University of Florida

Pet Waste Management

It's important to clean up after your pet, even in your own yard. Pet waste can contain bacteria and parasites that can infect animals as well as people who spend time in the landscape.

These microscopic dangers include E. coli, giardia, and hookworm, which cause uncomfortable symptoms or even severe illness.

Pet waste left on the ground can wash into storm drains, which empty into the nearest body of water and can potentially harm the animals there. The nutrients in pet waste also encourage weeds and algae growth, and use up oxygen in the water.

So when you walk your dog or let him out in your backyard, make sure to pick up his waste, tie it in a plastic bag, and place it in the trash. You can even flush pet waste down the toilet (but don't flush "kitty litter"). Never put pet waste in your compost.

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