Pet Poop Safety

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Stay healthy around your pet’s poop

Owner picking up dog poop

Poop is a fact of life when you have a pet. Poop from pets, like dogs and cats, can carry germs like bacteria and parasites that can make people sick. Poop from pets can also contaminate waterways and harm the environment. Practice responsible pet poop habits to keep yourself, your family, and the environment healthy.

Scoop the poop!

  • Always pick up dog poop and dispose of it properly.
  • Dog poop should be picked up, even in your own yard, and especially in areas where children may play.
  • Clean litter boxes daily and change the litter weekly.
  • People with weakened immune systems and pregnant women should not clean litter boxes if possible, as they are more at risk for complications from germs spread by cats. If no one else can perform the task, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Keep your cat’s litter box away from other animals, children, and food preparation areas.

Practice healthy habits when cleaning up after your pet

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling your pet’s pee, poop, and vomit.
  • Don’t put your hands in or around your mouth after petting or playing with animals.
  • Litter boxes should be cleaned daily. If you’re pregnant and have a cat, avoid changing the litter box.
  • Always supervise young children around pets. Children, especially those 5 years of age and younger, can be at higher risk for pet-related illnesses because they often touch surfaces that may be contaminated, put objects in their mouths, and are less likely to wash their hands.

Learn more about how to stay healthy around pets