5 Reasons Why You Should Always Pick Up Dog Poop

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Do you poop and scoop, or bend and pretend? Here’s why you shouldn’t leave dog poop behind.

When you let your dog out into the backyard to do his business, you may not immediately clean up after him. If you are taking your dog out in a public area, however, you are expected to clean up after your pet. Unfortunately, many pet owners ignore this common courtesy, not realizing that dog poop can actually cause some serious problems. Below you will find a list of the top five reasons why you should always clean up after your dog.

1. Disease Control

A number of common diseases can be transmitted to other dogs (and even people) through contaminated feces. Some of these diseases include salmonella, giardia, E-coli and roundworms. It is also possible for your dog to contract coronavirus or parvovirus from infected feces. In addition to the dangers of direct contact with contaminated feces, dog waste can also be carried into waterways by storm runoff. Some bacteria and parasites can also live in the soil for extended periods of time where they may be transmitted to other dogs and even humans. If we’ve learned anything in the last year or so it’s that viruses and disease control can make a huge difference in how we do everyday everything. Don’t be the person who adds to dangerous situations simply because you couldn’t be bothered to pick up poop. Don’t have a bag? Get a leash that has them attached. Ask a friend or someone nearby. Make something work. Just don’t leave it there.

2. Common Courtesy

If you have ever had the misfortune of stepping in dog poop, you can understand some of the more practical reasons for cleaning up after your dog. For public areas such as playgrounds and dog parks, it is common courtesy to clean up after your dog so that others may enjoy the public areas as well. This also applies to areas around your home – it is considered very rude to let your dog eliminate in someone else’s yard, especially if you do not clean up after him. Not to mention, in some places it’s illegal…read on.

3. It is the Law

While there is no overarching federal law requiring dog owners to pick up after their pets, many urban and suburban areas have passed such legislation. In certain areas you may see signs requiring dog owners to clean up after their pets along with a phone number to call to report infractions. Many dog parks and suburban community parks have even begun to provide waste disposal bags to encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets. This applies to some local areas as well. Some townships, cities and even neighborhoods have regulations about picking up dog poop, so be sure to know the rules and follow them.

4. Cleanliness and Odor Reduction

If you let your dog have free reign of your yard at home, you may find that the yard becomes less usable because you don’t want to risk stepping in dog poop. The same is true for public areas – failing to clean up after your dog limits the ability of others to enjoy the area. In addition to general cleanliness issues, failing to clean up after your dog can also lead to unpleasant odors – it can also attract flies and other pests to the area. In your yard at home, you might consider applying lime to reduce odors or try using a product Doggie Dooley which acts like a mini septic system to break down waste safely. The truth is that if your dog’s healthy (and has a healthy gut) he’ll have pretty much the perfect poop. Just the right firmness and texture to pick up easy peasy lemon squeezy. If it’s not, you may want to look into some supplements, as poop is very telling about your dog’s overall health.

5. Prevention of Stool Eating

Many dogs will at some point or another eat their own or another dog’s stool – it is simply a fact of life. This practice likely evolved from the fact that wild dogs are carnivores and scavengers, sometimes eating feces when other food was not available. Referring back to the first item on this list, however, feces can carry dangerous organisms so it is unsafe to let your dog eat stool. Cleaning up after your dog as quickly as possible will protect him and other dogs as well.

6. Spike in Rat Population

Rodents, especially rats, love to chow down on dog poop. In urban areas, it’s often their main meal. If you’ve got a rat or rodent problem where you live, it may be because there’s too much pet waste lying around. And don’t expect things to get better on their own, because these critters will move in and start families… as long as there’s plenty of food available, they’re not going anywhere.

Carrying around a bag full of your dog’s waste can be an unpleasant experience, but it is simply one of the conditions of dog ownership – you are expected to care for and clean up after your dog. Cleaning up after your dog is more than just a matter of common courtesy, it is also important for the health of your dog and other dogs in the area. After reading this article you should have a greater understanding of why it is important to clean up after your dog and you might have a newfound resolve to do so.

And there’s no shame in looking for ways to make it easier. We know that picking up dog poop isn’t exactly a dream job, but it’s part of the deal when you vow to love Fido forever. Make sure your dog is healthy and has healthy poop, make sure you have eco-friendly and biodegradable poop bags that make it easier and be proud of the fact that you’re a responsible dog owner!

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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