It's that time of year again...With much of the snow melted, Spring is uncovering Winter's dirty little secret:
People haven't been picking up their dogs' poop.
We all joke about it because it's an annual thing - it's no surprise each year; but, really, there are plenty of reasons why it's not a laughing matter. And a few clients' complaints and concerns have led me to putting together this Public Service Announcement!
Reasons to Scoop your SideKick's Poop
It's the considerate thing to do. Your neighbors don't want to see it; others visiting the park your SideKick pooped in don't want to see it; and I'm sure you don't want to see it in your yard. Of course, no one wants to step in it either.
Dog poop is actually classified by the EPA as a pollutant! It affects plant growth, wildlife, and human health just like an oil spill!
Dog poop can contain a whole host (pun intended) of parasites and pathogens that your dog can catch; even if your SideKick doesn't show any symptoms of, say, Giardia, or Hookworms, or Parvo (to list just a few), they can still be spreading it around the neighborhood if you're not cleaning up after them.
Not only can your dog get sick from other dogs' poop, but dog poop can contain zoonotic pathogens, too, which is just a fancy way of saying you can catch things from it, too! A few lovely examples that probably sound familiar are Hookworms, Roundworms, and Tapeworms.
Additionally, dog poop is often an open invitation for flies, which aren't fun to have around, but flies can also carry diseases that you can catch.
The "it's fertilizer" excuse absolutely doesn't apply to dog poop; it's not the same as cow manure because it has a different chemical makeup and has a much higher level of acidity that can actually harm your plants instead of helping them!
Can't Scoop the Poop?
I get it - sometimes we forget bags; we run out of them and didn't realize it; we wear a different coat that doesn't have bags in the pocket; we decided (multiple times) over the Winter that we'd clean the poop up in the Spring or when the weather was a little less frigid. Things happen, BUT, you have options!
A quick Google search brings up multiple companies in our area that will come to your home to clean up your yard for you it's hassle free!
Purchase a poop bag dispenser for a few dollars that you can clip or attach right to your leash, zipper pull, or treat pouch (I recommend buying a couple, so you have a spare when and if the first breaks unexpectedly).
Along those same lines, stock all of your coat pockets, treat pouches, fanny packs, purses or handbags with poop bags, so you're always prepared to pick up after your SideKick!
If you're not a fan of using multiple small plastic bags a day for picking up after your SideKick, there are several, great, and more environmentally-friendly poop bag options on the market these days! Personally, I use bioDOGradeable poop bags from beyondGREEN!
Get a pooper scooper! I've seen folks take their pooper scooper on walks with them as an environmentally-friendly option for scooping poop; if that's not your style, though, you can, at least, use it at home for easy pickup in the yard!
At the very least, utilize the poop bag stations that are available at most parks and apartment complexes. If all else fails, ask a passerby or a neighbor for a spare bag!
Encourage your neighbors to pick up after their dogs!
Happy poop scoopin'!
Resources: A decent chunk of info came from topdogtips.com, which leads you to a variety of other resources about dog poop!