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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Dog waste is messy, but is it really harmful?

Absolutely. Dog waste contains bacteria and organisms that can spread disease in people and other dogs. In humans, contact with dog waste can cause stomach illnesses and rashes. Dog waste also spreads disease among dogs, including serious illnesses like giardia and parvovirus.

Dog waste also has environmental impacts. Unlike human waste, which is directed into sewage pipes, dog waste left on the ground eventually pollutes our waterways. Left on the ground, dog waste also deposits excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer to the soil, increasing the spread of nitrogen-loving weeds at the expense of native plants.