Whether you have a backyard where your dog potties or you walk your dog, picking up and disposing of your dog’s waste is not just the polite thing to do, it’s also good sanitation. There are a number of reasons why you should pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste.

  1. One of the most compelling reasons to poop and scoop is because dogs are subject to lots of internal parasites which can be passed through their feces. Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms can all be passed to dogs from the soil where they are deposited in some stage in the feces. If you are trying to rid your dog of these worms or prevent your dog from becoming re-infected, you have to keep your yard free of their eggs in the soil and you can only do this by picking up your dog’s waste and removing it.

Other parasites which cause diarrhea such as coccidia and giardia can also be passed through the dog’s feces, and through the feces of other animals. Parvovirus and some other dog diseases can also be spread through contaminated feces and fluids. So, for your dog’s health, it’s important to pick up waste in your yard and dispose of it. If you walk your dog, pick up waste and dispose of it where other dogs will not come in contact with it. Talk to your vet about worming your dog regularly so your dog won’t carry an infestation of worms.

  1. Dog waste carries potentially harmful bacteria. Just a single gram of dog waste can contain an estimated 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. If you don’t pick up your dog’s waste, you and your dog can track this bacteria into your home where it can affect your health, the health of your family, and even your children.
  2. When you don’t pick up dog waste it eventually goes into the ground water and into our water systems.
  3. Dog waste can attract vermin and other animals, as well as flies to your yard. Flies, especially, will lay eggs and cause more pests to come. This leads to a health hazard.
  4. When you leave dog waste in your yard there is a strong odor which can become offensive to your neighbors even if you don’t notice it. Dog waste left in the yard is not good for neighborhood relations.
  5. Dog waste left in your yard will cause brown spots to develop and ruin the appearance of your grass.
  6. Dog waste cannot be used as compost or fertilizer. It is high in protein and too “hot” for these purposes. Even waste from healthy pets carries parasites which makes it unsuitable to use on plants.
  7. Dog waste left in the yard can encourage some dogs to start eating poop which is bad for them and a nasty habit. It can be a hard habit to break once your dog starts doing it.

For all these reasons you should pick up after your dog when he potties and dispose of the waste. Most people use plastic bags to pick up dog waste but you can also use a pooper scooper rake and carry the waste to a designated container just for such waste. A plastic or rubber container is good since they are easily hosed out for cleaning. You can also use a doggy dooley system (installed) or a dog compost bucket which breaks down the bacteria (though the waste is not used for gardening). If you have a small dog with small poop, you can flush it but this is not advised for bigger dogs as it probably won’t flush successfully and you’ll just clog your toilet. Just be sure to pick the waste up out of your yard and dispose of it so it won’t spread bacteria or attract flies and animals.

Article by Nancy Cope, owner of the online pet boutique Pampered Dog Gifts