Whole Dog Journal's Blog April 7, 2015

Pick Up the Poop

Posted at 08:40AM - Comments: (30)

File this under “more preaching to the choir,” because I’m SURE that all WDJ readers clean up after their dogs – right?! I’m just wondering what some dog owners are thinking when they take their dogs for a walk without a bag. And how do you get the anonymous, unseen dog walkers in your community to clean up after their dogs?

Pick Up Dog Poop

I admit, I hate these signs. They make me feel guilty by association; just walking my dog past a house with a sign like this on the lawn makes me wonder if someone is inside the house looking out, narrowing their eyes suspiciously, making sure my dog doesn’t poop anywhere in their vicinity. My next-door neighbor has one on her lawn! And I always hope that people walking by realize it’s not MY dog she’s worried about!

On the occasions when I have been caught “out without a bag,” I go out of my way to find something, anything, to pick up the poop. Sometimes you can find a piece of trash nearby – a drink cup or plastic bag. (Unfortunately, where I live, there is as much litter on the walking paths as there is unscooped dog poop.) Way back when I lived in San Francisco, I’ve taken the plastic bag off of someone’s newspaper before; I’ve also taken someone’s newspaper before (just the free kind that gets delivered to every address, not the paid subscription kind!).

I saw a terrific video PSA on YouTube recently; I applaud this kind of creativity – though I wonder whether or not it changed anyone’s behavior.



Comments (30)

I have the perfect solution!!
Piqapoo provides a solution that is a dream come true for dog owners that love their dogs but not picking up after them.

How does it work?

Simply place Piqapoo's soft clip onto your dog's tail with the durable collection bag beneath. When your dog is ready to poop, all droppings will collect into the bag, with no mess and no leakage, guaranteed. Your dog won't even feel it! Take the Piqapoo, unclip the bag and dispose. Keep your hands clean, and never pick up dog poo again.


Posted by: hguy123 | August 19, 2016 3:47 AM    Report this comment

I live across the street from a park. Talk about poop bombs! I have given a roll of pick-up bags to people. They usually thank me and pick up the poop.

Posted by: helenpatricia | April 11, 2015 10:59 AM    Report this comment

I have two big dogs and I scoop as we go and carry it in biodegradable bags sealed in a wet/dry bag inside my backpack or over the shoulder bag (cuts the smell). Whenever I see a fresh pile on the trail I feel like people will think we did it! Unfortunately picking up all the abandoned poo on the trail is just not possible (the amount is enormous). I deal with my two and make sure my poo bags are obvious so that I hopefully won't get confronted by someone who thinks we did something we didn't do (or doo-doo). It doesn't seem the angry confrontations do much good except to make enemies so I set an example by scooping my dog's leavings and try not to let the irresponsible owners get to me. My little mini revolution in dog poo pick up is to lead by example.

Posted by: Chaosbean | April 8, 2015 10:05 AM    Report this comment

You know a way to keep us pup lovers off the grass? Just put up the hazardous chemical/fertilizer signs. I am so infuriated by these toxins who make a nice walk in spring nearly impossible on our block because of the idiots who value the image of green lawns and cancer more than health.
As for the pooping bags...I always worry what people might think because I have a small waist bag for my waste bags...and they may think I am bagless! I use the biodegradable unscented type at home, but when traveling switch to one that is heavier for use in hotel areas so as to not offend.

Posted by: robin r | April 8, 2015 1:47 AM    Report this comment

Before he retired my husband traveled to Singapore regularly on business and I went there to meet him one Christmas (they don't celebrate it but they know how to decorate) anyway.....the city is neat and clean and their dogs were so well behaved they are allowed most places. Poop bags are provided on stands and they are large and well designed with picture instructions on the proper way to use the bag to protect your hands....and they are biodegradable bags too!

Posted by: Olivia | April 7, 2015 3:59 PM    Report this comment

Dog parks are another place where some people seem to feel it is unnecessary to pick up poop! There are always poop bags available so no excuse there, just plain laziness or . . . I don't like to pick up strange dog poop, but I also don't like having it all over where my dogs are playing, so I often go around and pick poop. My record (so far) is 5 full plastic grocery bags! I don't want the city to decide that it is too much trouble to keep this dog park open!

Posted by: PhyllisC | April 7, 2015 3:38 PM    Report this comment

My dog club gives poop bags as prizes, but I won't use them because they're not biodegradable. Plastic bags filled with forever poop is the last thing our planet needs. Let's all make a pact to only buy biodegradable poop bags. And now for my rant: What can we do about cat poop, particularly diseased feral cat poop?

Posted by: SundogsHawaii | April 7, 2015 1:43 PM    Report this comment

Thank you for addressing this issue. As a responsible dog owner I always scoop the poop. I give my dog the opportunity to relieve himself at home before we walk but once in awhile he will go while on a walk. I clip a caribiner pouch to my belt loop with plastic bags to put the poop bag in. I always have plastic bags in my pants pocket. What is it with small dog owners that feel because their dog is small they don't have to scoop? Poop is poop and needs to be picked up. I walk at a county park and people feel because there are geese (can't control their poop) that they aren't responsible to pick up their dog poop - well yes you are! Why do you think nice places to walk your dog get closed to dogs and their owners. Usually the owners who don't scoop the poop are also the owners who let their dogs run off lead in violation of the local leash laws. I'm not against delivery someone's dog poop to their steps - just returning what's theirs. I have also offered bags to irresponsible people and made comments on their lack of responsibility. Always creates a wide avoidance the next time you see them. There's a dog owner who scooped when I moved in to the area where I live but decided because I had a large dog they didn't need to scoop because people could blame my dog - really ticks me off. The worst are the people who let their dog(s) poop on playgrounds, school grounds, and on grave sites. Whatever happened to courtesy to others and responsibility?

Posted by: pawprints20 | April 7, 2015 1:36 PM    Report this comment

My tv station did an article about people not picking up dog poop. I carry dog bags and when a person saw me picking up my dog's poop she thanked me. I live at an apartment building and unfortunately there is poop left behind by some people and it's unfortunate a few people who don't pick up and make all tenets look bad. If I forget my dog bag I make it a point to get some paper towel and go pick it up.

Posted by: sportz_nut | April 7, 2015 12:24 PM    Report this comment

When I take dogs for walks I carry Baggie sandwich bags--usually dogs have done their dumps before we leave though--and the poop is flushed when I get home (thanks to one dog list for that neat idea!). Even my flat-coat retriever and Eurasier dog (large dogs) had small dryish poops easy to pick up--feed good or raw food and watch how it "improves" the poop. At times I have left the bag on the side of the trail and picked it up on my way back to car--one time a worker at the Plantations stopped to get my bag and put in the truck with the shrub/tree cuttings and I said "please don't" and explained that I was taking it home with me. LOL, wonder what they thought I was doing with it?!

Posted by: rascal | April 7, 2015 11:21 AM    Report this comment

When I travel with my dogs and stay in motels, I always pick up ALL poop, whether just deposited by my dogs or left days before by unknowns. I certainly don't like picking up strange dogs' poop, but I prefer it to leaving it around to pollute the environment and possibly have all dogs banned.
Pat N

Posted by: peppersmum | April 7, 2015 11:01 AM    Report this comment

Once a lady was walking her dog in front of my home and she stopped and allowed her dog to poop on my lawn. I picked up the poop in a newspaper and when she returned to walk home I said to her, " I believe this is yours". She took the newspaper with poop and I never saw her again. I guess she was embarrassed.

Posted by: Arnie | April 7, 2015 10:38 AM    Report this comment

We used to have a neighbor who lived in the neighborhood next to ours. She always walked her dogs in our area, and even let them go on peoples lawns. I thought this was outrages and when I saw her in front of our house I went outside and confronted her. Of course she said she never did any such thing, even though I had seen It happen. So I said to her the next time I saw her letting her dog go on someone's lawn or even in the street without picking up the poo I would call 911 and follow here around until they showed up.( by us it's against the law not to cleanup after your animal) She never came around again. How outrages is that.

Posted by: strider117 | April 7, 2015 10:34 AM    Report this comment

Sometimes when I'm walking a long distance where there are no public trash cans and I know I will be returning the same way, I will leave the bags of poop off to the side and pick them up on my way back. Some of the bags some of you are seeing might be from people doing the same thing. Why carry it any longer than I have to.

Posted by: jcrply | April 7, 2015 10:11 AM    Report this comment

I do carry poop bags, but seldom use them. I have taught my dogs to poop in their own potty area, and I compost the poop. However, I think we are all settling for cosmetic cures, here. We want it out of sight (and smell) which is why so many don't carry the filled bags on their walks, but leave them alongside the paths. I've seen some folks pick up the bags on the return leg -- but probably not everyone does this. I suggest a couple of things: first, feed dogs an appropriate, raw meat-based diet, and their poop will break down to nothing in a week or so, and have very little volume or odor (unlike the voluminous, stinky stools of kibble-fed dogs.) Second, time your walks for when the dog will be ready to eliminate and take him to a designated spot. If you have a yard, use a digester. Carry bags for the unexpected urge: I only have to bag poop once in 3 or 4 months. But we need to consider how to use the poop resourcefully and in environmentally friendly ways. Millions of plastic bags filled with feces mouldering in landfills isn't all that responsible -- it just gets the stuff out of our way. Like all the other stuff we put there and forget about, even feeling superior for doing so! Over 25 years ago, Dr Jonica Newby wrote in The Animal Attraction about the need to recognize that dogs live where people live, and like us, they produce waste. We build sewage systems to deal with our own. If we admit the inevitability of dog poop and build systems to accommodate it, we could be responsible, creative, and even aesthetic about it. She wrote about Paris street sweepers, which are actually suction hoses on trucks that patrol and clean the dog comfort stations on city streets. Below I've copied a paragraph about a potential use for methane from properly decomposed poop. Let's stop the self-congratulatory rhetoric about bagging it up and work for some real solutions!
"Greenhouse gas emissions: As animal feces decomposes in an anaerobic environment (like a landfill), it releases methane gas, a greenhouse gas 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. If this gas were harnessed, one ton of animal waste could produce 50 gallons-worth of diesel-equivalent energy which is enough to power some homes for two weeks!" If you Google "environmentally sound dog waste disposal" you will find this and other useful references.

Posted by: LaurieR | April 7, 2015 10:10 AM    Report this comment

I don't know how many times, at the park, or where ever we walk our dogs people will put the poop in a bag & then leave the poop in the bag on the ground. Why bother at all if you are going to do that. The poop will decompose before the bag ever will.

Posted by: Squirtsie | April 7, 2015 9:08 AM    Report this comment

Try our revolutionary poop scoop - Handiscoop

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Posted by: Handiscoop | March 10, 2015 3:55 AM    Report this comment

What do you do about people who pick up their dog's poop in bags and then leave the bags beside the common entrance to their condo building? I have a neighbor who does this. Not all the time, but occasionally. It happens more often during the winter. Sometimes, there are several bags left there for days. There have been notices posted in the hallways requesting that unit owners not do this. I've taken pictures and twice posted them on our association Facebook page requesting that whoever is doing this stop. Other unit owners have also requested that this person discontinue this practice. Nothing deters her. Any suggestions to solve this problem?

Posted by: SuzyQ | September 18, 2013 12:51 PM    Report this comment

I'm tempted to install a motion senor activated digital camera to take pictures of offenders and post them on the sign post. We offer bags to those walking by, I've hung a bag dispenser, there are signs, but I am going to add ones at ground level. What else can we do? Its getting to be a huge problem?

Posted by: Sarah W | October 10, 2011 9:05 PM    Report this comment

Aside from never being without pick-up bags, I also wear a small waist pack (or as I jokingly call it, a "waste" pack) that I picked up in a travel and luggage store for hands-free transport of my large dog's poo.

Posted by: Kristine F | August 7, 2011 7:14 PM    Report this comment

I always have a bag with me. There is always one in my pocket and I carry a 150-count box of sandwich bags in my "dog" bag that I take along on walks longer than "business trips."

Recently an organization donated dog bag dispensers to the city and they put one up in our park. Most of the time it's empty, and I'm appalled at how many people rely on it. If you have a larger breed, grocery store bags are free and plentiful. For smaller dogs, fold-over sandwich bags are incredibly inexpensive.

I recently moved to a new neighborhood and while I really appreciate that there are so many small dogs for my Cavalier/Cocker mix to play with, I despair sometimes that so many people think, "Oh, my dog's poop is small, so it's okay not to pick it up."

People can react in a very hostile way when you offer them a bag, and I'm a bit concerned about confronting some of my neighbors who are not cleaning up after their dogs. I'm thinking of making some signs and posting them myself because the city's response to my requests for signs is "they're ugly," "there are already too many signs," and that sort of thing.

In the '90s I lived in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston. When I got my first dog, there was a lot of dog poop everywhere, but people were much more amenable to peer pressure and by the time my dogs were five, there was very little dog poop anywhere. My new neighborhood is more spread out and less cohesive, so it's not going to be so easy.

Posted by: karen marie | August 7, 2011 10:44 AM    Report this comment

For people who don't like to carry around filled poop bags, there is a clever product called Port-a-Poo. It comes in two sizes, mini for small dogs and regular for all others. You attach the Port-a-Poo across the leash or to the bottom eye for flexi-leads. It has a spring that opens and closes for secure bag attachment. Now, the person does not have to carry the poo, the dog does it for them! The cost is pretty cheap at $9.98 and it lasts a long time. The website is www.portapoo.com. The product is available in some pet stores and boutiques.

Margaret M

Posted by: margeam | August 5, 2011 3:51 PM    Report this comment

Poo bags are in my pocket.
Poo bags are on my leash.
Poo bags are on my dog's collar.
Poo bags are on my key chain.
Poo bags are in my back pack.
Poo bags are in my car.
Poo bags, lots of poo bags.
People love my dogs.

I give out poo bags freely,
to those not so well supplied.
To get folks to just bend over and use them
sometimes leaves me frustrated and riled!

If someone refuses to pick-up
their dog's poo after the act
I pick up the poo and go to their place
and deposit it in their yard
and I don't even use any tact.

Obviously they think others are pleased to live with and try to avoid walking on their dog's deposits, so I figure I'm allowed to return their deligntful gifts to their residence. They should be pleased since they think no one else minds or perhaps even enjoys dealing with their dog's poo. Mostly they're not pleased, but hopefully they'll learn a lesson and change.

Turn about is fair play.

I have been known to pick up other poo simply because I don't want others to think my dogs did it. I

Posted by: ThrpyDogTeam | August 5, 2011 9:43 AM    Report this comment

Please, what is the YouTube vid? I'd like to see it. I walk Buddy around the Professional Plaza near our home and it looks like a lot of other folks don't pick up after their dogs. I always do, but don't have the extra bags or the desire to carry around other poopies on our walks. I am afraid one day we will all be banned because of a few "bad apples". How can we educate and inspire others?

Posted by: Becky and Buddy | August 3, 2011 8:19 PM    Report this comment

When ever I walk my dogs I first walk for 5 minutes in the OPPOSITE direction that I plan to go. Then I turn around and in 5 minutes I am back to the starting point so I can dispose of the full bags of dog poop at my home or car and continue on my planned walk. Of course I still carry spare bags. This way I can be responsible, but don't have to carry it for a couple miles.

Posted by: Ruth S | August 3, 2011 12:35 PM    Report this comment

I often see dog poop bags on the trail where I walk a dog. They pick up the poop and then just leave it there in the bag. Apparently it's too hard to bring it home and throw it away. I've never let a dog walk on someones lawn let alone poop OR pee on it! That's what trails are for, if you've got them in your neighborhood. I too am a dog walker and I try to make the dog(s) go potty before we leave their own yard, but I still bring baggies if they have to go again at the park.

Posted by: Andrea J | August 3, 2011 9:48 AM    Report this comment

I'm a retired RN, now working as a professional pet sitter/dog walker, so I know about the health issues involved with pet poop left everywhere. I use bright neon color poop bags, and cheerfully offer them to people out dog walking if they're in my vicinity---I try to lead by example, and talk to them about this issue if they are friendly.

Posted by: Alaire G | August 2, 2011 1:14 PM    Report this comment

I create the newsletter for our neighborhood and outed someone one time. They were walking their dog and he pooped in my yard. When the woman was 2 houses down, I came out of the house and confronted her. She refused to pick it up. So, the next month's newsletter talked about the hazards of leaving dog poop on people's lawn and gave an example of someone who had done just that.

Posted by: Kris L | August 2, 2011 11:41 AM    Report this comment

I wish people in my neighborhood would pick up after their animals. It makes all of us look bad.

Posted by: Heidi R | August 2, 2011 10:50 AM    Report this comment

That was the best video on u tube I"ve ever seen, we all need to practice dog poop clean detail.

Posted by: Unknown | August 2, 2011 10:38 AM    Report this comment

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