Picking up after your dog isn’t exactly the most enjoyable chore. Let’s face it — it’s gross! It can be tempting to skip this task, but doing so is not only bad for the environment and public health — in many places, it’s also illegal. Keep reading for all of the reasons you really do need to pick up your dog’s poop, and read on to learn how to clean dog poop from grass.
Why Picking Up After Your Dog Matters
Dog Poop Is Not Fertilizer
People often believe that leaving dog waste to decompose in the yard is good for the lawn, but the truth is that dog poop is toxic for your grass. Unlike cow manure, which is basically composted grass, a typical dog’s poop, which is made acidic through natural digestive processes and their microbiome, is enough to destroy the grass underneath it. For this reason, dog poop also shouldn’t be placed in your compost or used to fertilize your garden. In either case, it contains bacteria that could contaminate your vegetables.
It’s an Environmental Pollutant
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency describes dog waste as containing two types of pollutants: nutrients and pathogens. Dog waste that gets washed into waterways may carry pathogens that affect living things in the water and can make people sick that are in contact. Also, nutrients released from dog poop can stimulate the growth of algae and other plant life, making the water unsuitable for recreational uses.
It Carries Diseases
Even if your dog doesn’t show any symptoms of illness, their waste could still carry bacteria and parasites that are harmful to other pets and humans. And you don’t need to come into direct contact with dog poop in order to contract an illness from it — diseases in poop can be transmitted by flies or other pets that come into contact with it. Here are some of the illnesses and infectious organisms carried in dog poo:
- E. coli
- Parvo virus
- Coliform bacteria
It Can Overwhelm the Ecosystem
While you may think your own dog’s poop can’t do that much harm, keep in mind that your dog is likely one of hundreds in your area. iHeartDogs pointed out that while the ecosystem can generally handle up to two dogs per square mile, in urban areas, there are on average 125 dogs per square mile — far more than enough to overwhelm the local ecosystem with their waste. By picking up after your dog, you’ll help protect the ecosystem.
It Smells Bad
Dog feces left lying in parks, on public walkways and even on neighborhood lawns can quickly pile up to a point that the smell becomes overwhelming. Even if you live in a rural area with no close neighbors, you no doubt know that a relaxing afternoon in the hammock can be ruined by the smell of too many dog deposits in the yard.
It’s Common Courtesy
If you’ve ever had to clean dog poop from the bottom of your shoe, you don’t need to be told stepping in the stuff can ruin an unsuspecting person’s day. Add to that the impact dog waste can have on the environment and public health, and it’s not hard to see that picking up after your dog not only makes you a responsible dog owner, but also a considerate neighbor. It’s simply the right thing to do.
How to Clean Dog Poop From Grass
Cleaning up after your pooch can be as simple as using a disposable baggie to pick up deposits and then dropping the whole bag in the trash. While this can be a great way to re-use plastic grocery bags, a more environmentally-friendly option is to use the PetPooDrain. The pet waste ends up in the surage system which is perfectly suited to handle the waste. PetPooDrain also saves further plastic pollution and pet waste just ending up in a landfill and bacteria entering the water systems.
Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water if there’s any chance you’ve come into direct contact with animal feces.
The bottom line is, as unpleasant and annoying as dog cleanup might be, it’s a minor inconvenience compared to the cost of neglecting this responsibility. By taking the extra minute or so to pick up after your pup, you’re not only being a good citizen and responsible pet parent — you’re actually helping to save the world, one piece of poop at a time.