dog walking on leash

If I could pick up after myself, I would. But I’m unable to because I’m a dog. Therefore, when you take me outside, can you please scoop my poop? It’s one of the most important things you can do for me. Not only is it your responsibility as the one walking me but it can prevent health problems in humans and dogs too.

About 40 percent of Americans don’t scoop, leaving behind nearly 4 million tons of dog waste. The failures of humans to pick up after their dogs are one of the reasons many people don’t like my kind around. No one wants to walk down the street, on the beach or through a park where there’s feces. It smells. It’s unsightly. And it’s unhealthy.

Dog feces can pass intestinal parasites, like roundworms and hookworms, and infections to other canines and people at parks, playgrounds and even backyards. Children can contract eye diseases, like ocular larva migrans, through the parasitic worms as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 10,000 human cases of roundworm infection annually. And I can even be exposed to infective worm eggs and larvae through waste. If your dog has diarrhea, it’s a good idea to bring along a bottle of water so you can rinse off the contaminated ground.

If you don’t pick up our piles, it can result in storm water pollution. Our waste contains bacteria that can increase the risk of viral infections, flu, and skin rashes for those who swim in the ocean.

In some areas, it’s against the law to leave dog poop in public. Don’t be afraid to scoop up our feces. If you don’t want to walk through the neighborhood with a pooper scooper, use a plastic bag from the grocery store or purchase them at pet stores. (Some are even scented.) Put your hand in the bag like it’s a mitten. Grab the feces with your covered hand, turn the bag inside out and be sure to knot it at the top. Dispose of the bag properly.

It’s really easy and everyone is happier.