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How to Pick Up Dog Poop: 8 Simple Ways

Written by: Dogster Team

Last Updated on April 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

man picking up dog poop

How to Pick Up Dog Poop: 8 Simple Ways

Dog poop is unpleasant. It smells, it’s messy, and it can harbor bacteria and even roundworm eggs. Therefore, you must dispose of it safely and properly to avoid causing a mess and polluting your local environment. Whether you’re taking your dog for a walk in the local park or you’ve let them out in the backyard, you will want to dispose of the poop quickly and cleanly. Fortunately, there are several ways you can dispose of the poo.

Below are eight techniques to consider. Some are appropriate in almost all circumstances, but with some, you may need to check local sanitation laws and the condition of your plumbing or proximity to neighbors.

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The 8 Ways to Pick Up Dog Poop

1. Bag It

The most common way to get rid of dog poop, especially when you’re out walking away from your own property, is to use a dog poop bag. Put your hand inside the bag, grab the poop through the bag, and then turn it inside out. Tie the bag off and throw it in a nearby bin. The bag protects your hand and it makes disposal easy.

Try to make sure you buy biodegradable bags to help protect the environment. Some bags are also scented, which makes the whole experience a little less unpleasant, and it is a good idea to have a supply or roll of poop bags in your pocket whenever you and your dog are out of the house.

person picking up dog's poop
Image Credit: antoniodiaz, Shutterstock

2. Paper It

If you’re at home and you read newspapers or magazines, or you have a steady supply of free newspapers land in your mailbox, you can use paper to pick up the poop. Once you’ve collected the poop using newspaper, it can be put in a bin, although you may want to avoid using an indoor bin.

Using newspaper is a good way of reusing waste you have around the house and it also means using, and buying, fewer plastic bags, but it isn’t as clean as using bags.

3. Scoop It

You could use a normal shovel or hand trowel to scoop poop, before finding somewhere to put it. You may want to give the scoop a quick wash after you’ve used it, especially if you will be using it for other purposes in your garden.

Alternatively, you can buy pooper scoopers that are long-handled and make the job easier. You can even get pooper scoopers that allow you to add a plastic bag to the scooper for easy collection and disposal.

pooper scooper on white background
Image Credit: agungswan21-Shutterstock

4. Pad It

If you’re looking for an indoor solution, you can buy toilet pads or even what is basically a fake indoor grass area. Your dog will appreciate the fact that it’s similar to an outdoor toilet area, but you will need to deal with the urine and poop quickly to prevent the smell from spreading and to ensure that it doesn’t spill or get trodden around the house. Once you’ve cleared up, you will still need to find somewhere to dispose of the pad and the poop.

5. Bury It

If you’re looking for ways to dispose of dog poop in your yard, burying it is an option, but it isn’t the best option for dogs that do a lot of poop at home. It can take up to a couple of months for dog poop to break down, depending on factors like the presence of microbes in the soil, which means that you will have two months of dog poop buildup.

If your dog usually poops when you’re out, and only occasionally at home, it is an option. The acidic nature of dog poop means that it could also help if buried near the foot of trees or near plants that appreciate acidic soil.

compost soil
Image Credit: ArieStudio, Shutterstock

6. Bin It

Rather than bury the poop, you can put it in an outdoor bin. There are usually plenty of outdoor bins in dog parks and other communal areas, and you can use an outdoor bin in your yard. A composting bin breaks the poop down quicker, but if you have a regular collection, you can use an outdoor bin to hold the plastic bags of poop.

7. Compost It

Dog poop can be used as compost, but you do need to take care when adding it to your compost and when using the compost it creates. Even when properly treated in compost, you should not use the resulting compost soil to feed fruit, vegetables, or anything that you will consume because of the risk of transmitting parasites and other diseases from the poop to the diner.

woman digs soil with shovel
Image Credit: maxbelchenko, Shutterstock

8. Flush It

There is some debate over this one, but in some cases, dog poop can be flushed down the toilet. A lot of water and waste companies advise against it because of the pathogens that dog poop contains compared to human poop.

But, if your waste company says it’s okay, or you have a chemical toilet or waste system and it is safe to do so, flushing the poop can be a suitable means of disposing of it.

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Is Dog Poop Dangerous?

Dog poop is potentially dangerous for other animals and also for people. Poop can carry roundworm eggs, which become contagious after a few weeks, passing the parasites on to other animals. It is also packed with bacteria, including toxocariasis, which can cause blindness, especially in young people. However, as long as the poop is disposed of properly, it shouldn’t pose any health risk.

Does Dog Poop Decompose?

Although it can take up to 9 or 10 weeks, dog poop does decompose naturally and without the need for any additional treatment. You can buy dog poop bins that contain chemicals and microbes designed to help the poop decompose sooner, though, and these are especially beneficial if you use this method of disposal.

Is Dog Poop Bad for the Environment?

It can be bad for the local environment because it adds harmful bacteria to water sources, and it can carry bacteria and parasites that are passed on to other animals and potentially even to people.

Depending on the disposal method, it could cause other problems for the environment. The use of plastic bags, for example, is considered bad for the environment because plastic is very slow to decompose and can get into waterways. Use biodegradable plastic bags and those made from recycled materials, or consider using newspaper if you’re picking up from your yard or near a bin.

woman throwing dog poop
Image Credit: Francesco83, Shutterstock

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Picking up dog poop is one of the least desirable aspects of owning dogs, but it is an important consideration. You should always pick up poop when outside your property, and avoid leaving it down too long in your garden. Use bags, paper, or a scooper to pick it up before disposing of it in a bin or other safe place.

Although poop can be composted, and the compost is used for non-vegetative planting, it shouldn’t be used for edible planting because it can transmit bacteria to the food.

Featured Image Credit: Lucky Business, Shutterstock

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