Two More Dangers in Your Own Back Yard

Your back yard is a sanctuary where children and pets frolic and play. Children run freely and chase each other while dogs breeze past along the fence line. As the cool spring air wisps by in gentle bursts, you take a deep breath and feel the serenity. Spring has come.

Meanwhile, Rover hunches over and drops a steamy pile onto the crisp yellow and green grass. It nestles into the grass with a gentle plop. Without missing a beat, Rover carries on chasing the neighbor dog along the fence and no one noticed the plump deposit he just made.

Rover is a carnivore. God designed him in such a way that his digestive system is shorter than ours is. God’s plan for our carnivorous friend was that he should eat prey. Because of this, Rover can eat garbage, table scraps, raw eggs, and raw meat without getting an upset stomach. If you were to attempt this, you’d probably get sick soon after.

The short digestive system allows Rover to absorb quickly the nutrients he needs to thrive; meanwhile, pushing the harmful stuff, like E. coli and Salmonella, out with a bowel movement.

Remember that little deposit Rover made in the yard? It is full of these harmful bacteria. It doesn’t take much for your children to get sick. Maybe they are playing and someone steps in the waste. The usual solution is to scrape your shoes in the grass to get the poop off. Sometimes, though, it may take a little bit of elbow grease and water. Don’t let your kids clean their shoes! Do it for them and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Your daughter likes to show off her gymnastics skills. She performs a perfect cartwheel but her hand touches grass where dog waste once lay. If she goes inside to eat a snack without washing her hands, she could accidentally ingest these harmful bacteria and possibly get sick.

Most of this is preventable. Educate your children about the hazards of dog waste. Make sure they know that when they come inside from playing, they should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water. Minimize their exposure by cleaning up after your pet as often as possible or by setting up an area of your yard for specific use by your dogs.

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