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how to pick up dog poop

22 February 2011

Picking up dog poop, stooping and scooping, cleaning up after your dog, whatever you call it, it is part of the dog owner’s life.

True, it isn’t if you can pay someone else to do it. Sadly, however, we’re not in this socio-demographic category.

Unfortunately, the sum of the dog acquisition budget (DAB) and the on-going Luna Lifestyle Budget (LLB) leave an insufficient amount in the household coffers to pay someone to visit every 48 hours to pick up Luna’s leftovers. Therefore, dog poop removal is part of our family life, and a much sought-after chore.

Here is how we make an unpleasant task tolerable. (We live in the San Francisco Bay area so these recommendations may or may not apply to you 12 months a year).

1. Mow the lawn frequently

Picking up poop from short grass is easier than combing through long strands to find the stuff. I keep the lawn trim (even in January!) so stooping and scooping is easier.

2. Scoop often

Once every 2 days. Makes the job manageable. The bag (if you’re a bagger) will be lighter. Keeping the yard clean decreases the possibility that your dog will step in a clump while outside. It also decreases the probability that your dog will step in it if he’s doing a late-night potty run outside.

If you live in a wintery climate, the frequency decision is exacerbated by snowfall. Your decision then becomes clean often or wait until Spring when you’ll have a huge job and the stuff will be mushy (see below for moisture-related advice).

3. Scoop before it rains

Having just gone through almost 6 weeks of unseasonably sunny Jan-Feb. weather, we’ve been hit with huge rains for the past week. Heed this advice: clean your lawn before it rains. It is far easier to clean up dry stuff than poop that’s been drenched.

4. Plastic bags or hand trowel

garden trowel

a dog owner's best friend, other than her dog

MW opts for a bag. OD prefers a hand trowel. She’s a tween so her tolerance for, and definition of, what is gross is more limited. I suppose the vision/experience of her fingers encircling poop with nothing but a 0.8mm plastic barrier for protection weirds her out too much. Thus, the trowel. I’m flexible; I use what’s available.

5. Composting options

If you have ever lived in Berkeley, CA, purchased Birkenstocks at least once during the 1970s, have ground peanut butter in a health food store, or currently send your kids to a Waldorf school, this will definitely interest you.

If you supported John Kerry between July 2004 and November 2004 but no longer support him, have heard of straw bale housing but don’t really know what it is, or like boiled wool clothing but find it scratchy, this may interest you.

— Here it is – you can compost dog poop!

Composting isn’t hard but the bummer is that you can’t use it as garden fertilizer. That’s the general point of composting, isn’t it? That notwithstanding, here is (almost) everything you could want to know about dog poop composting.

Those are my 5 tips on how to pick up dog poop.

Here is a bonus – for a supply of bags, reuse the fruit and veggie bags you collect on your grocery trips.

As chef Jacques Pepin used to say (sort of), Happy scooping!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 22 February 2011 2:29 pm

    People seem to enjoy complicating their lives But having a dog guarantees you will get needed exercise . Blog is humerous !!

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