Americans love their dogs. By recent figures, there are now upwards of 84 million taking up residence in the United States today and annualized collective spending on our furry loved ones eclipsed $55 billion in 2013.
For the baby boomer generation, having a dog in the home is particularly treasured. These pets provide a special breed of companionship as well as regular encouragement for exercise. As every dog owner knows, nothing says “Let’s go for a walk” like Fido or Fluffy sitting by the door, tail wagging, ready to go.
But not all aspects of dog ownership are a boon for aging adults. Pooper scooper duty, for instance, is a non-negotiable chore that can easily lead to stiff backs and sore joints. Pets poop and they don’t pick up after themselves.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average dog deposits ¾ lbs of waste per day. Over the course of one month, these doggy deposits can add up to nearly 25 lbs of waste, and upwards of 300 lbs per year.
Costing on average less than $15 per visit, pet waste removal services address the most unpleasant and time-consuming aspect of owning a pet. Service rates are typically based on the number of dogs, size of yard and frequency of visits, ranging from weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and one-time clean-ups. Similarly, there are no contracts, which means that seniors who are normally up to the task can easily pass off the burden in the event of an injury or planned surgery.
Hiring a dedicated pet waste specialist also ensures yards are kept safe and healthy for families and pets to enjoy. Unbeknownst to many, pet waste is more than just a gross and unsightly mess; when left unattended, it can also harm your health.
Waste-borne pathogens commonly found in dog droppings include bacteria, worms and other parasites that can be passed directly to humans and make them sick. Ringworm, roundworm, salmonella, giardia and E. coli are examples of such inhabitants, all of which are found in dog feces and are easily transferable upon contact. Roundworm, for example, is one of the most common parasites found in dog droppings and it can remain infectious in contaminated soil and water for years.
While nobody enjoys picking up pet waste, seniors in particular should be cautious about taking on such a chore. Local pet waste removal companies are happy to assist, and with most services costing about the same price as a large pizza, who wouldn’t want to wash their hands clean of the whole cleanup business?