4 Reasons Picking Up After Your Dog is More Important Than You Think!!

Responsible dog owners pick up after their pets in public places. However, there are times when owners neglect to pick up their dog's poop because they are in a rush, don’t have poop bags, and so on. Because of this, you’ve probably stepped in more than your share of undisposed dog poop. Chances are you’ve stepped in dog poop and not even been aware of it until you smell a disgusting scent wafting through your car. This and other reasons are why it is so important to clean up after your dog.

1. It’s Common Courtesy

Picking up after your dog is not only common courtesy but your duty as a pet owner. When you take your dog for a walk away from your home, you are entering public property. Because you own your dog, what waste your dog makes is your responsibility to pick up. It is even the law to clean up after your pet in some urban and suburban areas. Plus, it’s just good manners.

2. Dog Poop is Not a Fertilizer

If you think, as many people do, that dog waste is a natural fertilizer, think again. Since most dogs diets are high in protein, it has the reverse effect of fertilizer. Dog poop is exceptionally high in nitrogen and phosphorus, so if you let your dog’s waste lay in your grass, it can actually cause burns in your lawn. Since it’s so acidic, it will kill your grass if it isn’t picked up.

Dog waste isn’t the same as cow manure since cows eat plant matter. While cow poop can be used as compost in gardens and fields, dog poop cannot. In fact, dog poop can contaminate fruits, vegetables, and surrounding areas with harmful bacteria. 

3. Disease-Causing Bacteria and Parasites

The parasites and bacteria in dog waste can spread disease to other dogs and even you if not properly picked up. E. coli and salmonella are some of the bacteria which are carried in dog waste. Plus, Coronavirus, Giardiasis, Parvovirus, Cryptosporidiosis, Salmonellosis and Campylobacteriosis, along with several types of worms.

The parasites and bacteria can stay in the soil for years. By not picking up after your dog, you're putting other people's pets at risk for exposure to harmful bacteria.

4. It Will Not Wash Away on Its Own

If you believe that dog poop will break down or just wash away, you're wrong. Dog waste can take up to 12 months to break down. Plus, when rainwater washes over dog poop, it flows into the drainage systems. Then the contaminated water is carried into lakes, streams, and rivers. What this means is the next time you go swimming in your favorite spot, you could be swimming in fecal water.

Always Pick Up After Your Dog

As you can see, disposing of dog waste is a serious subject. There are many ways to dispose of it, but the best way to pick up after your dog is to use biodegradable pet waste bags. These types of bags are durable and won't leak, tear, or break. 

Biodegradable poop bags can be made from corn starch and other bio-based proprietary components. The bags will break down in about 90 days. Using this type of bag will keep the landfills free from plastic and keep the parks cleaner. Remember, cleaning up after your dog is not only common courtesy but safer for both you and your pet.

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About the Author: 

Abi Pennavaria is a dog mom, avid vet volunteer, and co-author of Saved By The Bark blog. She enjoys sharing tips and tricks for dog owners of all breeds.

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