Let's face it: nobody likes dealing with dog poo. It's simply gross. But as a pet parent, it becomes a part of your daily life – when did my pet last go? Does she need to go? And, most importantly, how do I clean this up? New ordinances in most cities mean that picking up after your dog is not only recommended, it's enforced.

But rather than just being an arbitrary rule meant to irritate pet owners, pet waste disposal is an important part of keeping our neighborhoods and dog parks clean and even keeping other dogs healthy. With an estimated nearly 70 million dogs in the United States,1 that makes for a lot of pet waste. So what happens if you don't pick it up? According to Petfinder:2

1. Stormwater carries pet waste and other pollutants directly into waterways

2. Animal waste adds nitrogen to the water, which can deplete oxygen in water necessary for other wildlife

3. Animal waste can have bacteria such as giardia, salmonella and E. coli that can be transmitted to other animals if not disposed of, along with other harmful parasites like roundworms and hookworms

Not to mention, your neighbors will appreciate your manners if you pick it up. The easiest way to remember to do this is to carry bags with you when you walk your dog. You can even get rolls of bags that go inside little containers that attach to your dog's leash so you're never without them. To dispose of it properly, we highly recommend carrying disposable poop bags and hand sanitizer. After your dog finishes going, turn the bag inside out to completely cover your hand, and when you've picked up all the poop, take your other hand to turn it right side out and tie in a knot. You can throw it away immediately or tie the closed back to the end of your leash. Then be sure to use hand sanitizer!

It is equally important to keep your backyard free of waste as well. There are a number of tools available that make cleaning up a large amount of pet waste quicker and easier. Having your backyard clear of waste can make it a nicer, healthier place for both your pet and your family to spend time.

Picking up after your dog is no small matter (especially depending on the size of your furry friend!) but a necessary part of pet ownership. Just like all puppy parents, it's time to get poop scooping.


  1. U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics. 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. American Veterinary Medical Association. Web. 12 March 2015
  2. Phillips, Bonnie. 10 Reasons to Scoop Your Dog's Poop. Petfinder. Web. 12 March 2015

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