Picking up your dog’s poop is more than just the right thing to do, it can also help protect your local ecosystem. Whether you’re walking your dog, going on a hike, letting them out in the backyard, or letting them explore a dog park, it is important to clean up after your pet. So attach some poo bags to your leash and pick up that poop! 

Why Picking up Your Dog’s Poop Matters

Dog Poop is a Pollutant

Because it can contain pathogens, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) considers dog waste a pollutant. Poop that is not picked up can seep into waterways and contaminate them. Fecal matter can also feed algae and weeds, which makes the water murky and unusable for recreational purposes. 

The pathogens in dog poop can also make the water toxic and dangerous for both humans and other animals that come into contact with it. While one dog poop might not seem like much, keep in mind they are not the only dog in the area. If everyone left their dog’s waste lying around, the local ecosystems would be overwhelmed. 

Dog Poop Is Not Fertilizer 

There is a common misconception that dog poop makes good compost. Farmers use cow patties to fertilize fields, so why can’t your dog’s waste fertilize your summer squash? The answer is in their microbiome. 

Unlike cows, who consume plant materials, a dog’s stomach must break down complex animal proteins and other materials. This makes it more acidic than a cow’s waste and causes the breakdown of vital parts of the plants it comes in contact with. In fact, it can be dangerous to fertilize food with dog waste. 

It Holds Dangerous Diseases 

The pathogens found in dog doo vary widely, and they can make humans and other dogs very sick. Some of the germs in dog poop can even be deadly. If you notice any emergency symptoms, like excessive vomiting or labored breathing, take your dog to the vet. 

The following diseases can be transmitted through contact with fecal matter:

  • Leptospira 
  • Giardia
  • E. Coli
  • Parvovirus 
  • Roundworms
  • Salmonella
  • Coliform Bacteria

Other Reasons to Pick Up That Poo

The Law Says So 

If the environmental impact is not enough to make you want to pick up that poo, you should know in most places the law requires you to pick it up. Most cities have some form of excrement law, and private properties (HOAs included) are able to make their own rules. Gilbert, Arizona is one such place. Leaving your dog’s poop around the neighborhood can result in fines.  

Your Neighbors Will Thank You 

All other things aside, picking up poop is a nice thing to do. Scraping poo out of the treads of your shoes is a “crappy” way to spend the day. Not only will it keep your neighborhood clean, but it can help keep children and other dogs safe from the slew of diseases it carries. 

Vet Care That Doesn’t Stink

Keeping your dog healthy and happy starts with you, but you cannot do it all alone. Having a trusted veterinarian on your side will help you keep your furry friend with you for years to come. 

At East Valley Animal Hospital, our caring staff will help you navigate the best path for your pet’s health. From annual checkups and vaccinations to complicated therapies, we are here for you. Contact us today to schedule a wellness exam.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/30/23). Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash.