Hi Humans,

Today’s guest writer is Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is writing about how to be a responsible pet parent and pick up the poop!

Okay, folks. I am going to talk about something that may gross you out  — you’ve been warned — picking up your dog’s poop! There, I’ve said it! Now, if you’re still with me, did you know that April 1 -7 is International Pooper Scooper Week? Yes, there is a week of the year dedicated to dog poop and a pet parent’s job to pick it up.

International Pooper Scooper Week was begun in 2002 by the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists to educate pet owners about the importance of picking up their dog’s poop. Because of the many walks I take with my dogs, I believe the week was started because there are many pet parents who let their dogs poop wherever they want. I have seen far too many piles of poo in the middle of a village sidewalk when I am out with my pets. Gross!

Why wouldn’t you pick up after your dog? Why would you let Fido make a mess in the neighbor’s yard, on a sidewalk or in a public place? I can’t honestly see any reason. Do I love picking up my poodle’s poo? Not especially, but I am a responsible pet parent so I carry biodegradable bags with me or I will reuse a plastic shopping bag, pick up her poo and throw it away.

Here are some reasons people have given, when I’ve asked them, “why don’t you pick up after your dog?”

  1. It’s biodegradable and will eventually fertilize the ground upon which it’s left.
  2. If I’m on a trail for a walk and my dog goes off trail and poops in the high grass, no one will step in it. You don’t know if everyone who uses the path will stay on it.
  3. It’s gross. Yes. Yes, it is. But it’s your dog, it’s your responsibility.
  4. I don’t want to carry a bag of poop for my entire walk. No one does, but that’s the price you pay for being a pet parent. If you know your dog will poop within the first few minutes of your walk, take a route that takes you past a trash can so you don’t have to carry it for miles.
  5. “No one else” is picking up. Just because others aren’t responsible pet parents doesn’t mean you need to follow the crowd.
  6. I forgot a bag or the dog park is out of bags. Be prepared. Always bring a bag. You know your dog is going to poo! Don’t rely on the dog park to supply the bags for your dog, as a responsible pet parent, you need to take responsibility for your dog’s poo clean up.

Here are reasons you should be a responsible pet parent and pick up after your dog — not just during International Pooper Scooper Week — but every week and every day of the year.

  1. It’s gross. Plain and simple, to leave your dog’s waste in another person’s yard or on a sidewalk. It doesn’t matter if your neighbor has dogs and your dog uses his yard as a bathroom — clean up after your dog.
  2. It’s unsanitary. Dog feces is full of bacteria and doesn’t need to be left lying around. Pick it up. Sanitize or wash your hands when you get home.
  3. Imagine if no one picked up their dog’s poop. Eventually that waste will get into our water supply and contaminate it. Sure that is a drastic example, but if everyone stopped pick up after their pet, it could happen!

When you take on the role of “pet parent” that comes with the good (puppy and dog snuggles and long walks on the beach) and the not-so-good (picking up your dog’s poop). Invest in some pretty, scented biodegradable poop bags and you can be stylish as well as responsible!