While it might not be an exciting topic, cleaning up after your dog is incredibly important. Not only is dog poop stinky and unsightly, but it can also actually become quite dangerous if it is not dealt with properly.
If you want to be a responsible dog owner, you should take the time to learn how to clean up after your dog. This is where we can help! To mark National Scoop the Poop Week (every April 24 – 30), we have decided to go over everything you need to know about dealing with dog poop.
After we explain why picking up your dog’s poop is important, we’ll cover how to properly clean it up. Whether your dog is just pooping outside or has an accident inside your home, knowing the best way to safely and effectively clean it up is an important part of being a good dog owner.
Why is it Important to Clean Up After Your Dog?
It may seem self-explanatory, but there are some important reasons why you should scoop up your dog’s poop.
1. Leaving Dog Poop is Just Plain Gross!
For starters, nothing ruins a day quite like stepping in a steaming pile of dog poop. If you want to avoid this issue and stay in the good books of all your neighbors, it is important to clean up after your pet.
Of course, the smell is also an issue. If you let your dog’s poop pile up in the backyard, things can get pretty stinky. Making an effort to clean up any dog poop on your property will eliminate that unwelcome odor, which is even more important if your dog poops on someone else’s property or in a public space. Be a good member of the community and spare others from the disgusting experience of smelling and stepping in dog poop!
2. Dog Poop Can Ruin Your Lawn
Many people assume that, like cow manure, dog poop is a natural fertilizer. However, the truth is dog waste is high in nitrogen. Although urine is more notorious for causing grass burn, leaving feces can also lead to grass changes. This high nitrogen level is due to the high protein diets Dogs consume, while cows are herbivores.
Do yourself a favor and spare your lawn from those unwelcome yellow stains by picking up after your dog regularly.
3. Dog Poop Can Carry Disease-Causing Bacteria and Parasites
The most important reason to clean up after your dog is that dog waste can be harmful to humans, other dogs, and various types of wildlife. Dog waste can contain bacteria like E. coli, salmonellosis, Clostridium, and campylobacteriosis as well as parasites like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, giardia, and more!
Even after the dog poop has washed away, all of these harmful types of bacteria and parasites can linger in the soil. If you choose not to clean up after your dog, you are putting others at risk.
So, How Do You Properly Clean Up After Your Dog?
Now that you know why it is important, we can look at the most effective ways to clean up dog poop. Use the following techniques to clean and dispose of dog waste:
Cleaning Dog Poop Outdoors:
When your dog poops outside, take the time to dispose of the waste.
After your dog has pooped, take out a clean baggie. Try to use bags designed for the task as they are designed to trap the smell and do not have holes or leaks.
Start by covering the poop with the bag and entrap it. After it is fully covered, grab the poop through the bag and pull it through, which should flip the bag inside out. Tie the end of the bag in a tight knot and discard it in an appropriate location as quickly as possible. Make sure you wash and sanitize your hands immediately.
Cleaning Dog Poop Indoors:
If you are still house training your dog, or it has an unfortunate accident, try not to get angry.
You can use the same technique to remove the poop as you would outdoors, but you will want to make sure you sanitize any surface that touches the feces. For soft surfaces, you can combine a few drops of dish soap with 3 oz of white vinegar and 16 oz of warm water. Pour the solution directly onto the area where the dog pooped and let it sit for a few minutes.
After it has sat, use a brush or thick cloth to scrub the area. You might need to repeat the process if there is still residue left behind. Again, make sure you wash your hands immediately after and avoid touching your face or anything else in your home.
Commercial carpet cleaners can also help remove any staining; however, make sure you sanitize the area before applying a cleaning product.
Tips for Cleaning Up After Your Dog
If you want to be a responsible dog owner, consider the following pooper scooper tips:
- Always carry extra poop bags. Dogs can get upset stomachs, so even if your dog usually only poops once per walk, there is always a chance you will need more than one bag. There are plenty of poop bag holders that you can clip to your keys or your dog’s leash.
- Consider bringing a small, key-chain-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with you when you take your dog for walks. As mentioned above, dog poop can be dangerous, so you must be taking the necessary precautions. Even if you have sanitized your hands, you should still give them a good scrubbing with soap when you get home.
- If you notice your dog’s poop looks and smells strange, it could be a sign of illness or a poor diet. If you have any concerns, you should book an appointment with one of our online vets as soon as possible.
If you have questions about your dog’s diet, consider reading through our Solving the Pet Food Puzzle guide. As always, you can also speak with one of our virtual vets if you have any further questions or concerns. We can answer any questions you might have about your pet’s health or how to properly clean up after them!