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Spring Cleaning, The Dog Poop Edition

Spring Cleaning, The Dog Poop Edition

Spring is here! Well, sort of. Its been a chilly start to Spring here in Massachusetts, but we have faith that as the Marathon and April school vacation approach, so too will the warm weather. This means the approach of barbeque season, getting ready to open the pool (or hope that your neighbor does), and yes, yard clean up.

March’s series of nor’easters have left quite a bit of debris in most yards around the Metrowest, sticks, leaves and the like. But we know there may be one more thing that’s gotten a little out of control in your yard this winter: dog poop.

No one likes to step in dog poop, especially in their own yard, so it’s a great time of year to think about getting things cleaned up so that you can fully enjoy your yard throughout the warmer seasons.

Not convinced that it’s a priority to clean up? There are actually many reasons beyond convenience and aesthetics to properly remove dog waste from your yard and to pick it up when you are out and about with your dog. Here are just a few:

  1. Dog poop is not fertilizer. You know how you aren’t supposed to put meat in your composter? That’s because animal proteins break down more slowly than plant material and create different by-products. Dog poop contains too-high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus to be used as fertilizer, its highly acidic and will actually kill the plants in your lawn or garden rather than provide them nutrition.
  2. Dog poop breaks down slowly and carries disease, bacteria and parasites. Just because a few rainstorms may make that poop hard to see does not mean that its gone. That Number Two has loads of bacteria in it that are transmittable to humans (you, your kids, your neighbors kids) as well as to other dogs. As it spreads across the lawn it increases exposure and every time your dog walks across it he’s tracking those germs right into your house.
  3. It spreads into the ground water. Not only do the above germs and parasites spread across your property, they seep into the water system and contaminate the ground water and nearby bodies of water.1 This is a growing concern in the United States with the number of domestic dogs approaching 90 million.
  4. Last, but probably not least, when you aren’t on your own property it is just common courtesy to pick up after your dog. We know you know this, but since land mines still abound about town, we thought we’d just remind you. Not picking up often leads to non-dog-owners to petition for dogs to be banned from certain areas and stricter enforcement of existing dog laws. We all want to enjoy our dogs, so let’s make sure they aren’t a nuisance to anyone else.

Okay, we’re motivated now right? Ready to get scooping? We have a variety of supplies here at the Natick store to help you get the job done. We carry several models of poop scoops, poop bags in a variety of colors including designer and biodegradable types, poop bag dispensers, and for those who want to avoid the use of so many bags, we have Doggy Dooley waste disposal systems to safely and effectively dispose of dog waste in your yard.

Happy spring everyone, we hope to see you in the store soon!

1 Development of Rapid Canine Fecal Source Identification PCR-Based Assays

Hyatt C. Green, Karen M. White, Cathy A. Kelty, and Orin C. Shanks

Environmental Science & Technology 2014 48 (19), 11453-11461

DOI: 10.1021/es502637b

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