Dogs are known as “man’s best friend.” We love them like we love our children; until we step in a pile of poo that they’ve left for us in the yard. It is then that they’re not-so-much a friend.
But, aside from getting stuck to the bottom of our shoes, dog poo can also have adverse effects on your yard, grass, and vegetation.
In this post, we’ll help you understand the effect of dog poo on your yard and a few steps that pet owners can take to keep from killing their yard and their dog (figuratively-speaking, of course).
So let’s get started.
Why Dog Poop is Bad for your Yard:
What follows is 4 reasons why dog poop is bad for your yard and why you should pick it up as soon as you notice it.
We get it. Some people aren’t willing to get their hands dirty.
If you’re one of those people, consider hiring a professional poop cleanup company.
Now on to the list.
Your Dog is Different Than a Cow
We hear it all the time. Dog owners say, “I’ll just let my dog fertilize my yard.” Unfortunately, this isn’t true for dog poop.
Unlike cow manure, dog feces isn’t a good fertilizer for your yard. Not only is it not a good fertilizer, but it’s also actually bad for your lawn.
One of the byproducts of your dog’s diet is a highly-acidic waste. This waste is toxic to your lawn and makes your soil’s acidity spike.
Although the Nitrogen in an animal’s poo can be great for fertilizing your lawn, when ole’ Fido drops a deuce in your Dandelions, the Nitrogen concentration is more than vegetation and flowers can handle.
Because of this high Nitrogen concentration, dog poop left on your yard for any length of time can cause burns, brown spots, and visible discoloring to your grass.
Picture it like this.
You’ve boiled some good ole’ Louisiana crawfish one Saturday. Drinking a beer or two while eating these mudbugs probably won’t do much harm.
But if you go on a two-day bender, hitting every bar in town, you’ll probably suffer some consequences.
Too much Nitrogen does the same thing to your yard, except your grass won’t end up with a hangover; it’ll be dead.
This Nitrogen binge will cause brown spots on your lawn that could worsen with a dry-spell or long period without rain.
Dog poop doesn’t just kill your grass
Dog poo is more harmful than you may think. Beyond an unsightly lawn, dog poop has both The EPA (The Environmental Protection Agency) and The CDC (The Center for Disease Control) concerned.
When pet waste and dog poop aren’t correctly disposed of, your health can be at risk too.
While Fido is out frolicking in your front lawn, fecal matter can get lodged between the pads on their paws.
Once you let them back inside your house, they can carry that fecal matter inside where it can get into your furniture, floors, and carpets.
That’s why it’s best to clean up your dog’s poo right away.
Dog Poo carries diseases and pathogens
Dog feces is one of the most common carriers of diseases and pathogens such as:
It’s been estimated that a gram of dog poop can contain up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Some of which can cause:
- Intestinal Illness
- Ear Infections
- Flu-like Symptoms
- Vision Loss
- Severe Kidney Disorders
Additionally, the CDC is concerned about the safety of children and pregnant women exposed to pet waste, as they are more susceptible to harm by some of these diseases.
The CDC recommends keeping pets and pet-related items out of areas where food is prepared or consumed and washing your hands frequently. (As if COVID-19 didn’t make us rush to the sink a hundred times a day!)
Dog Waste is harmful to waterways like rivers and lakes
Studies have shown dog poop is a significant contributor to the fecal contamination of surface waters.
Runoff water from parks, yards, and other areas carries pet waste as it travels through streams, storm sewers, rivers, and lakes.
Western Michigan University’s recent study on Fecal Coliform Bacteria cites it as an indicator of water quality.
High Fecal Coliform levels in waterways can kill fish, and other aquatic life as oxygen in the water is depleted.
It can also affect the natural acidic/alkaline (pH) balance of the waterway and cause horrible odors.
Dog feces and associated bacteria can also affect recreational activities like fishing, boating, swimming, and canoeing because of human health threats.
People playing in or near water can become exposed to fecal bacteria or pathogens which enter the body through:
Ingesting or swallowing water
For more information, here is an excellent short article on the effect of pet waste on waterways. The EPA suggests avoiding letting your dog do its business within 200ft of a body of water.
What you can do to help mitigate the effects of dog poo
One of the best things you can do is remove dog poop from your yard right away.
When you walk your dog, carry a pooper scooper and a poop bag. You can get plastic bags created solely for the purpose of picking up dog poop. Or, you can just use a plastic grocery bag.
Dispose of it in the trash just like you would any other piece of garbage – it’s one of the healthiest things you can do for your yard, your dog, and yourself.
If you have a garden where there will be any produce or vegetables that humans will eat, be sure to keep it far away from your dogs (or vice-versa.)
Don’t use dog waste for compost or fertilizer on gardens, flowers, or plants. Remember the concentrations of Nitrogen being too high?
Our dogs bring us joy, protect our homes, and enrich our lives.
When it comes to keeping our lawn and family healthy, we need to deal with the poo-poo.
When Fido pops a squat on your lawn, picking up after him will help you have a better-looking lawn, a house free from fecal bacteria and pathogens, and safe waterways.
After all, Louisiana is the Sportsman’s Paradise.
If you don’t have the time to pick up after your dog every time they make number 2 or would instead just hire someone to do it, we’re here to help.
And don’t forget about your dog’s pee. Learn how to keep your dog’s urine from destroying your lawn.
Get a quote from our team for reliable and affordable dog waste removal. Complete the form to get your free poo removal quote.