Why horses can poop on the trails but your dog can’t

You’ve seen the big piles of horse poop on your favorite trails, often right in the middle of the path. They’re big and ugly and no one wants to step or ride through them — yuck.

Meanwhile, you’re packing poop-scoop bags and hauling your dog’s waste along to the nearest trash can. It can get you to wonder, if horses can poop on the trail, I can leave my dog’s there too, right? Well, wrong, and for good reason.

Since horses don’t eat meat, or anything derived from meat, horse poop is relatively “clean,” with so few bacteria, parasites or viruses that the Centers for Disease Control says that instances of humans getting sick from contact with horse manure is rare.

On the other hand, your dog poop is very toxic, with all manner of bacteria.

While horse manure breaks down rather quickly, dog poop sticks around a lot longer. It gets into ground water and spreading fecal coliform bacteria, which can make life miserable.

Bacteria can also get into reservoirs and contaminate water supplies, which then has to be treated prior to being delivered to our homes.



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