No one likes to do it, it’s not a glamorous job, but all responsible pet owners have to do it almost daily — pick up our fur baby’s poop! You may not have thought about it a whole lot, we just know it’s required of us in public to pick up their poop, we pick it up if it happens in our house, we even pick it up in the dog park or in our yards. But why is it so important that we pick it up? Most people think it’s just common courtesy, and while that is one reason (no one likes to step in dog do do), it’s really not the only reason.

There are so many diseases that can be transmitted to humans from their dogs via fecal matter. When dog’s fecal matter, even in small quantities that we may not be aware of, make contact with our human mouths, we can become very ill. Diseases transmitted from animals to humans are called Zoonotic diseases. Some Zoonotic diseases you can get from mishandling your pets poop are Giardia, Roundworms, Hookworms, and Salmonella! Not sure about you, but getting a ‘worm’ of any kind is not on our ‘to do’ list! The best way to avoid a parasitic infection in yourself or a family member is taking the proper preventative measures! De-worming needs to be high on your list of dog and puppy owners.

Now that we are aware of the serious illnesses that our sweet pet’s poop can cause us, let’s discuss how to properly handle the picking up process to best keep ourselves and our family safe. When outdoors, you should always try to get your dog to poop on sand or grass, not on sidewalks or pavement. You should avoid areas where children would frequent as well, if in a park try to go to an area far away from the traffic spots where small children might be playing in the grass and surrounding areas. The best way to pick poop up outside is to entrap it in a thick plastic bag. By enclosing it in the bag when picking it up you have the best chances of not getting fecal matter on your hands or spreading it. If your dog goes on a hard surface outside, it’s best to rinse with water and a disinfectant to help prevent contamination.

Now we have to talk about it, because sometimes it happens… the indoors accident. If your pet has an accident indoors, pick it up in the same fashion as you do outside with the enclosing it in the plastic bag. The biggest difference with inside vs. outside is the thoroughness of which you clean up afterwards. You’ll want to thoroughly disinfect the area by cleaning it with cold, soapy water, and a spray disinfectant after the moisture/stain has been cleaned from the carpet or surface. Definitely wear rubber gloves during the cleaning process.

There’s one more thing you need to know about your dog’s poop — stool health. Healthy dogs make healthy, ‘shaped’ stools, the type of poops that make for easy clean up. Feeding your dog a healthy diet is one of the largest contributors to the health of your dog and his stool. A dog with a healthy diet is less likely to have soft stools or become constipated. Many veterinarians now believe that the dog foods you find in large chain stores, the heavily processed stuff, yea you know the brands, in fact may cause GI upset due to large amounts of preservatives and chemicals.

Like with anything, prevention is the best policy when it comes to keeping your family safe from Zoonotic diseases and keeping you from having more clean up than you’d like! If you need help picking out a healthy dog food for your pet come in and talk to one of our professionals in Murfreesboro today!