Ever wonder why you need to pick up your dog poop? Do you know what can happen if you don’t pick up your dog’s poop?
Have you heard the catchy phrase “Scoop the Poop?” It serves as a reminder to dog parents to clean up after their dog when they go potty in public or private properties.
Not picking up dog’s poop causes more problems than you may think and dog waste problems continue to exist everywhere.
As a dog mom and pet industry professional, I have seen the negative impact not picking up your dog’s poop has for dog communities and why it’s important for dog parents to start taking responsibility for their own pets.
This blog is about why you have to pick up your dog’s poop.
Why you need to pick up dog poop.
1. Sanitary and Health Reasons
Dog feces carry all sorts of diseases that affect your dog and can affect humans too. Dog poop can contain worms and is one of the most easily spread problems for dogs. In the time it takes your dog to go over and smell the contaminated poop or eat it (yuck, but it happens), your dog can already become infected. Yup, it’s that quick.
Along with worms that are strictly dog-related issues, dog feces also carry Giardia, Salmonella, E-coli, and the ever deadly Parvovirus. Some of these diseases caused by dog feces come with a severe health risk to your dog, contributing to hefty veterinary care service fees for treatments or putting your dog’s life at serious risk.
It’s important to know that humans have health risks from animal waste, so don’t forget to wash your hands after cleaning up dog feces.
Fun fact about dog poop: one gram of dog feces contains about 23 million forms of coliform bacteria, and other gross stuff can make you and your dog sick.
2. Dog waste pollution.
Need another reason why you need to pick up your dog’s poop? Then how about the fact that dog poop contaminates water. When the rain washes over the dog poop, the water runs into the drainage system, which then causes the water to be spoiled, and that contaminated water flows into the local waterways…like the ocean.
Let’s add to the dog feces pollution information to get your attention. About 90% of the bacteria found in the waterways comes from dog poop.
So when you hear the local news report about how the water quality isn’t safe to swim in…know that some of the bacteria they find came from the dog crap being washed into the water from the rain. I like to consider that as Mother Nature saying, “thank you for leaving your dog’s poop just lying around.”
3. Contamination from insects
Another good reason you should pick up your dog’s poop is to control those pesky flies. Flies consume dog poop and then lay eggs in dog the feces. Those same pesky little buggers can find their way into your house and spread disease when they land on any food or countertop.
4. Demonstrates responsible dog ownership.
So another solid argument why you should clean up your dog’s poop is demonstrating common courtesy and responsible pet ownership. I can’t tell you how many times a “neighbor” of mine lets her dogs run loose throughout the neighborhood and allows their dog to crap wherever they want without bothering to come by and pick it up. I also have neighbors who walk their dogs in the neighborhood and don’t bother to clean up any dog waste left behind.
Not bothering to clean up your dog’s poop when out for a walk or any public place you take your dog clearly demonstrates what a dickhead you are and the lack of respect you have for others.
It’s essential to be considerate to one another (especially in the times we live in today) and clean up your dog’s mess. You wouldn’t want your friend to come to your house, poop in your bathroom, and not flush, right? Same concept, just a different species…or as my mother puts it, “it’s the same shit just in different ways.”
5. You can get fined for not picking up dog poop.
If you may be wondering what can happen if you don’t pick up dog’s poops, you could get fined. On July 1, 2019, the state of Hawai’i enacted law H.B NO. 127 that “classifies allowing an animal under a person’s care or control to drop fecal matter on public or private property as littering.” Anyone found in violation will be fined a minimum of $100.00 but not more than $500.00 plus mandatory community service of picking up litter for four hours. That is just for first-time offenders.
Every time you are caught violating H.B. No 127, you are looking at a $500.00 penalty fee and eight hours of community service. You tell me, is it really worth the risk of paying $500.00 and spending eight hours picking up trash just because you didn’t want to clean up after your dog?
6. It encourages non pet-friendly areas, venues, and more.
Not cleaning up your dog’s poop is a top reason why so many places do not allow pets on the premises. Property or business owners don’t want to have to clean up after your dog, and rightfully so. It’s unfair, disrespectful, and rude to force these individuals to take responsibility for cleaning up after your dog and expect them to be ok with it.
Many of these places (stores, event venues, residential properties, etc.) see dog parents being irresponsible when it comes to cleaning up after their dogs or not even bothering to extend the courtesy to clean up after their dogs, they will become “non pet-friendly” and create rules not allowing pets on the premises or charge crazy fees for dog parents, making having a pet near impossible.
I organize pet friendly events here in Hawai’i and this is one of the hurdles I come across with dog parents in attendance with their dogs. I can’t tell you how many times I have to gently remind a dog parent that they need to clean up after their dog had defecated or urinated on the flooring of the event space. No matter how many times it is announced or brought to their attention, dog parents still don’t do the right thing and try to clean up after their dog.
No matter what, you should NEVER leave your dog’s feces just lying around because, it’s beyond inconsiderate, rude, and just flat-out gross. If your dog makes a mess, then it is YOUR responsibility to clean it up…no if, and’s, or but’s about it.