My dog’s poop is not your problem

I don’t understand people who don’t clean up after their dogs. What is the deal?

My neighborhood has a beautiful walking trail around it, with views like this:

But instead of looking up, enjoying the view while I run, I spend a lot of my time looking down to avoid the landmines left by other people’s dogs.

Hey, I understand it is sometimes inconvenient. I’m convinced that when I run with my dog, this is what goes through her mind “Hmmm, I have determined that we are now at the furthest-most point from a trash can, so I’m going to choose this exact location to do my business.” So, I stoop down, pick it up in the bag, look up and I swear this is her next thought “Oh look, there’s that big hill ahead that you struggle with. It will be extra fun for you to carry this smelly bag of my poop as you run up it.”

And believe me; I’m tempted to leave it – especially because I use these biodegradable doggie waste bags. I so want to leave that mess in the bushes and let nature take its course. But I don’t because of all the following reasons:

  • Leaving my pet waste is essentially leaving sewage on the fields where we play, trails where we walk, and beaches where we swim.
  • Dog waste runs off into streams, rivers and groundwater, impacting our water quality. Runoff containing dog waste causes bacteria levels to rise in waterways and can make beaches unsafe for swimming.
  • Genetic studies of the U.S. water pollution from fecal waste have found that roughly 20 percent of it comes from dogs.
  • Pet waste pollution in the water promotes the growth of aquatic weeds and algae, which limit light penetration and reduce oxygen levels. This creates a deadly environment for fish and other marine life.

Finally, it’s just rude. My dog’s waste should not be someone else’s problem. To me, people who don’t clean up after their dogs are right up there with people who throw trash out their car window. What this kind of thing says to me is  "I can’t be inconvenienced to clean up my own mess so can you just do it for me?" My kids already do that to me. I don’t need grown adults doing it too.

Cleaning up after your dog is a simple and courteous thing to do; and such an easy way to make a difference for people, pets and the environment. Can’t we all just do it?

Learn more about Allison. Follow @ocgreenmama


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