We're out enjoying our special bonding time with our beloved pets and getting our fresh air and exercise too. Being responsible dog owners, as we walk down the streets or sidewalks or romp at the park, we're prepared with our dog trash bags. So when do we use them?
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Of course, one obvious answer is "always". Every single time. Even if we are "off the path" or in the road or gutter, wherever no one else walks.
It is true; we may have eliminated the possibility of another good soul stepping in our pet's feces. However, the dog waste will still continue to do its damage.
As it is washed down our streets and gutters, it continues on into our waters – our streams, rivers, lakes, and onto our beaches.
Studies done in the last few years have indicated that dog waste is third on the list of contributors of bacteria in our contaminated waters.
Another study, using a modification of DNA fingerprinting, has proven that dog waste provides 30% of the pollution in a current.
As one microbiologist commented, "that can be the difference between a beach closing and a beach not closing."
If we walk through parks that are away from nearby waters, we must still be aware of the damage that dog poop can cause because of its high nitrogen content.
In Boulder, Colorado, the native grasses in the mountain parks were being replaced by weeds because of dog poop.
Boulder officials had to educate that "dog waste is not fertilizer", claimed Mike Patton, co-director of open space and mountain parks. "Some people really did believe it was."