The week that follows Earth Day has something every dog owner can take ownership of to help the environment: “National Scoop the Poop Week.” According to the new numbers recently released at the American Pet Products Association, in 2018 there are 60.2 million U.S. households with an estimated 89.7 million dogs in the United States alone. Bottom line: lots of dogs; lots of poop.
The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (aPaws), an organization of professional pooper-scoopers, founded “National Scoop the Poop Week” as a time to educate pet owners in the importance of cleaning up after their dogs. According to pet waste company Dooty Calls, the average dog will deposit ¾ of a pound of poop per day which translates to 275 pounds of waste per year!
4 reasons to pick up the poop
- Dog poop isn’t fertilizer. Some people mistakenly think it acts as a natural fertilizer. This is simply not true. Cow manure (a good fertilizer) is very different than dog poop (not at all a fertilizer) because of the difference in diets.
- It can cause disease. The EPA points to the fact that canine poop has more harmful bacteria than human poop. Dog poop has E. coli and fecal coliforms that can cause disease. A gram of dog waste can contain 23 million coliform bacteria! Eww!
- It pollutes rivers, streams and lakes. If not disposed of properly, rain will wash the pet waste and bacteria that come with it into nearby streams and creeks. This can kill fish and wildlife, plus it decreases water quality.
- It’s the neighborly thing to do. Most neighborhoods are a “no landmine zone.” So be kind to your neighbors and don’t leave any landmines for them, or their children, to step in!
4 easy steps to clean up doggie poop
- Being prepared is key; so carry disposable bags while walking your dog.
- Turn the bag inside out so that your hands are on the outside.
- Grab the poop quickly. Pull through the bag and tie it up and voila! The poop is safely in the bag!
- Just like you do when you go to the bathroom: Wash your hands when you get home.
What you do with the poop once you get it home, is another point of preference. Most will toss it in the trash. Some may purchase bio-hybrid bags for pet waste as they are 100% carbon reduced and break down easier and faster than the regular plastic bags.
Many believe the best way to dispose of it is to empty the bag in the toilet and flush it down so it is treated at the sewage treatment plant with the rest of the unmentionables. Note: do not flush a regular plastic bag of dog poop down the toilet or you will have many other issues to deal with.
5 Facts about Dog Poop You May Not Know
- Do you check social media? Well think of dog poop as your pup’s own social media. If you enjoy checking FaceBook to see what your friends are doing, you understand why your dog sniffs poop. Through scent, a dog can determine the sex of the dog, if he knows the dog, if it’s a friend or not, what the dog ate and how recently they were there.
- Have you noticed your dog looking at you while they poop? There is good reason: they trust you as part of their pack. Your dog knows that they are defenseless in this position. They know you will protect them if something happens.
- Does your dog do a poop dance? Many dogs will circle over and over again before finally deciding to do their business. This is your dog’s way of ensuring it’s a safe place to go. He’s checking his entire surroundings by going full circle around him.
- Dogs do have to find the perfect place to poop. Research confirmed that dogs just can’t walk outside and go immediately. They have a “poop compass” that aligns with the Earth’s magnetic field which helps them find their perfect place to poop. It depends on the dog if they prefer facing the north or south.
- Dogs do clean up after themselves. If you dog kicks up grass as you pick up the poop, they are trying to bury the poop. This is their way of cleaning up.
Picking up dog poop is not the best part of owning a dog. But it is a big part of owning a dog. The good news is that if you don’t want to do it, this would be a great thing to outsource to a teenager, or hire your local pet waste removal service and let them do the dirty work.
At Parnell Living Science, our focus is to improve the lives of pets and pet parents by improving the overall health of the fur-babies we love. Our products have all-natural, environmentally sustainable ingredients. We value our pets and our environment. On National Scoop the Poop Week let’s be sure to join do our part to keep the planet clean!