A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
With 78.2 million dogs in this country (according to the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey), that’s a lot of dog poop (about 10 million tons!). Waste removal is a part of every dog owner’s life, both on the go and at home, and probably not a subject that is given much thought. As dog parents, we are always checking the quality and the frequency of our dog’s poop. Now that there are so many dogs living and pooping in this country, let’s not just look at it, let’s look at what we can do with it!
All of the options below are for those who are committed to being gentle on Mother Earth, making conscious choices in everyday life, and who don’t fling dog poop over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. If this describes you, read on!
Biodegradable Poop Bags
This is a cheap and easy solution for busy dog owners. Let’s assume that you already bring your reusable shopping bags to the supermarket and avoid the plastic bags at checkout. Biodegradable poop bags come neatly rolled up, taking up way less room than used shopping bags, and break down in both active and inactive environments (like landfills). They are affordable, come in fashionable colors, and some are even scented! Not scented like poop, but nice things like blueberry or vanilla. Hey, it’s the canine equivalent to bathroom spray.
These home tools are for use in your own yard. There is a great deal of variety in popper scoopers, all of which have long handles so you don’t have to bend down to the ground. There’s even a 1-handed model which uses spring action jaws that you open and close on the handle. They vary in price, starting at around $10 and can be found at your local hardware or garden supply store.
Flushable Poop Bags
Yes, it’s true! These bags are amazing! They are safe to use with a septic or sewage system and biodegrade in water. The benefit of using flushable bags is that you get the poop into the system that was designed to remove harmful toxins and bacteria from feces. These are a little more expensive than biodegradable bags, but so cutting edge Green, how can you resist!
Dog Poop Composter Bins
Whether you use a popper scooper or the designated “dog poop shovel” to get the stuff off of your yard, the next question is likely, “Now what do I do with it?” Unfortunately, it is harmful to add to your food compost bin due to its high levels of bacteria and parasites. So, some Earth-friendly geniuses came up with dog poop composters. They are for dog poop only (cat poop, too) and use an enzyme to break down the poop, making it into compost and ready to give back to the soil. They come in various designs and colors to look like yard art or hide quietly in the corner. For those who are DIY captains, there’s plenty of websites that give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own!
The dirty truth about dog poop is that it’s considered a pollutant. It is not a fertilizer, and actually harbors toxic bacteria and parasites, making it a health hazard for all of us when left on the ground. Cities all over the country have made it illegal to leave your dog’s waste on the ground, due to the health risks, so cleaning up after your dog has become a part of everyday life. Thanks to innovative thinkers, we have plenty of earth-friendly options for that make the clean-up job a lot less crappy!