A new study has found that dog urine and feces are having a profoundly negative effect on the local environment. A study conducted over 18 months in 4 different nature reserves found that phosphorus and nitrogen found in dog excrement and urine are significantly damaging the biodiversity of parks.
When dog excrement is left behind, it causes a high amount of nutrients to be absorbed into the ground. This stunts the biodiversity required in nature and causes only a few strong plants to grow while choking out others.
Green thumbs may already know that phosphorus and nitrogen can do wonders for your garden. However, this study found that the levels of these nutrients in the ground are so high that it would be illegal on farmland. In fact, the pollution is almost as high as the air pollution in farming, industry, or traffic.
Previously, as dog owners, we may have thought that picking up after our dogs was a considerate thing to do for other dog walkers or homeowners. Turns out, it’s time to consider it as our newest environmentally friendly act! Read more about the science of this study at The Guardian.