We had a slight increase in temperatures this week, so I took advantage of the sunshine and headed outdoors. As I walked into my yard, I began dodging countless piles of animal waste before I even hit the sidewalk. And I don’t own a dog or a cat.
Don’t get me wrong; I love animals, but it’s infuriating and unnecessary to have to clean up after someone else’s pet.
Have you reached the end of your leash because your neighbor lets his dog defecate on your lawn? Here are some tips for dealing with pet poop:
If your own yard is suffering from someone else’s pet:
- The best approach is to confront your neighbors directly. Respectfully and politely approach them (and it wouldn’t hurt to take them some goodies), and let them know you enjoy their friendship, but you don’t enjoy cleaning up after their pet.
- There are some safe, non-toxic, effective, eco-friendly repellents you can consider using on your lawn, garden, trees, and shrubs. They include: BioDefend’s natural animal repellent, Liquid Fence animal repellent, and Ropel animal repellent. These products have an unpleasing scent to animals and deter them from hanging around your yard.
- Most communities have strict rules regarding cleaning up after pets. If the offense doesn’t stop, contact your homeowners association or non-emergency city police department to inform them of the situation. Use this as a last resort, though, because it could affect your neighborly relations.
- Never blame the animal. They are only doing what comes naturally. The behavior needs to be controlled by the pet’s owner or discouraged by you. There is never any excuse for animal cruelty.
If your pet is a potential culprit:
- Be aware of your community’s rules regarding pet clean up and follow them.
- Bag it. Take a large enough bag with you when you are with your pet. Once your dog does his business, put the bag over one hand, pick up the poop, then turn the bag inside out with your other hand, leaving the poop inside the bag. Knot the bag and toss it in the trash.
- Scoop it. There are many pooper-scoopers available for animal owners. Check out your nearest pet supply store.
- Many dogs can be trained to go to the bathroom in the same place, leaving clean up an easy task.
- Never let your animal roam around the neighborhood without a leash.
- Don’t rely on curbing. Curbing is when a dog is trained to defecate in the street near the curb, so the next rainstorm can sweep the deposits into the nearest gutter. Curbing is questionable because dog poop is a major cause of water pollution, which poses a significant hazard to us. Curbing can also jeopardize your dog’s safety putting him dangerously close to fast-moving vehicles.
Being a responsible pet owner includes taking responsibility for your pet’s messes.