Cleaning up dog poo

Picking up dog poo may not be pleasant, but it is definitely a necessity. Whether you’re in your garden or out and about, you would not want anyone stepping in your dog’s waste. In this article, we’ll talk you through how to correctly pick up dog poo and answer any other questions that you may have.
Dachshund in grass
Dachshund in grass
Dachshund in grass

The benefits of cleaning up after your dog

If you live in an area with plenty of garden space or woods, it can seem tempting to leave your dog’s poo where it lies and let it naturally fertilise the land. It can seem even more tempting when your dog usually poos in the corner of your garden. You can choose a corner that is rarely visited, so there is no danger of stepping in it, and the garden belongs to you, so there are no neighbours to upset. Simple!

But not quite. Ignoring dog poo can have many hazardous effects. For one, there may be an odour. Secondly, it will attract flies and other insects. It may even help in the spread of diseases, so it is not highly recommended.

Leaving poo lying around could mean that a curious dog may try and eat their older, dried poo at some point. This is not healthy, but it has been known to happen.

All in all, cleaning up after your dog is a good idea. If you have a large garden, you could do dog poo pick ups twice or three times a week – but definitely make sure you get it done.

How to pick up dog poo

What you will need:

- Dog poo bags (required). These bags are made out of plastic and can be bought from any store.

How to pick up dog poo:

1. When you are out walking with your dog or when you take your dog to the backyard, always make sure you have doggy poo bags with you. It is of course easier to find a replacement when you are in your garden (simply pop back into the house), but you could also get newspaper from a local café if you have forgotten your dog poo bags on a walk. Still, dog poo bags are the best for picking up dog poo.

2. Turn the plastic poo bag inside out and pull it over your hand, like a glove. This will make sure you get a good grip on your dog’s poo without touching it.

3. Once you have the plastic bag/glove on, reach down and pick up your dog’s poo. Still holding the poo, invert the bag again (with your other hand), so that it is now around the poo.

4. Tie the top of the bag and you are done! That is your dog poo safely cleaned up.

Dog with white chest in field

Is dog poo dangerous?

The answer to this is ‘no’, as long as you are sensible. Nothing will happen to you if you accidentally touch dog poo and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, except that it will not be very pleasant. Many dog owners are squeamish about dog poo, but it is not dangerous – it is just messy to clean up!

You should take great care not to accidentally ingest any of your dog’s waste, for example if you ate after handling it. Ingestion may become a problem if you have a toddler playing in the backyard and you have not cleaned up after your dog as yet. This is why picking up dog poo can be so important.

How do you dispose of dog poo?

Once you have that plastic bag of dog poo in your hand, what do you do with it? It is important to know the etiquette of disposing dog poo and what places are acceptable.

Generally, it is only acceptable to dispose of dog poo after the dog poo pick up into a public dog waste bin or your own outside bin.

You can also dispose of dog poo by flushing it down the toilet. If you choose to do so, choose specific doggy poo bags that were made for this.

If you do not want dog poo in your own bin, you can set up a small doggy bin in the corner of your yard for the waste after you have picked up dog poo.

Tech to the rescue

There are now several devices that can help you with cleaning up dog poo. A poo scoop essentially scoops up your puppy’s poo for you. You can keep this device in the garden (if your dog tends to go in the backyard) and simply use it to clean up afterwards.

1. If your dog has a microchip, ensure you change the address on it. Change the address on their collar as well. Do this before moving, so that you know your dog is identifiable should they get lost in a new area.

Some people find the poo scoop a little unhygienic, as poo can stick to it sometimes. Make sure you hose it down and use disinfectant after you pick up dog poo. Also note that if you dispose of the poo without a bag into a bin, then your bin can really smell.

But a poo scoop means that you do not have to bend or ever come in contact with the poo. It comes in several varieties, and usually there are different models for using it on grass or on concrete.

While it may not be a glamorous job, it certainly is a necessary one. Never feel embarrassed about wrestling with dog poo in the neighbourhood – all it means is that you are a good citizen, environmentally conscious and love your dog. Your neighbourhood is bound to be grateful to have you!