The Problem of Dog Poop

A friend asked me the other day what to do with dog poop. A vast majority of people use plastic bags to pick up their dog’s poop. They sell rolls of bags at pet stores. Parks often provide plastic “mutt mitts” at dog runs and trail heads. Poop pick-up is vastly superior to the alternative: leaving poop on the ground is gross and spreads some very bad diseases. It needs to be picked up somehow.

The most obvious alternative is to pick up dog poop with old newspaper. This is a good solution, but isn’t very elegant. It’s hard to position the paper so it lands just right. The paper is flat, so you have to fold it up and it can’t be tied shut. If your dog has particularly loose stool, it can soak through. I don’t need to go into greater detail. Newspaper is a solution, but it isn’t a great one.

Dog poop is not compostable in a home composter or in a citywide composting system. The compost pile doesn’t get hot enough to kill the bad bacteria that lives in the waste, so using the compost spreads disease.

There is a way to compost dog poop on its own, in a specialized dog-poop-only composter. I am really annoyed to find that the first product that appears in a search for dog waste disposal system shares my last name. Anyway, I don’t plan on composting my dog’s poop. I’m not that far gone yet.

Some folks like to use biodegradable poop bags. If you are interested in trying to figure out whether your bio bags are really going to break down, I recommend this article, If You Use Biodegradable Poop Bags, You Need to Read This. The crux of the article is that not all the bags actually break down quickly or even at all, but a few brands do. Check it out.

Another friend found paper dog poop bags but they aren’t available in the States (and yes, this has given me a business idea; please don’t steal it). I asked our dog walker to help us test them out. She picks up a lot more dog poop than I do, so hopefully I’ll have a report on that product pretty soon.

What else would you like me to cover? I am really enjoying this!

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