There are probably a few humbling moments in life, but there are none more than picking up your dog’s poop.
Unfortunately, to be a pup parent, you have to learn to deal with the poo, too. While it can mess up your shoes, not picking up dog poop is a carnal sin in some HOA neighborhoods.
To be fair, dog urine and feces do ruin lawns, and it can also potentially pollute nearby bodies of water and cause diseases.
However, some dog parents will always be averse to picking up their dog’s business. It’s actually pretty common according to a study published in USA Today, which showed that 40 percent of people don’t pick up their dog’s poop.
These pet owners often have some common misconceptions:
Dog poop is fertilizer
This is completely false. According to the USDA, the high level of nitrogen in dog feces actually causes grass burn and will cause yellow spots to form. In addition, if used as fertilizer, it’s not recommended for any crops designated for human food.
Dog poop just gets absorbed into the ground
This is partially true, but it’s also dangerous. Dog poop is actually one of the biggest causes of water pollution. It can breed algae and cause toxic problems for nearby watering holes.
Your dog’s feces are completely clean
Actually, most dog feces carry some form of bacteria and even parasites. The CDC has even said that dog feces can potentially carry cross-illnesses for humans such as hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, salmonella, and e.coli.
The best way to give back to your community and even gain a better understanding of your dog’s health is to do your duty and pick up the doodie.
Always Carry Poop Bags with You on Walks
Your dog is going to have to go at some point, so you should stay prepared. There are lots of ways that you can attach bags to your dog’s leash, as there are even miniature caddies made to hold small dog poop bags.
This is especially necessary for larger dog breeds that may need more than one bag or much larger bags.
You can never have too many. If you see someone out without one, you can always offer it as a way to help someone else going through the same poopy issues as you are. You can even buy dog poop bag kits with 60 bags or more included.
Do a Daily Maintenance Pickup
Got a big yard with a couple of dogs? There’s probably some land mines out there. Your backyard will become a smelly mess if you leave turds everywhere.
Even worse, there are always horror stories of people going to houses with pets and getting poop on their shoes from the outdoor barbecue area.
No matter how much you would like to avoid looking at your dog’s poop, it’s out there in your yard and festering with flies.
You can use a pooper scooper tool to pick it up and place in a disposable waste bag. This keeps your yard clear of land mines, and it will also help your grass from not turning yellow.
Get Your Dog to Follow a Routine
Dogs typically need to eliminate about 30 minutes to 2 hours after they eat. This also depends on the type of food that you feed your dog. Unhealthy byproduct cornmeal is going to go right through your dog’s digestive tract.
You should walk your dog to an area that’s off the beaten track a bit so that they don’t poop in anybody else’s yard.
You can teach your dog to follow simple commands, letting them know that you want them to go before you head back to the house or to a field.
Again, this is all part of setting up a routine. If your dog knows that walking to a certain spot means it’s time to do business, then it’s more likely they will catch on and start following the schedule.
The Case of the Missing Poops
You may have a small dog that takes the tiniest poops in the world, but it’s still necessary to pick it up and throw it in the bin. If you have a hard time finding your dog’s poops, then you can use a flashlight to keep track.
Your phone has a built-in flashlight or you can add a small one to your keychain. You definitely don’t want to step in anything because you couldn’t see where you were looking as you picked it up.
The Wandering Poops are a Pain
Does your dog constantly stop to poop? Do they poop several times in a line and not in a pile? Your dog is showing signs of digestive difficulties. It’s possible that they are in pain and dealing with constipation or diarrhea.
In these cases, you may not be able to get all of the excrement because it’s too runny. This does happen, and while you should still try to pick up with you can, no one is going to fault you for not being able to pick up liquids by hand.
Get Better Doggie Poo Bags
While the thin little bags that you find in packs at the grocery store do all right, you probably could use larger bags such as full-sized plastic bags, especially if you have a larger dog.
You can also look online to find bulk options for 60 bags or more in one pack. If you see something called “flushable” bags, you should avoid them.
These are a problem for waste management, water management facilities, and all bodies of water due to the fact that they don’t degrade. Municipal systems also can’t process and cleanse certain things found in dog poop, such as urine and hair.
Understand Your Dog’s Bathroom Needs
When you walk your dog, you should pay attention to how they’re walking and sniffing grass. You don’t want to let your dog go to the bathroom on your neighbor’s lawn.
It’s better to do it in a secluded spot where you can pick it up easily. This is because poop and urine have the potential to ruin grass due to the acidity of the dog’s urine and poop.
In addition, you could learn a lot about your dog’s dietary needs by studying what he does. If he has a lot of trouble going to the bathroom, then there may be something not right about your dog’s diet.
If your dog has different color poops or isn’t delivering solid stools, then you should check with your vet about what could be the cause. Some dogs may be suffering from bacterial infections or diseases, while others may be allergic to something in the food.
Be Prepared to Clean Up
No one likes to pick up poop, of course! However, if it truly bothers you to even feel it in the bag, then you probably should carry hand sanitizer or moisture wipes to clean up afterward.
You never know when your dog may have a mishap or you don’t get it all in the bag. Having those wet wipes will come in handy when you want to avoid smelling like your dog.
If you really can’t stand the thought, then you can always go hands-free. You can use a poop scooper to pick up your dog’s poop and place into a bag or bin. These come with the added benefit of not having to bend over to pick up anything either.
Forget a Bag? Just Find Something Else
If you can’t clean up with the bag, then it’s time to get creative. The last thing you want to do is leave poop behind. It happens to everyone.
You don’t mean to do it, but you’ve found yourself watching your dog poop and reaching into your pocket to find that no bags have accompanied you on the walk.
In this case, you could find a leaf or look for a cup laying around. If all else fails, just go back to the spot later with a bag and pick it up.
Yes, it’s probably not what you’d like to be doing, but it’s going to make you feel like a better person for taking the time to do it.
Dealing with Some Other Dog’s Poop
We have all been there. We stand at the window watching the neighbor and their dog out for a stroll. Then it happens. They don’t pick it up and leave it in your yard.
Do you say anything? Do you clean it up yourself? If it’s just this one occasion, then you may want to pick it up yourself. With a dog-friendly neighborhood, there are going to be some who violate the rules.
If you don’t want to be stepping in poop, then you’ll have to take care of it. You could always clean it up when the neighbor passes by, making sure to acknowledge that you have recognized their dog’s alleviation in your yard.
Poop Disposal Bins for Your Home
While you may already have poop disposal bins around your neighborhood, you may want to compost it yourself or dispose of it in your own bin. There are plenty of poop disposal products online to help you make this easy work.
You don’t want to flush it down the toilet or throw it in the regular trash pile either. If you don’t currently have dog waste bins set up in your neighborhood, you can always talk to the HOA or community leader to have a few installed. The only question is who will pick up the poop bags at the end of the day?
Can You Flush Dog Poo?
In some cities, it’s actually fine if you are caught flushing banned substances, such as dog poop, down the drain. In addition, if you have a septic tank at your home, you could be testing the limits by flushing huge amounts of dog poop down the drain.
While flushing poop may seem like the right thing to get rid of poop, you’ll still have to bring it in the house and make sure that all of it flushes. It’s probably easier just to dispose of it in the bin outside.
Using Power Pickup Tool
There are new wave tools coming out all the time to help you pick up dog poop. These include a power tool that lets you suck up the dog poop and then releases it wherever you like, such as in the dog poop bin or in your own trash bin.
You never have to touch the waste with this option or bend down to retrieve it. However, you will need to charge up this power tool so that it’s ready to go when you’re headed out for your walk.
Should You Freeze Dog Poop?
If your dog does have poor digestion, then you could use something like Poop Freeze to firm up your dog’s poop before you try to pick it up. This helpful tool allows you to eliminate odors in your poop, especially if they have loose stools.
Can You Compost Dog Poop?
You may have a space set aside for composting old food, but that’s not what you would do with dog poop. While you can’t really use dog poop as fertilizer, some people use composting it as a way to eliminate germs and pollutants. You can only use dog fertilizer for certain plants as well. It wouldn’t go in a bin intended for garden use either.
Can You Bury Dog Poop?
This method isn’t recommended as dog poop is still considered a pollutant. You will also have to find an area where it’s okay to dig up the ground and bury your dog’s excrement. This way is a good idea if you have no other options for disposal and just want to get it out of your main yard.
Keep It Green
This vet gives you a good idea of how to dispose of your dog’s poop and how green each option is: