Feces… Scat… Poop.
No matter what you call it, every dog makes it. And every human owned by a dog should be scooping it.
So let’s talk about the scoop on poop.
It’s not glamourous to bend over and grab waste in a plastic baggie. And let’s face it, it can smell pretty bad too. But there are serious reasons why you should be scooping your dog’s poop.
1. It’s polite.
One of the biggest reasons that non-dog owners get cranky when it comes to allowing dog owners to walk, exercise, or generally enjoy the outdoors with Fido is the fact that there will, inevitably, be poop left out in the open. It smells bad, it looks bad, and it’s a health hazard. How would you feel if someone just showed up on your property, dropped trow and made a deposit on your grass or in front of your house? You’d be pretty miffed, right? So it’s no wonder that people complain. And it’s one of the main reasons that dogs are restricted from more and more places. So be polite and pick up after your animal.
2. Poo pollutes and can pass on disease.
Pet waste, left outside can carry pollutants directly into storm water so don’t be fooled… Fido’s feces won’t fertilize your lawn. In fact, it does the opposite. It not only pollutes waterways, but it injects nitrogen into water which can deplete the oxygen found in water and reduce the benefits to underwater grasses, wildlife and fish.
In addition, animal waste can contain harmful organisms including Giardia, Salmonella, E. coli and parasites. Giardia, Salmonella, and E. coli can cause serious illness including gastrointestinal distress. In addition, animal waste can also contain roundworms and hookworms which can live for long periods of time in the soil. Children and other animals are especially susceptible to infection. So scoop the poop to prevent disease and distress.
Dog feces are one of the most common carriers of the following icky critters and diseases:
3. Free-range dog poop can pass on disease (plus it’s just gross).
Maybe you pick up after your dog. If you do, awesome! You’re a good pet parent. If you don’t (or leave it for someone else to take care of, tsk, tsk), your dog’s poo can pass on those parasites, diseases, and infections. When dogs eat poop, it’s called “coprophagy.” And while it’s gross to us, it’s more normal than you might think. However, unless you want poop-flavored kisses from Fido, make sure you monitor where he is and what he puts in his mouth. The easiest way to do this is to pick up after him.
4. It encourages businesses to WANT to let Fido in.
Businesses that see responsible pet parents picking up after their pets are more inclined to invite pets to stay. It’s a sign of respect for the business owner as well. Even if that business is a pet-oriented business, show respect by making sure you clean up after Fido. Other patrons may not want to step around poop, or worse yet, step IN it. Yuck.
A great resource for inexpensive dog poo bags is http://dogpoopbags.com. These bags are 100% biodegradable and inexpensive. You can get 100 bags for $9 or 1,000 bags for $34.99. It’s where we get our poo bags. We store them in both cars, in my purse and in the poop bag holder on the leash.
(They’re also great for removing trash from the car.)
So be responsible about your dog’s poop.