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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

Tips for a healthy pet and a healthier environment

Create a healthy environment in and around your home by following these simple pet practices.

Your pet, family and neighbors will appreciate their clean comfortable surroundings.

Maintain your automobile and dispose of used fluids properly. Pets can be poisoned if they ingest gas, oil or antifreeze that drips onto the pavement or is stored in open containers.
Call the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation 1(800) 98-TOXIC for information on proper disposal.
Pick up after your pet
  • When walking your dog, always carry a pooper scooper or plastic bag with you to pick up your pet’s waste. It is a neighborhood nuisance that can wash into gutters and storm drains carrying dangerous diseases into our rivers and ocean (L.A.M.C. Sec. 53.49).
  • Properly dispose of pet waste by flushing it down the toilet or placing it in the trash.
  • Picking up after your pet while out on a walk insures that waste will not wash into catch basins that drain to creeks and eventually to the ocean. Picking up after your pet on the beach stops the direct flow of waste to the ocean.
  • Plastic grocery and vegetable bags work well. Place your hand in the bag, pick up the waste, then turn the bag inside out. Commercial "scoopers" can also be purchased to make proper disposal of pet waste even easier. Check pet stores and catalogs. Dogs can be trained to "take care of business" at the beginning of a walk so you can dispose of the waste right away.
  • Remember, it is illegal to not pick up your dog’s waste.

Pet owners have many different ways of cleaning up after their pets at home. Here are a few that are creek and ocean friendly:

  • Smaller quantities of pet waste can be left to decompose slowly on permeable surfaces.
  • Larger amounts should be scooped and placed in the trash. One method suggested for this is to place a plastic bag in a 5-gallon trash can with a lid. When you pick up dog droppings in your yard, put them in that trash can, then cover them with a sprinkling of powdered lime (available at building supply stores) and close the lid.
  • Each time you clean up the yard and add droppings to the container, add more lime. When the container is full, tie the bag closed and put it in your regular trash container. A more innovative method, which not only disposes of pet waste but also creates fertilizer, is to install a disposal system, commercially available through pet owners’and gardening catalogs. These systems use bacterial and enzymatic cultures which reduce the waste to a liquid, which is then absorbed into the soil.
Spay or neuter your pets. There aren’t enough homes for the many puppies and kittens born each day. Low-cost spay and neuter vouchers are available from the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services.

Vaccinate your pets to protect them from disease. License your pets to protect them from loss. Vaccination clinics and dog licenses are available through the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services.

Change your pet’s food and water regularly
to avoid pest infestation.

Leftover food in and around your home can attract unwanted pests, insects and disease, as well as making your pet’s bowl unpleasant to eat from.

You also run the risk of subjecting your pet to disease and/or infections.

Adopt a pet and save a life.
A variety of animals, from purebreds to mixed breeds are waiting at the City of Los Angeles Animal Services Center for loving arms and good homes.
Wash pets indoors in a bathtub or sink using less toxic shampoos, or consider having your pet professionally groomed. Pet shampoos and soaps, even when biodegradable, can be toxic to humans.

Consider using less toxic alternatives such as oral or topical flea control products. If you do use flea control products such as shampoos, sprays or collars, please dispose of unwanted quantities properly. Call the Household Hazardous Waste Hotline for more information.

Download the pdf brochure