Fido is a member of your family, a fabulous best friend, and a comforting presence. As great as the cuddles are, there’s probably a downside to having a pup for a best friend: the pet waste issue. Think about the last time you took your furry friend for a walk. Chances are, you probably saw at least one abandoned pile of icky stuff, maybe more. But, leaving it there is just not a good idea.

Why don’t people clean it up?

Dogs poop a lot. It may be tempting to just let it sit there, but that’s really not a good idea. Whether it’s a reason as simple as accidentally forgetting to grab a bag or thinking that it’ll degrade and seep into the ground, it’s always better to clean up the poop.  Not all pet owners (or dog walkers, for that matter) take the responsible route.

Here are a few of the reasons:

  1. A bag was forgotten, or someone ran out.
    It’s not uncommon for bags to be an issue, especially if your dog stops to do their business multiple times in a single walk.   
  2. Lack of waste bins.
    Your dog’s poo smells like something died. We get that it’s one of the most disgusting smells on the planet. It might be the smell that sometimes leads pet owners to avoid the cleanup, because there’s not an easy place to get rid of it nearby and quickly.
  3. The misconception that it’s good fertilizer.
    The truth is, the stuff you feed your dog makes the stuff that comes out of your pooch a substance that can (and does) kill the lawn. It’s also bad for compost piles because the stuff in the poo isn’t good for plants, and can spread issues to your garden.
  4. No one will notice!
    If the dog is small, it’s not uncommon for people to think it’ll go unnoticed. But, even small dogs can make big piles – and small deposits still contain millions of bacteria that can cause E. Coli, Salmonella or some other medical issue.

Is it really THAT bad?   

Short answer: Yes.

Any amount of pet waste can potentially cause some major issues, and they’re not just limited to smells and small inconveniences like displeasing sights on a walk.

Poop left out can be washed into storm drains. When this happens, the added nitrogen and other pollutants can cause problems for plants, fish in waterways, and even individuals who come into contact with the contaminated water.

Parasites in the poo can contaminate soil. If a pup with roundworm or heartworm, or another condition does his or her thing and the deposit stays there, the parasites can get into the soil and be passed on to other animals, especially those who think other dogs’ poop is a delicacy. The parasites can cause issues for humans too.

Leaving poop where it drops can encourage dogs to develop disgusting habits. It’s a fact that some dogs have this idea that existing poop is a delicious snack. How gross is that, right?! Cleaning it up often means that there’s less temptation for Fido or Fifi or the neighborhood dogs to decide they have a new favorite treat. Bonus: This means less potential for your pets to get sick too!

An upside of cleaning up your dog’s poop on a regular basis though is that there are fewer gross smells in the air. Even at its freshest (or maybe because it’s fresh), doggie doo tends to have a rather disgusting smell, which is sometimes overwhelming. Cleaning it up regularly means that your poor nose won’t be assaulted, and no one else’s nose will be either!

3 tips to make this a habit

As unsettling as the task maybe, making a habit of cleaning up after Fido is easy, if you’re intentional about it.

  1. Always tuck a bag or two (or more) in your pocket.
    This eliminates the “I don’t have a bag” excuse. Pay attention to how many times your pet will poop in a normal walk, and maybe grab 1-2 bags over that number each time you go out for a walk.
  2. Use a flashlight at night.
    “I can’t see it,” is no excuse when you have a flashlight handy and you use it. Carry a small one with your dog doo bags, or use a flashlight app on your cell phone.
  3. Make sure you use the right tools.
    Choose bags that are designed to break down over time, and that eliminates another potential excuse, namely that of “I don’t want to add plastic to the landfills.” Flushable bags aren’t a good idea, because they can damage septic and some municipal sewer systems. The right bags can also attempt to mask that awful smell, whether they’re scented or not.

At Presidential Pet Care®, you can be sure that our dog walkers always pick up after your precious pups. We carry bags with us for every walk, and we’ll hold them until we find a spot to throw them away. In addition to carefully cleaning up after your pet, our dog walkers will spend up to 60 minutes per visit with your pup, and provide e-journal updates with GPS and time stamps. Learn about our dog walking services, and fill out our new client registration form to get started with us!