Don’t Let Dog Poop Pile Up! 3 Clever Ways to Store It Until Trash Day

Why You Can’t Just Leave Dog Poop

Leaving dog poop on the ground, even in your own backyard, can pose health hazards and negatively impact the environment. Here are a few key reasons why you should always pick up after your dog:

Dog poop contains bacteria and parasites like E. coli, Giardia, Salmonella, roundworms, and hookworms that can make people sick, especially children who may come into contact with it while playing outside 1. When infected feces are left out, these pathogens can contaminate water, soil, grass, and surfaces through rain run-off.

The pathogens in dog waste can spread to other pets as well, reinfecting them if they step or sniff feces while outside. Some parasites like roundworms can even become airborne and infect people if feces dry out completely 2.

Dog poop also contains nitrogen and phosphorus that can over-fertilize lawns and gardens when it rains, potentially causing damage. It also gives off an unpleasant odor that can bother neighbors.

Being a responsible dog owner and neighbor means cleaning up after your pet every time they go to the bathroom outside. This helps keep the environment clean, prevents the spread of disease, and maintains positive relationships in the community.

When to Pick Up After Your Dog

It’s best to pick up your dog’s poop as soon as they go to the bathroom. This helps prevent the spread of bacteria and parasites, and is just considerate to anyone who may come into contact with your yard. According to the EPA, pet waste can take as little as 4 days to contaminate groundwater sources, so it’s important not to leave it sitting around.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends picking up stool daily, if not more often. Leaving it sitting on the grass or ground allows harmful bacteria like E. coli and other organisms to multiply. Rain can also wash dog waste into storm drains or waterways.

Within a day, dog poop will begin releasing nutrients that feed algae and bacteria growth. In as little as 3-4 days in warm weather, dog waste will become a health hazard by promoting the spread of infections diseases. It’s best not to leave it any longer than necessary.

Supplies for Picking Up Dog Poop

dog poop bags, gloves, and scooper supplies

When picking up after your dog, having the right supplies can make the job much easier. Here are some of the most important items to have on hand:

Poop bags: Poop bags provide a hygienic way to pick up and contain dog waste. Look for bags that are durable and leak-proof. Popular options include rolls, dispensers, and biodegradable bags (Dog Waste Depot).

Poop scooper: A poop scooper allows you to pick up waste without having to bend down. Long-handled scoopers are ideal for avoiding back strain. Metal scoops with a rake mechanism work best for scraping poop off grass or concrete (Petmate).

Gloves: Wearing gloves can help keep your hands clean while picking up dog poop. Opt for heavy duty gloves that provide a barrier between you and the waste. Look for waterproof materials like vinyl, nitrile, or rubber.

Picking Up Dog Poop

Picking up your dog’s poop promptly is essential not only for cleanliness but also to prevent the spread of bacteria and parasites. There are a few techniques to pick it up properly:

Use a bag over your hand or a scooper. Slip a plastic bag over your hand like a glove, or use a scooper with a rake end to pick up the poop without touching it directly. Scoopers allow you to cleanly pick up the poop without bending over.

Turn bag inside-out around poop. Once you’ve picked up the poop, pull the bag inside-out around the poop to seal it inside. This contains the mess and seals in odor.

Tie bag closed. Make sure to tie the bag tightly so it doesn’t leak or open. Some bags have built-in twist ties or adhesive strips for closing.

Dispose of sealed bag properly. Throw the tied bag into an outdoor trash can or hold onto it until you find a trash can. Never leave full bags behind.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after picking up poop, even if you wore a bag or used a scooper. This prevents the spread of bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella from accidental hand contamination.

For more tips, check out this guide:

Disposal Options Before Garbage Day

If your trash pickup is still a few days away, you have some options for disposing of your dog’s poop in the meantime:

sealed dog poop bags sitting in an outdoor trash can

Outdoor trash can with lid – Transfer the poop into a bag tied shut and place it in an outdoor trash can with a tight fitting lid. This will contain odors until collection day. Be sure to place it in a shaded area away from where kids play.

Indoor garbage – An indoor garbage can also work if you take some precautions. Place the bagged poop into a larger plastic bag tied shut to contain odors. Empty the indoor can frequently to avoid smells in the house. Keep it in a little-used area like a garage or mudroom.

Flushing – While flushing dog poop down the toilet is a convenient disposal method, it’s not recommended. Dog feces can contain parasites that sewage treatment systems aren’t designed to handle. Flushing can spread disease and lead to water pollution.

Storing Dog Poop at Home

When garbage day is still a few days away, you’ll need a place to store your dog’s waste at home. Here are some tips for designated containers, both indoors and outdoors:

dog poop storage bucket with lid

Outdoors, you can use a specific trash bin or bucket just for dog poop. Look for one with a tight-sealing lid to contain odors. Place it away from areas where kids play or people gather. Clean it regularly with disinfectant. Some people dedicate an old garbage can solely for dog waste. You can also find commercial outdoor containers designed just for pet waste, often made of durable plastic.

For indoor storage, use plastic bags or a sealable bucket/trash bin. Double-bag the waste to prevent smells from escaping. An old diaper pail with a flipping lid can contain odors well. Remove waste from your home as soon as possible. Avoid storing it in places like a garage or basement where smells can spread.

Make sure to securely tie off full waste bags before placing them into the main container. This prevents spills or leaks. Place bags carefully rather than tossing them in haphazardly. Keep storage areas clean to avoid attracting pests.

Composting Dog Poop

Composting dog poop can be an eco-friendly way to dispose of waste, with some notable benefits:

  • Reduces the amount going to landfills
  • Naturally breaks down waste through microbial activity
  • Can produce nutrient-rich compost for gardens when done properly

However, there are important precautions to take when composting dog waste:

  • Don’t compost dog poop from dogs on raw meat or bone diets, as it can contain harmful pathogens
  • Don’t use composted dog waste on vegetable gardens
  • Wear gloves when handling dog waste
  • Make sure the compost pile reaches high enough temperatures to kill pathogens (at least 140°F)

The process for composting dog poop involves:

  1. Picking up the waste promptly into a bag or scooper
  2. Placing it in a designated compost pile, not your main compost
  3. Covering it with browns like sawdust, leaves or straw to balance nitrogen ratios
  4. Allowing at least 1 year to fully compost before use
  5. Using finished compost for ornamental plants, not edibles

With the right precautions, composting dog waste can be sustainable and rewarding. For more details, see the USDA’s guide on composting dog waste.

Dog Poop Disposal Services

professional dog poop scooper cleaning up a yard

Hiring a dog poop disposal service can be a convenient way to keep your yard clean on a regular basis. These companies offer professional poop scooping and removal so you don’t have to deal with it. According to DoodyCalls, a national pet waste removal company, costs start at around $10-$15 per week for weekly service.

Some things to consider when looking into waste removal companies:

  • Frequency – Most offer weekly, biweekly or monthly visits
  • Additional fees – There may be extra costs for additional dogs, large yards, etc.
  • Billing – Find out if there are month-to-month plans or annual contracts
  • Satisfaction guarantee – Many reputable companies offer satisfaction guarantees

Professional poop scoopers can provide a convenient solution to help keep yards clean and reduce the hassle of handling dog waste. Just be sure to review all pricing details and policies before signing up. It’s a good idea to get quotes from more than one service before deciding.

Teaching Your Dog to Go in One Spot

Dogs can be trained to eliminate in a designated area through consistency, positive reinforcement, and repetition. Here are some tips for teaching your dog to go potty in one spot:

Choose an ideal location and stick to it. The area should be easily accessible for you and your dog, such as in your backyard or a spot near the door. Bring your dog to this area each time and use a command like “go potty” so they learn to associate the location with eliminating.

Give your dog treats and praise every time they go in the right spot. The positive reinforcement helps them understand this is where you want them to go. You can also try using a clicker to mark the desired behavior.

Take your dog out on a consistent schedule, such as first thing in the morning, after meals, after playtime, and before bed. Frequent potty breaks in the designated area will reinforce the training.

Be patient and consistent. It may take weeks or months for your dog to learn. If accidents happen, don’t punish them. Just go back to the training basics.

Once your dog is regularly going in their spot, you can give them more freedom in the house. But keep an eye out for signs they need to potty and bring them back to their spot.

With time, positively reinforcing your dog for going potty in one area will help them establish a reliable routine. Be consistent and reward them for doing their business in the right place.

When to Call the Vet About Poop

Changes in the frequency, volume, and consistency of your dog’s poop can indicate an underlying health issue. Here are some signs it’s time to call the vet:

Frequency Changes: If your dog stops pooping for over 24 hours or suddenly develops diarrhea and is pooping much more frequently, contact your vet. These could signal issues like intestinal blockages or inflammation.

Volume Changes: Small, hard poops that look constipated or large volumes of diarrhea or cow patty poops can indicate illness.

Consistency Changes: Solid poop to mushy stool or liquid diarrhea, especially if accompanied by dark color or blood, calls for a vet visit. Puddings-like gray or pale yellow poop is also unhealthy.

Blood: Bright red blood or clots in the poop may indicate injury, tumors, ulcers or inflammation in the colon or rectum.

Mucus: A small amount of mucus is normal but excessive mucus or mucus accompanied by blood or diarrhea warrants a call to the vet.

Worms: Seeing live worms in your dog’s poop means they have a parasitic infection that requires treatment. Tapeworm segments resembling grains of rice are common.

It’s always a good idea to bring a fresh stool sample to the vet when your dog has abnormal pooping. The color, consistency and contents of their poop provides clues to what’s going on inside your dog. But many changes in poop can have simple explanations like dietary changes or stress, so try not to panic. Your vet can determine if testing or treatment is needed to get your dog’s poop back to normal.

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