Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
Lifestyle Pets Unleashed

Dog poop on the ground -- and in the air

People loooooove to complain about dog poop under foot. Understandable. Wait till they find out that wayward exrement is also turning up in the air.

You can't escape it!

According to a new study by University of Colorado Boulder, most of the wintertime airborne bacteria in Cleveland and Detroit is fecal matter. And most likely, it's the fecal matter of dogs.

I'll repeat that -- it's not just that poop is turning up in the air sporadically in these cities -- it's MOST of the bacteria there.

Wow.

Scientists have long known that airborne bacteria can be harmful for a number of reasons -- things like allergies and asthma. But they didn't know just how many different types of bacteria were floating around up there. According to researchers, the dog poo variety came as something of a surprise.

The thinking goes that in the summer, the bacteria floats skyward from the soil, plants and waterways. But in the witner, when things freeze and snow covers the ground, there isn't that much left to go airborne -- but dog feces. Certainly in Detroit and Cleveland.

"As best as we can tell, dog feces are the only explanation for these results," Noah Fierer, an assistant professor in CU-Boulder's ecology and evolutionary biology department said in a statement. "But we do need to do more research."

In the meantime, Cleveland and Detroit might want to be better about seasonal scooping.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Collared: Readers' pets
    Collared: Readers' pets

    Read about local pets, or share your own story. We're interested in cats and dogs, but also hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, horses, chickens -- the whole pet gamut. For more information, email pets@baltsun.com and be sure to put "Collared" in the subject line.

  • Adoptable pets at Baltimore-area shelters
    Adoptable pets at Baltimore-area shelters

    Here's a collection of a few of the dogs, cats and other critters in the Baltimore area who need homes. Be sure to check with the shelter before you go to verify that the animal you want is still there.

  • Baltimore Humane Society opening pet-food bank
    Baltimore Humane Society opening pet-food bank

    The Baltimore Humane Society is opening a new food bank for people who need assistance with the cost of feeding their pets.

  • Meet Bay Bay
    Meet Bay Bay

    Meet Bay Bay, the Pet of the Week at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County. She's been waiting for a forever home for a whole year. Visit aacspca.org for more information.

  • DogFest 2014: The Best of the Fest
    DogFest 2014: The Best of the Fest

    We narrowed it down to 26 "top dogs" from this year's DogFest, hosted by the Baltimore Humane Society and photographed by Mary Swift Photography, and here they are -- along with the winners in the categories of "best costume," "best smile," and "best overall" based on readers' votes.

  • Celebrate the holidays with pet safety in mind
    Celebrate the holidays with pet safety in mind

    How can we make the holiday season safer and happier for our pets?

Comments
Loading