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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, dog poop is as toxic to the environment as chemical and oil spills. Still many pet parents think leaving their dog’s duty behind is harmless.
It’s totally natural.
Wild dogs don’t pick up and bag their poop, so why should I?
It’s like fertilizer, I’m helping the grass to grow.
My dog is healthy, there’s no germs in his poop.
Sound familiar? These are just a sampling of the excuses pet parents use to justify not picking up their pooch’s poop. In fact, each and every one of those excuses is false.
It’s estimated that at least 40% of dog owners leave their pet’s poop where it lands, never giving it a second thought. With nearly 73 million dogs in the United States alone, that’s a lot of poo being left behind!
If the yuck factor isn’t enough to convince you to grab and bag, maybe the serious effects your dog’s doo has on our environment will!
The infographic below, created by PoopBuddy, might shock you:
[…] and even children. A single gram of dog feces can contain up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Dog park accessories frequently have handy bag dispensers that can be attached to a collar or a leash, making pick-up a breeze and disposal as easy as […]
This is so simple but yet it seems difficult for so many dog owners. If I get a dog, I should also consider that I am responsible for its poop and that even if it is natural in some way, it damages our environment. Thanks very much for this great infographic, I will definitely share it!
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What a wonderful, inspiring and accurate article you wrote! I think many people think they know and understand the problem and implications of dog poop, but few know the reality of it! You explained it perfectly!!! Dog poop has to be picked up, put into a bag and thrown into the trash! We are in Austin, and we have a serious drought, we learned that throwing dog poop in the toilet is a bad idea, because we don’t have enough water! Our Easy Scoop A Poop came out of a necessity to pick it up, but I was too grossed by it. When we looked for bags to go inside the scooper, we chose Post Industrial Recycled plastic, because it felt like the best option. It helps recycle plastic, it helps keep the poop sealed away from the water shed,and it stays closed while poop is still harmful!!! Thank you for your article again! I would love to put it on our Facebook & tweeter. I would love to hear from you if we can do anything together!!!!
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I am thinking about adopting a rescue dog. Should I put the poop in the garbage or flush it down the toilet in my septic tank or just forget about adopting because I am sure there are more than six dogs in my neighborhood?
Scoop the poop into a bag and throw it in the trash. It doesn’t matter much what kind of bag you use to scoop with until your municipal infrastructure can safely accommodate the biodegration process. It’s not a short story, but I will elaborate in future posts of my blog at PoopBuddy.com
Oh, and you should DEFINITELY adopt a dog – its hard to find a better source of unconditional love.
So if you bag it and put it in the trash (which I do) doesn’t it just pollute the landfill area which is sitting on land? (least in my town it is)Never thought about putting down the toilet will have to read up on that if it is or isn’t treated. If the cat poop is not treated, then what? Same dilemma about scooping litter and it ending up in landfill (not to mention all that plastic which may or may not be biodegradable)
Based on countless hours of online research and speaking directly with the people along the “poop collection and disposal” chain, here’s what I understand. Yes, poop-filled plastic bags in landfill qualify as pollution. But, landfill pollution, and the chain of events that leads up to it, has been part of the national dialogue for years, thus it has received both grassroots and government-sponsored support. For instance, many cities now have programs that bypass landfill completely and burn trash as energy. Re: flushing poop, see my reply above – not good. Bagging and trashing dog waste isn’t perfect, but it is the most sustainable method of disposal available to all of us at the moment. In the meantime, we hope someone invents the Poo Vaporizing spray featured in the movie Envy, Jack Black, 2004. Let us know if you hear something different.
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Wastewater treatment facilities CAN process dog poop and is environmentally better than bagging it and throwing it away. Putting the poop in a storm drain, however, won’t necessarily take it to the wastewater treatment facility because often times the storm drains water back into rivers, lakes, streams, and beaches where it won’t be processed and will contaminate 🙁 An item like the Doggie Doo Drain Dog Waste Sewer Line Attachment will save people the hassle of taking their dogs’ poop inside the house to flush it because it remains outside where you can just drop the poop in.
…one of the sources for that infographic cites the National Resources Defense Council. They even say it’s best to flush dog poop, but not cat poop, here: nrdc.org/thisgreenlife/0801.asp
Based on data I’ve gathered over the last year, most consumers DO NOT have access to industrial wastewater treatment facilities, which are the systems designed to treat dog waste. As someone who has studied dog poop for months (yup, it’s weird) and interviewed people all along the resin-to-bag-to-treatment-to-water-quality chain I hope to reply to all of these tonight. Why? Because lack of awareness appears to be the largest contributor to the water pollution problem. The article from NRDC you reference above is at least 5 years old (2008). I tried to contact the author via email, phone, twitter and top down through the organization to no avail. Thus it appears as if the topic has not been updated by an expert equipped with modern scientific testing data and facts. In the next few weeks I will publish my interview with my contact at the California EPA / Regional Water Quality Control Board which which clarify some of the issues you mention above. I could literally talk about poop and water for hours, but so as to not bore you, I suggest you either subscribe to our newsletter / blog, research the topic anew or call your local treatment center. My recent blog on the issue is below:
Sounds gross, but when you regularly pick it up, you know immediately if your dog has something going on. You know the normal color, consistency, amount, and the right to criticize others.
Excellent point! And, reason enough to pick it up, even without the environmental impact. You can tell a lot about your dog’s health by monitoring his poop. It can sometimes be the first (and only) indication of a problem. Thanks!