Many diseases are specific to dogs and need to be understood and managed to provide a safe environment for all. Bacteria and parasites (including fleas and worms) can be passed onto humans causing anything from discomfort to significant internal damage.
When dogs defecate, the faeces contain parasite's eggs as well as E-coli bacteria. These can cause significant illness in people including vomiting, diarrhoea, and ear, nose and throat infections. Dog faeces can also contain roundworm larvae which can live in soil for years. Roundworms also live in the intestines of dogs and can be a health risk to humans, especially if children swallow the eggs. Dog owners can reduce this risk through a regular worming programme, removing the dog's faeces from their back yard and public places and preventing their dog from wandering and scavenging.
Special care should be taken to protect children's play areas from dog litter. Parasites may be transmitted from dog litter directly to children playing in the area. Always wash children's hands after playing outdoors or with pets. An adult dog should be wormed at least every three months. Puppies also need worming at least every fourteen days until twelve weeks of age and then monthly until six months.
Faeces can be a tell-tale sign of your dog's internal health. You should regularly check your dog's faeces to make sure it is firm and free of blood and mucus.