7 Common Myths About Dog Poop

Posted by Gina Thompson on Jan 6th 2023

Dog poop, like all poop, is smelly and gross. However, it is still a natural process of life and something that every creature does. What is poop exactly? “Stool,” “feces,” “turds…” whatever you call it, it’s what is left over after our bodies finish digesting the food we eat and drink. It is a process all animals and plants do: taking in nourishment and getting rid of the nutrients we don’t use. Whether from humans or dogs, poop contains a lot of bacteria and germs that make us sick. Here are 7 common myths about dog poop. (You’ll probably want to wash your hands after reading this.

1. You Don’t Have to Pick Up the Poop Before Mowing the Lawn

You may think picking up dog poop before mowing the lawn is unnecessary, but you’d be wrong. Not only will the lawn mower scatter feces all over the yard, but the poop will also get stuck on your blades and under your mower. That means you’ll have to get underneath and clean all that poop off. So take the easy, first step of picking up poop and trash around your lawn before you start mowing.

2. Poop is Good for the Grass

A common misconception is that all poop is good for grass and lawns, but that is false. While some animal feces are good for fertilizing lawns, like that of cows and worms, dog poop left on the ground damages the grass and will leave your yard unusable. One of the reasons why dog poop is bad for grass is because of the high level of nitrogen it contains.

3. Just Toss It In the Trash

When picking up dog waste, you will want to use environmentally friendly doggie bags so you know the dog’s waste decomposes properly. Some people just toss poop in along with their regular trash. Not only is that smelly, but trapping the feces in plastic can cause unwanted bacteria to collect in your trash bin.

4. Add Dog Poop to the Compost Bin

“Well if I can’t use dog poop as fertilizer, can I just add it to the compost bin?” Unfortunately, composting dog poop is easier said than done. While it is possible to compost dog poop, it is not beginner-friendly and could bring unwanted odors to your composting pile.

5. It’s Okay to Let Fido go to the Restroom Near Water

Another myth about dog poop is that your dog can go anywhere outdoors. You wouldn’t let your dog squat down in a store or on the carpet, but you also don’t want your dog going near water. Believe it or not, dog waste is a top 5 contributor to contaminated waters. If you are taking your dog on a hike or to the beach, make sure that it relieves itself away from water sources.

6. Use Poop as Fertilizer

Dog poop is unlike farm-friendly manure. When it comes to fertilizing plants and lawns, you need the perfect balance of the three main macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Manure that comes from cows contains all of these, plus more. Unfortunately, dog poop contains too much nitrogen to be lawn-friendly.

7. A Dog Cannot Speak and Tell You They are Sick

While dogs cannot talk to us with words, they can tell us a lot about their health with their restroom habits. If you notice your dog’s poop is a different consistency, or color than normal, or has worms in it, contact your veterinarian immediately. It could be caused by a range of issues, from eating something off the floor of the kitchen to a parasite. Even if your dog is in good health, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about treats and oils that promote pet health to keep your dog in the best shape possible.

8. Pick up the Poo

Remember, dog poop contains a lot of bacteria that are harmful to humans. Research says salmonella and E. Coli are some of the most common microorganisms found in dog feces. Dog poop may seem like nothing more than a stinky nuisance that you have to deal with, but it could be dangerous if left unattended. Make sure to always pick up after your dog and consider using environmentally friendly ways to dispose of the doo-doo.

Gina Thompson is an experienced multimedia journalist, producer, and content writer born and raised in Texas. In her spare time, she loves catching a live band, dancing, and finding the next big taco spot. As a writer, she is passionate about making a positive impact on her community by elevating the voices and stories that need to be heard.

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