Every dog owner knows that picking up your dog's poop after they are done with their business is not the most enjoyable activity. It is gross, and many people are often tempted to skip this task. However, responsible dog owners always make sure to pick up after their furry four-legged pets in public places. Many times, though, it might happen that owners neglect to pick up after their dog for numerous reasons. It might be that you are in a rush, and you don't have the dog poop bags handy. Or it could be that you simply don't consider it to be important enough. Not only is it important to pick up your dog's poop, but it is also illegal to leave your dog's waste lying behind. Here are some very good reasons as to why dog poop pick up is so important.
Why does picking up your dog's poop matter?
The most important reason why dog poop pick-up is necessary is that many places have a law against leaving your dog's poop behind. Many municipalities and communities have a law that requires dog owners to clean up after their dogs. While this is, of course, evident in public spaces and parks, many neighborhood homeowner's associations also require you to pick up your dog's poop in your own yard. It is common for many public spaces to have signs posted at various places requesting dog owners to clean up after your dog.
Apart from homeowner's associations, the city or county might also have regulations and certain laws in place that make it mandatory for dog owners to clean up after their pets in public spaces.
Dog Poop is not a good fertilizer
Many people wrongly believe that if they leave the dog poop outside, it will decompose and work as a natural fertilizer. However, this is far from the truth. Most dogs have a diet that is rich in protein, which has the exact opposite effect of fertilizer. Dog poop is also a powerhouse of phosphorus and nitrogen, which can eventually cause burns in your lawn if you leave it lying around on your grass. Dog poop is highly acidic, and it will kill your grass if you don't pick it up.
It is important to understand that dog waste is not the same as cow manure. This is because cows eat plant matter, hence cow poop can be used as compost in fields and gardens. However, dog poop will only contaminate any fruits, vegetables, and surrounding areas in your garden with harmful bacteria if you do not pick it up and dispose of it properly. For this reason, do not even consider placing dog poop in your compost or use it to fertilize your yard.
Dog poop is hard to break down & it causes water pollution
The biggest reason dog owners must pick up after their dog is because dog poop will not break down on its own. Neither will it simply wash away. Dog poop can even take up to a year to break down fully. And if you think it will wash away when it rains, then the only thing that will happen is that the rainwater will wash it off and make it flow right into the drainage system, thus contaminating the drainage system. This contaminated water will then continue to flow into rivers, streams, and lakes. This means that the next time you are swimming at your favorite spot in the city, you might just be swimming in fecal water. In fact, studies have found that nearly 30% of the bacteria found in watersheds come from pet waste.
It brings disease
Dog poop contains many pathogens. Even though your dog may not show any signs of illness, their poop still carries many bacteria and parasites harmful to humans and other pets. And you don't even need to come into direct contact with dog poop to contract a disease from it. This is because diseases from your dog's waste can be transmitted by flies and other pets that have come in contact with it.
Here are some of the main diseases and infectious organisms commonly found in dog poop:
- Coliform bacteria
- Parvo Virus
Furthermore, when you simply leave the dog poop lying around in the park, these harmful bacteria and parasites can remain in the soil for years and infect people. Children playing in the park and gardeners who tend to the parks are at the greatest risk of contamination.
Too much dog poop puts the ecology out of balance
Every dog owner loves their pet unconditionally, and they think that their own dog's poop cannot possibly do any harm. However, it is important to consider that your dog is not the only one in your neighborhood. There are hundreds of dogs in your area. While any ecosystem can handle roughly two dogs per square mile, in urban areas, it is expected that there are around 125 dogs per square mile. This number is far more than what any ecosystem can handle. This large number is enough to overwhelm the ecology of a place and throw off the natural order of things. By ensuring you do your dog poop pick up, you will help protect the ecology of your area as well.
- It also smells bad
While dog poop can cause many types of harm to the ecosystem and other people and animals, there is another big problem, and that is that dog poop smells bad. If you leave dog poop lying around in public places, parks, and even in your own yard, it can quickly lead to a point where the smell becomes overwhelming. Even if you are living in a rural area with no neighbors in sight, it will still ruin your own relaxing afternoon if there are too many dog deposits lying nearby.