What To Do With Dog Poop

What to do with dog poop.  The world as been pondering this question for about 20 years, we think.  Before then, we never had to think about this.  We simply let the dog poop stay wherever our dog left it.  We were, of course, careful not to step in it or step in droppings left by other’s dogs.  It was a nuisance, but better than taking the time to scoop it up with a poop scooper or a poop bag or a poop pouch that wasn’t yet available.  And easier too!  We just left it lay.

Times have changed.  We are all better educated now.  We realize the health risks of unattended dog poop – to humans and to other animals.  We realize the environmental ramifications.  We now know that dog waste is not just a community nuisance, but a community hazard.  It can no longer be left laying on the sidewalk, street, or grass.  We must use our poop scooper or our poop bag to pick it up.  We can no longer leave the poop lie – we must pick up dog poop.

Occasionally, we must review what we have learned to keep us on our toes.  Dog waste is a real health hazard.  Canine feces are a common carrier of over 11 diseases.  These include Giardiasis, Cryptosporidiosis, Camplyobacteriosis, and also common diseases caused by Salmonella and E. coli.  These diseases cause gastrointestinal infections that trigger fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting and muscle aches.  Infections can also affect the eyes, ears and throat.  A single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria.  But in addition to all that, the feces can contain heartworms, hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms and whipworms and their eggs.  These parasites can also cause acute health effects to us and our children and also to others and their pets.   What to do with dog poop – pick it up and safely discard it.

Unattended dog poop will also damage the health of other animals.  Coprophagia is the scientific name for consumption of feces.  This behavior is often observed in dogs.  There have been various hypotheses for this behavior which accounts for its commonness.  Dogs are scavengers and this may be within the range of scavenger behavior.  Or it may be related to anxiety, stress or numerous health problems including pancreatitis, intestinal infections or food allergies.  Or they may simply be hungry.  But regardless, eating the unattended feces of another dog will obviously cause additional health problems.  Simply picking it up with a poop bag or scooper would eliminate this harm to another animal.

The environmental hazards of canine waste also need reviewing.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency has called dog poop a source of pollution. If we don’t pick it up, it becomes a major cause of water pollution.  It is washed into our streams, rivers and lakes and is a major cause of beach closure.  Scientists have determined lab techniques to help us identify what is contaminating our waters.  One method is a variant of DNA fingerprinting and another looks at the antibiotic resistance of microbes from different species.  Although the methods are new, they are able to distinguish between major and minor sources of pollution and can claim that dogs contribute 20% to 30% of the pollution in a stream.  Other studies have placed dogs third on the list of contributors to pollution in contaminated waters.  But in some urban areas, dogs have placed even higher.  Obviously we must fill our poop bag or poop scooper with dog poop to protect our environment.

If we roam with our best friends in parks, woods or fields not near water, we must be aware that dog poop is not a fertilizer.  It won’t just dissolve into the ground without causing problems.  In Boulder, Colorado, the native grasses in the city’s mountain parks were being replaced by weeds.  Grasses need low-nitrogen conditions and the poop from the resident’s dogs were muscling them out with their high nitrogen ammunition.  The city had to do 10 months of education before they finally had to penalize with $100 fines to stop this damaging practice.  Boulder officials had to educate their residents that dog poop is not a fertilizer.  They claim that this was a difficult task as most people really did believe that it was.

Perhaps a final review may be the new laws resulting in heavy fines that are being levied against owners who do not follow the laws.  In Britain, their 6.2 million dogs produce 900 tons of waste every day.  Topping that, 3.6 billion pounds of dog waste is produced in the United States every year.  In Los Angeles, a study has shown the prevalence of those who don’t know what to do with dog poop – 82,000 times each month it was left lying on the sidewalk.  Obviously fines need to be a reminder for some and these vary widely depending upon the community, but have recently been raised in most.  They range from $250 in New York to $1000 in Baltimore and to a whopping $2000 in New Jersey.  Fines are $600 in Paris and $750 in London.  Obviously not knowing what to do with canine feces can drain our bank accounts.  We must scoop it or bag it.

We Now Know What To Do With Dog Poop

Now that we have reviewed the necessity of attending to our best friend’s deposits, we must find the convenient, discreet and sanitary way to do so.  Although a poop scooper is one option, using dog poop bags is the most sanitary.  We simply pick up the waste, invert the bag, tie a knot and place it in a handy dog pouch.  Then it will be safely protected and discreetly hidden from the view of all.  The ugly poop bag will be out of sight where it belongs.  Now that we have reviewed the health risks of dog waste, we must sanitize our hands.  The bottle of hand sanitizer will also be stored in our unique poop pouch.  A simple squirt into our palm and dispersion over our hands and we are now germ-free.  This is all a much better option that a poop scooper that would have the feces and germs always exposed.

We know what to do with our best friend’s feces and we must do it.  We must do this with dog poop, always and everywhere.  Use our poop bag to scoop it, our poop pouch to hold it and our hand sanitizer to remove the germs.  Then we must educate others who don’t have a clue what to do with dog poop.