The presence of dog poop in the backyard is an inevitable part of dog ownership. It’s not the most glamorous part of the job, but it’s necessary to maintain a clean, welcoming, and disease-free environment. This guide will help you manage dog waste efficiently and effectively, offering a range of methods for poop collection, disposal, and even prevention of unwanted guests.
The Importance of Dog Waste Management
Understanding why dog waste management is essential will make this chore less daunting. Dog feces is classified as an environmental pollutant, and a single dog can produce about 274 pounds of waste annually.
If left unattended, this waste can pollute surface and groundwater, cause unpleasant odors, and spread diseases such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Roundworms, and Hookworms. These zoonotic diseases can be transmitted from dogs to humans, sometimes leading to severe health complications.
How to Collect Dog Poop from Your Yard
There are several methods you can employ to collect dog poop from your yard, each with its own pros and cons:
1. Picking Up By Hand
The simplest yet arguably the most unpleasant method is picking up dog feces by hand. Use a poop bag as a glove, pick up the waste, and drop it into another bag. Opt for eco-friendly biodegradable bags that are inexpensive, leak-proof, and environmentally responsible.
2. Using a Pooper Scooper
If the idea of picking up feces by hand is too much, consider a pooper scooper. These devices come in various designs to suit your preferences and make the task easier. Some scoopers even have activated baking soda to help control the odor.
3. Vacuuming the Poop
For more challenging situations, such as watery dog feces due to diarrhea, a dog poop vacuum might be an effective solution. This device can suck up dog waste from all kinds of surfaces, with a plastic bag fitted inside to prevent the poop from touching any part of the vacuum.
4. Freezing the Poop
Another method for dealing with runny feces is freezing it using a product like Super Cold 134. This spray turns the feces into a solid, making it easier to pick up.
5. Using a Hose
A high-pressure hose can also be used to deal with dog diarrhea. Be mindful of where you direct the spray, as you don’t want the feces contaminating vegetable gardens or children’s play areas.
How to Dispose of Dog Poop
After collecting the feces, the next step is disposal. There are a few eco-friendly options for this:
1. Burying the Poop
This method entails burying the waste in a dog waste septic tank like the Doggie Dooley. Add some digester powder to help control the smell and break down the feces.
2. Flushing the Waste
An alternative is a doggie doo drain, which can be screwed into your septic or sewer clean-out. This allows you to dump the waste and rinse it down the drain.
3. Composting the Poop
While composting dog feces is generally not recommended due to the risk of disease transmission, it’s possible if done correctly. According to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the composted feces should never be used on plants you plan to eat but can be used to fertilize flower beds.
Keeping Your Neighbor’s Dog from Defecating in Your Yard
Dealing with a neighborhood dog that uses your yard as its toilet can be even more frustrating. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to deter these unwelcome guests:
1. Use Scents They Hate
Dogs have a keen sense of smell. By leveraging this trait, you can deter dogs from entering your yard. You can use a range of items with smells unpleasant to dogs such as commercial dog-repellent spray, garlic, ginger, ammonia, citrus fruits, rue plants, cayenne pepper, or citronella oil.
2. Ward Them Off with a Barrier
Another effective way to prevent dogs from entering your yard is by installing a physical barrier. This could be a fence, hedge, or a barrier along the ground made from rough landscaping materials, rocks, or mulch that would be uncomfortable for dogs to walk on.
3. Install a Motion-Activated Lawn Sprinkler
A motion-activated lawn sprinkler can be a versatile tool in your arsenal. When a dog steps into your yard, the sprinkler activates, deterring the dog from entering and leaving its waste behind.
4. Use an Ultrasonic Repelling Device
Ultrasonic repelling devices emit a sound that’s inaudible to humans but distressing for dogs. Installing one of these in your yard can keep dogs at bay. These devices won’t harm the dogs or bother any pets inside your house, as the sound can’t travel through walls.
While cleaning up dog poop is not a glamorous task, it’s a necessary chore for all responsible dog owners. The key is to have a variety of methods at your disposal to effectively manage the waste, ensuring your backyard remains clean, welcoming, and free of any potential health hazards.
Whether it’s using a hand, a pooper scooper, or a vacuum for collection, or burying, flushing, or composting for disposal, having a plan in place will make this task less daunting and more manageable. Additionally, utilizing deterrent methods can help keep unwelcome canine guests from turning your yard into their personal toilet.
Taking care of dog poop in your yard is not just about maintaining a pleasant living environment but also about being a responsible citizen. Your effort to handle dog waste correctly contributes to the broader community health and environmental conservation efforts. Remember, a clean backyard is a healthy backyard.
So go ahead, share this guide with your fellow dog owners and friends on social media. Let’s work together to maintain clean and safe environments for our beloved furry friends and for ourselves.