It’s the elephant in the room. Nobody really wants to discuss it, but every dog owner thinks about it. Today we’re tackling the time-old issue of “what do you do after scooping the poop?”
Having grown up with Great Danes and lived with a Staffie/Labrador cross, I’ve come to realise that size actually doesn’t matter when it comes to poo, it’s the quantity our little darlings tend to pump out. Constantly. All day, every day (and night).
Why Scoop the Poop?
As the UK dog population is estimated at over 8 million, The Dogs Trust has reported that dog fouling is on the rise for the first time in 10 years at 1,000 tonnes per day. A DAY.
This is costing councils an estimated £22 million annually in cleaning costs; dog fouling is one of the most common causes of complaints with four out of ten people considering it a problem in their area.
Parasites in dog excrement include Toxocara Canis (Roundworm); leading to Toxocariasis, an infection causing serious illness and even blindness.
Not that we need to give you more reasons why you should be scooping the dog poo, but:
• It is a health hazard for other pets, not just humans as mentioned above.
• Rain (and we get a lot of it in the UK) washes the dog waste and pollutes ponds, rivers, lakes the ocean.
• It makes drinking water unsafe. Enjoy that swim in the polluted water as well while you’re at it.
So, with this information in mind, if you were one of those culprits who would leave their dog poo on the pavement, now is the time to change. We should all make a contribution to living in a safer environment to make a positive difference.
Doing The Dirty Deed
To save the unsightly scene of a person repeatedly (and manically) wiping their feet on the curb, grass verge and pavement (thinking of Carrie of “Sex and the City” fame in Paris), here are some solutions saving you a possible hefty fine:
They are easy to use, you can carry them in your pocket or use the special carry cases. Yes they do breakdown in landfill (eventually) but they can be very costly.
Reused Plastic Bags
The easiest and cheapest way of getting rid of dog poo, however, these don’t breakdown in landfill resulting in layers upon layers of preserved dog poo (nice).
Composting Dog Poo
While this is an ideal solution for recycling, and you feel good for doing your green bit for the environment, if you don’t have a composting area at a local park and are using your own garden, this will take a lot more work than simply throwing the waste in the bin and keeping the smell down.
Remember you’ll have to carry the bagged poop with you during your walk and transfer from the bag to the heap when you get home.
I won’t even describe what a dog poop compost heap smells like in a small, London garden in the summer.
Flushing the Poop
Yes, this is a thing. Please don’t. UNLESS you’re using flushable poo bags or a special dog toilet (see below). These environmentally friendly bags are made from poly vinyl alcohol; which is both biodegradable and water soluble. The PVA works as a water soluble film, similar to your liquid laundry tablets. The waste is then sent to the local sewerage plant for processing.
Not strictly only for dog waste, these are fitted into existing outdoor soil pipe. All you do is remove the cap, throw your dog poo, either with or without the flushable poo bags mentioned earlier, replace the cap and flush away straight into the sewerage system.
What Should YOU Do?
This entirely depends on whether you live in an urban or rural area, convenience, cost and size of your pooch.
Whichever you do choose, make sure you’re careful with your decision and consider everything above.
If everyone reading this made an extra effort we could all start to see a positive difference in the environment around us.
Be a responsible dog owner. It’s your doodie!
How do you dispose of dog waste? Do you have any more ideas or tips for dog owners? If you’re pregnant, do you scoop the poop? Add your solutions to the rising problem of dog poo in the comments below.