When was the last time you pooped in your neighbor’s yard?
Or when was the last time you took your dog out for a morning walk, found a nice lawn, pulled down your pants, while your dog was hunched over, and left two poops? Yep, the home owner walks out to two dumps in their yard which is a double doody bummer. The human excrement we expect to be in the sewer system far from other humans but the dog poop doesn't really matter. In fact some people care so little about it, they just leave it in their neighbor's yard or anywhere else.
Dog poop has pathogens from bacteria for digestion that sometimes contains parvovirus, roundworms, giardia, salmonella and E. coli, to name a few of the hazards. The gist is dog poop is as complicated and germ rich as human poop.
We carry around dog poop like it is a warm cup of coffee but treat human poop like it is radioactive. Why don’t we treat dog crap like human crap? Why the disparate attitudes? Is it because one is from a furry friend and the other from a practically hairless freak? Is it because one is cleaner than the other? Nope. One isn’t cleaner so this couldn’t be the reason. Or are we in denial? Yep, in the river.
Dog owners need to see dog poop for what it is, which is a bacteria rich substance that needs to be controlled. We can’t be willy nilly about something that can make us sick, pollute water ways and cause harm. Managing dog feces is what needs to be done.
Greeks, Romans and even earlier civilizations developed sewage systems. Now, thousands of years later, it is time to develop dog sewage management systems. Using flushable bags that dissolve in water and put the dog crud with other dirty doodies is one practical option. If bringing dog doo into your home doesn’t appeal, it is possible to compost dog poop with sawdust then keep it 160 degrees for five days, but this isn’t easily accomplished by yourself (and pretty odoriferous). Burying dog poop is a possibility, as long as it is done properly so it doesn't spoil fresh water supplies.
In San Francisco, at the Starr King Open Space, you can pick up your dog’s shiz in a Biobag, then place it in a receptacle full of other dog fecal matter that is collected and composted commercially, then used on trees and bushes where it eventually becomes soil. This is the best long-range and full circle option, which needs to be implemented in more places which requires cities all around the world to get involved. As dog owners we need to advocate for this option to reduce plastic in landfills and to have a permanent solution to this growing problem.
In the meantime, we need to continue to pick up poop to keep it away from other dogs, humans and water. Picking up with plastic bags is far better than leaving it in a yard, on a sidewalk or on a trail. When the plastic bags are replaced with Biobags and composting, we will have the most sustainable option.
Do you have an alternative solution? Please share.