You’d be right to wonder whether dog feces is harmful to humans.
The truth about dog poop is that there are several diseases that can be transmitted from dog feces to humans.
This fact is not surprising when you discover that dog poop can contain disease pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.
These disease pathogens present the main risk or danger of zoonotic diseases (a term used to describe diseases passed from animals to humans).
So, you definitely want to be careful with handling, picking up, cleaning up or disposing dog poop – especially inside or around the home.
What harm can dog feces cause to humans, what zoonotic diseases can be passed, and how can you manage the spread?
Well, let’s see…
(NOTE: this is an educational guide only. Please see an animal or health professional for expert advice.)
Is Dog Feces & Poop Harmful To Humans? Diseases Transmitted From Dog Feces To Humans
How Common Are Diseases Passed From Dog Feces To Humans?
You’ll be pleased to know they are relatively uncommon.
How Can I Reduce The Risk Of Getting A Disease From Dog Feces?
Paying attention to and spending time on the following can reduce the risk of contracting disease from dog poop:
- a special puppy vet check to make sure your puppy is up to date with vaccinations etc.
- regular vet checks to ensure your dog is healthy
- practising good personal hygiene
- wearing gloves when dealing with poop
- when at the dog park or on walks be vigilant and don’t let your dog sniff or get near other dogs’ poop
- cleaning and disinfecting poop and pet stains inside the house and in areas you spend time in
- cleaning your front and back yard regularly
- minimising poop inside the house – contamination can occur in living spaces
- vaccinating and worming pets
- keeping rodents out of your property
- getting immediate advice from your vet for a dog with diarrhea or uncommon signs in their poop such as blood, mucus, worms, undigested foods and strange objects
What Makes Dog Poop/Feces Harmful and Dangerous?
Dog feces can contain bacteria, protozoa, fungi, viruses and parasites.
For example, contaminated dog feces can include Salmonella, Campylobacter, Giardia, roundworms and potentially hookworms.
Both healthy and sick animals can have contaminated or infected poop – so it’s not only poop from sick dogs or dogs with diarrhea you have to be wary of.
What Diseases Can I Get From Dog Poop?
Some of the more well known diseases are bacterial bites, E Coli, Salmonella and Giardia.
How Do I Catch A Disease From Dog Poop?
The bacteria, viruses and parasites spread like they would any other disease causing organism.
They could enter through the mouth, open cuts and wounds, air etc.
How Would I Know If I’m Sick – What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms could be wide ranging – you’d want to see a doctor immediately if you suspect you’ve caught something.
Examples include vomitting, cramps, diarrhea, headaches, lethargy etc.
Who Is At The Most Risk To Diseases Dog Feces To Humans?
In general, anyone who has contact with animals regularly, which certainly includes family pets.
But, people who are more susceptible to zoonoses are those who’s immune system might be affected in some way such as those on immunosuppressive treatment, pregnant women, alcoholics and diabetics.
Dangers of Dog Poop In The House, & The Importance Of Cleaning, DisInfecting and Disposing Properly
Contaminated dog poop in the house can be dangerous – especially around other animals, babies and pregnant women, or people with immune conditions.
You’ll want to make sure you clean up, remove and disinfect dog poop in the house ASAP, or at least isolate others from it if you are letting it dry (for diarrhea and runny/wet poop).
We’ve also written a few of guides for cleaning and de-odorising dog poop and diarrhea:
- How To Clean Up Pet Poop, Urine & Vomit In The House
- How To Get Rid Of Pet Smells & Odors
- How To Clean Up Doggy Diarrhea & Runny/Wet Poop
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