It’s not the most glamorous job, but we all need to do it. Cleaning up after your pup is important for a number of reasons. It’s the neighborly thing to do and actually helps prevent health issues in your canine community (more on that later). There are a number of ways to keep things clean after your pet has hit the bathroom, and we’ve got them listed here.
Read on to find out why picking up after your pup matters and how to do it best.
Why Do We Clean Up After Our Dogs?
Cleaning up after your dog has taken a poop isn’t exactly fun, but it’s necessary. There are a number of reasons why it needs to happen, from social acceptance to keeping the other dogs in your community safe from disease.
Socially, when you own a dog, it’s expected that you’ll pick up after them. Cleaning up your pooch’s poop is an important part of keeping a clean and happy community. No one likes to step in dog poop unknowingly and then track it (and the smell) into their destination!
Additionally, no one wants to have to be on the lookout for poop, either. It’s unsightly, and we’re happier when it’s not on the ground around us.
A Healthier Community
You may not be aware of it, but dog poop can carry diseases and parasites that can be spread by contact with it. These diseases can range from harmless to fatal, and picking up your dog’s poop can help prevent the spread of them.
One of the most dangerous diseases to dogs, parvovirus, can be carried through feces. If a young or unvaccinated dog comes into contact with poop from a dog with parvo, it’s entirely likely they’ll get it, as well.
In addition to diseases, parasites can be carried through fecal matter, and they often aren’t only transmissible to other dogs. These can include hookworms and whipworms, both of which people can contract through contact with canine fecal matter.
You Have To
In addition to the courteous aspect of the social obligation, we have to pick up dog poop. In most communities, it’s the law to pick up after your pup. If you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll be fined if caught. These fines can add up and tend to be fairly costly. Picking up poop is serious business.
It Can Affect Ecosystems
Believe it or not, picking up after your pooch helps to prevent environmental impact on native species. Many wild mammals and birds would never come into contact with the diseases that can be carried through a dog’s poop.
If your dog’s poop isn’t picked up, it’s likely that it will attract the attention of wild animals, and they may be exposed to something that threatens their lives.
In addition to their larger counterparts, insects will most certainly be drawn to your dog’s waste, which can begin a domino effect. If there are parasites in your dog’s poop, pest insects like flies and mosquitoes may pick them up when they investigate it. This can cause the parasite to be spread faster and throughout the ecosystem.
An Impact on the Water
If we went too long without cleaning up after our pups, the waste would seep into the water, affecting its cleanliness and usability. Introducing dog poop to the water can cause massive spreads of diseases and parasites, and it can cause the water to smell atrocious. It’s something we actively prevent when we clean up after our pups.
As you can see, picking up after your pup prevents a wide range of negative impacts, and creates a positive impact on the community as a whole! It’s an important job.
Methods of Picking Up After Your Pooch
How to pick up dog poop may seem obvious, but there’s a good chance that there are methods of doing so that you haven’t thought about. Cleaning up after your pet can be done in a number of ways, but here are the ones that make the most sense if you’re only cleaning up after one or two pups.
Poop bags are the number one way of picking up after your pup. They provide a nice barrier between the feces and your hand that’s impervious, they are lightweight, and they are affordable. There’s a number of ways that dog poop bags can be stored or used, but there are two that stand out.
- Attached Dispensers - There are a number of options to carry poop bags on your person while walking your pup, but the type that attaches to your leash is by far the most convenient. They’re with you every time you walk your pup, so you’ll never forget them at home.
- Standalone Dispensers - This can refer to either the dispensers in public parks or a dispenser that you mount to the wall in your fence if your dog has a backyard to play in. These are a great way to keep a community, or a yard, clean!
Remember, when picking up after your pup, you don’t want to come into contact with the feces as it can carry parasites and diseases. You’ll want to put the bag over your hand, almost like a glove, grab the waste, and then flip the bag inside out, over the feces.
Then you can tie the bag, and you’re all done!
These are only really for at-home use, picking up poop in your yard. These setups resemble a broom and dustpan, except the broom is replaced with a rake or a spade of some sort. Poop bags can often be affixed to the inside of the dustpan portion, allowing for easy cleaning and no need to touch the feces directly.
When using a pooper scooper, remember to thoroughly clean the unit after any contact with poop. It needs to be sanitized effectively to prevent diseases and parasites from spreading.
If you happen to run out of poop bags, using a newspaper can be just as effective a method for cleaning up your dog’s waste. It’s not as impermeable as a dog poop bag, so washing your hands afterward is even more imperative.
Cleanliness is key when picking up dog poop.
Don’t Forget Your Bags
When you’re taking your pup out, whether it be for a walk or a trip to the park, remembering bags is important. One of the best ways to make sure that you’ve got bags with you is to keep a bag dispenser attached to your pup’s leashes. Ideally, you’ll have one on every leash or harness so that you won’t ever forget them. Another way to be sure you’ve got them is to keep a roll stashed in your vehicle if you plan on driving your pooch somewhere!
Cleaning up after your pooch is one of the most important responsibilities you have when it comes to being a dog lover. It prevents diseases and parasites from being spread, as well as keeps your community clean.
Picking up poop isn’t pretty, but it’s something that has to be done. Your dog and your community will thank you for it!