatic plants, leading to lower diversity in fish populations and disease outbreaks due to the presence of pathogenic bacteria. This is of particular concern in areas where there is little flow or dilution of pollutants due to limited natural runoff from rivers, streams or rivulets.

Dog feces also contain potential pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella, which can contaminate drinking water and cause gastrointestinal illnesses in humans if consumed. That's why responsible pet owners should always clean up after their dogs to prevent long-term damage to the natural environment from dog feces.


Effects of dog feces on animals

Dog feces can have serious negative impacts on local wildlife. Not only does it bring potentially harmful bacterial and viral infections, but it also has the potential to disrupt the food chain. Predators can be attracted to areas where dogs defecate. This can lead to an influx of predators in the area, which in turn can lead to overhunting of certain animals or birds, disrupting their normal population numbers.

In addition to these direct health threats, dog poop prevents plant growth, which is important for supporting wildlife. Dog poop is natural, but not fertilizer. While horses and cows are pure herbivores and their droppings can be used as plant fertilizer, dogs are carnivores. Although dog poop contains nitrogen, it does not have the balance of other nutrients necessary for plants and can even disrupt their natural growth cycle. This means that grasses and other plants that live near dog poop become weak or die because they are not receiving enough nutrients. If there is a high volume, dog feces can displace valuable plant species and lead to over-fertilization. Nitrogen-loving species such as nettle grow more as a result, while other important plants disappear.

What dog faeces has to do with calf deaths

In addition to the direct impact of pet waste on the environment, dog feces have been linked to the deaths of calves on dairy farms. The cows ingest the roundworm eggs left in dog feces and become infected with the dangerous parasite Neospora caninum. This parasite causes severe neurological damage, which leads to premature births, stillbirths, or cow and calf deaths in pregnant cows. Dried dog feces also provide an ideal home for disease-carrying flies that are attracted to feeding areas. These flies spread diseases such as mastitis, lameness and conjunctivitis among cows, leading to more calf deaths on farms. Finally, fecal bacteria and parasites from dogs can contaminate ground beef. 


The more dog poop is left lying around, the more dog haters there are

Dog poop left lying around encourages dog haters. That's why it's important that all dog people act responsibly and dispose of their dogs' waste. This not only helps protect our environment, but also stops dog haters from endangering the lives of dogs and other animals. Dog haters spread their poison bait and create an environment of hostility and fear. A vicious circle of environmental destruction and health problems is created.

As dog people, we must take responsibility for our dogs and dispose of dog waste properly to protect our environment and the health and safety of our dogs and those around us. If we work together to reduce pet waste pollution, we can ensure a cleaner, healthier world for everyone. And finally, it is simply unpleasant to step in dog poop, look at it or smell it.

Plastic bags or biodegradable bags?

Did you know that the environmental impact of plastic bags used to collect dog poop is significantly lower than leaving dog poop lying around? Our dogs have a large ecological footprint and in order to reduce this somewhat, you can use biodegradable poop bags. Regardless of whether it is a plastic bag or a sustainable bag - both belong in the residual waste, because that is the only place where both will be disposed of appropriately.

If you use poop bags, please make sure they are biodegradable, as regular plastic takes up to 500 years to decompose in landfill.