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  • Writer's picturePat Browne

It's never okay to leave dog poop

We live in a very dog friendly neighbourhood - I have two dogs myself. Having a dog comes with additional responsibilities and one of them is picking up after your pooch. If you have a dog, pick up after it. If you see someone else out walking and they are not picking up after their dog, perhaps offer them a poop-bag. Leaving the poop on the lawn - or in the snow - is never a good thing.

Myths about dog poop


1. It's good for the grass

Actually, no, it isn’t. Not all poop is created equal. Unlike cows, which are vegetarians, dogs eat meat. That makes their waste too acidic to effectively help your lawn or garden plants grow. Also, dog poop can contain bacteria and unhealthy parasites, including hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms, that sicken humans. Who wants that running into our storm sewers after a heavy rain? It all flows out to our lakes and rivers, where it can lead to algae blooms that kill marine life in those waters. Some of that toxic waste seeps into the ground, as well, polluting our water supply. And the poop of carnivores takes longer to fully decompose, sometimes up to a year. That’s a long time to tiptoe around your lawn.

2. It will decompose

Not anytime soon. It will take up to 12 months for the average, healthy dog poop to breakdown. In the meantime we live in a neighbourhood full of children - some just toddlers. Have you noticed that toddlers will put anything and everything into their mouths? Most importantly, even composting dog waste doesn’t kill the parasites in normal household compost piles. Killing those parasites requires a constant temperature of 165 degrees for at least five days, which most pet owners’ home compost piles can’t achieve.

3. You can just leave it there

Maybe you are getting away with not picking up the poop. But if a homeowner steps outside while your dog is doing his thing, you could end up with a black eye. OK, that’s a little extreme, but you could end up with a black mark on your record. Many cities have ordinances about leaving poop on lawns. A ticket could cost you from $75 to $500! Live in a big city?

May I also suggest, if you are walking your dog and see a pile of poop, take out an extra bag and pick it up. There seems to be an awful lot of it, especially around the Savoy Condo building.

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