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Dangers of dog poo: Why stray and pet dogs can be dangerous for humans | Abhipraay Foundation

Dangers of dog poo: Why stray and pet dogs can be dangerous for humans

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Stray dogs are a common occurance in almost each and every corner of Indi, be it rural villages or sprawling urban cities. Even posh plotted residential colonies in major Indian cities have a sizeable population of stray dogs and dealing with the nuisances of the uncontrolled population of these dogs. And it's not just stray canines, but pet dogs can also pose significant dangers to humans. Let us first understand how these dogs, stray & and pet, can affect humans:

1. The most common problem with stray dogs is that they carry a variety of diseases, most common being rabies, and can pass on these diseases to humans easily. Stray dog bites are too common, and as per this article citing WHO, "Indians experience among the highest rates of dog bites in the world. Thirty six percent of the world’s rabies deaths occur in India, according to the World Health Organization."

2. Another common problem with these stray dogs is that during night time, they form "groups" and start attacking two-wheeler drivers and cyclists, or may even pose danger to motorists when they start chasing any car which passes them. 

3. One of the dangers which most people are not aware about is dog excreta/poo. Both stray and pet dogs openly defecate anywhere, even pet owners do not care to clean their pet poo. These owners do not realize that dog feces is as high as 3rd on the list of contributors to
contaminated water. It is not at all a fertilizer, unlike cow dung, and is very toxic and dangerous to soil. This blog has more info on this subject.

4. From Huffington Post: "A long list of potentially infectious agents are known to live in dog and cat feces -- from E. coli to tapeworms. But perhaps less well known is the fact that a lot of these parasites actually become more infectious as the poop ages.

"It takes many types of parasite eggs a while to ripen," said Dr. Emily Beeler, an animal disease surveillance veterinarian for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Toxoplasmosis, which is more common in cats than in dogs, typically takes more than 24 hours to become infectious, she explained. Roundworm can take up to three weeks, and then may remain infectious for years in contaminated soil and water. 

5. Dog feces, when dried, release eggs of various worms (tapeworms, round worms etc) in air. And whenever children pass an area of dried dog poo, they may inhale it and ingest these dangerous worms.

Given all these facts, it is imperative that we take these two measures to prevent issues from stray as well as pet dogs:

1. All stray dogs should be neutered and sterilized to prevent further breeding.

2. All pet dog owners should be educated to clean their pet's feces whenever they take their dogs out to walks. 

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