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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Dog poop happens

Feb 26, 2024 09:32AM ● By Marti Benson

Dogs relieve themselves daily. It’s often not at a convenient time or place, but cleaning it up is a must. Here’s why it’s important to pick up your dogs’ waste:

  • Dogs don’t have opposable thumbs. They can’t pick it up themselves.
  • It doesn’t break down instantly. Decomposition can take 12 months.
  • Parasites, viruses and bacteria abound in dog piles. 
  • Rainwater carries their excrement into stormwater drains. It isn’t treated and empties directly into our local waterways. It’s called pollution.
  • One gram of it (about the size of a small paperclip) contains 23 million coliform bacteria, which can be responsible for upset stomachs, diarrhea or flu-like symptoms in humans. For people with weakened immune systems, the consequences can be more severe—even fatal.
  • It’s a tempting and tasty treat for other dogs. Not, of course, for your Stella, but for other people’s dogs. 
  • Contrary to what you’ve been told, it isn’t good fertilizer. Our dogs’ diets are generally high in protein, which makes their waste acidic and may be toxic to many plants.
  • It also isn’t safe in compost that will be used for consumable vegetation. It may contain E. coli, salmonella, ringworms and tapeworms… blech!
  • The look and smell can ruin a summer cookout.

How to pick up your dog’s doo-doo

There is no such thing as the Poop Fairy. You must take care of this yourself or arrange for someone else to handle it. 

  • If you walk your dog, plan ahead and bring a plastic bag. (If you’re concerned about the environment, purchase eco-friendly waste bags.)
  • After your dog does his business, simply bend at the waist and scoop the poop into the bag. Hold onto the bag until you find a trash bin. 
  • Toss the bag into the garbage. Leaving those lumpy little bundles along the sidewalk or trails is not helpful. Invest in a reusable container. I am a huge fan of the Doo Doo Tube, which is available on Amazon for about $13. It’s lightweight, sturdy and roomy…if you catch my drift. I’ve seen many other types of portable receptacles at pet supply stores and discount stores. Simply empty the contraption into the garbage at the end of your walk. 
  • If you are unable to clean the dog waste in your own yard, there are plenty of companies that will do the deed for you. Give one of them a call. You—and your neighbors—will be glad you did.
  • Dog poop happens. Just clean it up. 
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