Oopsie, Don’t Forget Your Poopsie!

Did you know by not picking up after your dog, you’re putting other people and their pets at risk of exposure to harmful bacteria and parasites?

What happens when you don’t herd your turds?

The parasites and bacteria in dog waste can spread disease to humans and other animals, including wildlife. Even if your dog does not show symptoms of being sick, their waste can carry diseases harmful to humans and other pets. E. coli, Salmonella, Giardia, Parvovirus, and parasites like ringworm and tapeworm, to name a few.

Stormwater will carry pet waste and other pollutants directly into our waterways. Animal waste also adds nitrogen to the water. The excess nitrogen depletes the oxygen in the water necessary for beneficial underwater grasses, wildlife, and fish. To protect our watershed and drinking water is why dogs are not allowed in Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon. 

Dog waste is not a natural fertilizer. Since most dogs’ diets are high in protein, it has the reverse effect of fertilizer. Dog waste can take up to 12 months to fully break down.

Leave No Trace

“But I’ll grab it on the way out.” Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, many people don’t.

We are blessed to live in a state with incredible natural beauty and access to unforgettable outdoor adventure minutes from our doorsteps. While many of these areas remain open to dogs, there is no guarantee they’ll stay that way. And, let’s be honest, most people do not appreciate walking along a trail dotted with brightly colored poop bags or stepping in the dreaded pile of dog poo.

We encourage everyone to leave no trace and Be Part of the Solution to the Poo-lution! 

Here are some easy ways to pack out your dog’s poop without worrying about the smell.

After bagging your pup’s poop, use a clean peanut butter jar to seal the smell. Small peanut butter jars will easily fit in most fanny packs, backpacks, or purses. Best of all, they’re free! You can also purchase a smell-proof Bag off amazon for around $10-$15 or get fancy with a Ruffwear Pack it Out Bag.

Finally, one of the most important reasons you should be scooping your dog’s poop is because it’s the law. Many cities and towns have local ordinances requiring you to clean up after your dog. Please help us keep the Wasatch Front and surrounding areas dog-friendly by picking up after your dog. Whether it’s on or off-leash, it’s a privilege to access these areas with our four-legged friends.

Foxtail Grass Dangers

fox tail seeds, x ray image of dog leg bone with imbedded foxtail.

So far this season, we’ve been hearing increasing reports of people having to take their dogs to the veterinarian because of foxtail grass being embedded in their paws, ears, or even their nostrils or groin. 

The grass seed awn of foxtail grass won’t dissolve, and it causes pain and infection. It’s barbed, so it will keep traveling through tissue one direction, and it can actually be fatal depending on where it ends up. It needs to be removed surgically. 

Remember to give your dogs a thorough once-over when venturing into outdoor areas with foxtail grass, and avoid it whenever possible by keeping pets on a leash. 

We hope these images help you identify this menace before it becomes a problem for your pup! 

These seed awns on foxtails can be dangerous for outdoor cats as well, but it’s more commonly a threat for dogs.

As horrible and frightening as GDV can be, there are several things that dog owners can do to reduce the risk of this happening to their dog:

  • If you get a high-risk breed as a puppy, have your veterinarian perform a gastropexy at the time of spay/neuter.
  • Use a slow-feeder bowl to slow down your dogs’ eating so that they swallow less air (especially if your dog tends to inhale their food).
  • While some recommend using a raised food bowl to give the dog better access to food, it is best to feed on the floor in order to reduce swallowed air. 
  • Do not allow exercise for 30 minutes before or after a meal.
  • If you suspect your dog has bloat take them into your veterinarian right away!