Dog Ownership 101 – Pick Up The Poo!

trash can and dog bag post

Pick up – Just Do It!

We’ve all seen it in the movies – the protagonist of the plot must “dog sit” and in walking the canine faces the dilemma of having the dog poo. Eew!  Big time eew.  Everyone in the theatre laughs, as the character goes to great lengths to avoid the simple job of cleaning up.

As pet owners, it is important to not only recognize your responsibility to pick up, but to do it, even when no one is watching. Here’s the why and how of picking up dog poo.


Poo is indeed something you don’t want to leave lying around — especially at dog parks.  The material potentially has both bacteria and parasites that can harm you, your pets and our environment at large.  Disposing of poo doesn’t require a Hazmet outfit, but leaving the stuff can give both humans and dogs such interesting after effects as hookworm, ringworm, tapeworm, Salmonella, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhea.


Okay. Say you leave your dog’s feces at the dog park.  No one sees you, so everything is good for you, right?  But if your neighbor’s dog is like mine, Fido may have something called coprophagia – the habit of eating poo.  When that neighbor’s dog comes down with one of the nasty conditions listed above, these things are contagious.  This puts not only your dog, but your family at risk.  Talk about suffering and doctor bills! Yuck.

Take it from me–picking up dog poo is an easy thing to do, so do it!  Here’s how:

Dog kit of purse, leash, ball and poo-bag

Be prepared – make a dog walking kit.

  1. I have an old purse that always goes on dog walks with me.  The purse is filled with dog food/treats, a toy to chase after, a dog leash and, you guessed it, plastic bags.  Over the years, I’ve found newspaper bags are the best for dog-poo pick up.  It feels more protective to  have a bag that goes all the way up to my elbow.
  2. At most parks there are bag containers on posts.  Make sure this is your first stop on your walk, to pick up an emergency spare.
  3. When Lollipop does her thing, WATCH! Okay, so it’s not the most fun thing to do, but you are the grown up here.  There’s two advantages to this habit:
    • You can locate where to pick up, without finding stuff by shoe (oh, that is the worst!)
    • You can keep an eye on your dog’s health – consistency and frequency are important indicators when talking about problems with  your vet.
  4. Slip the plastic bag on your hand. So far, pretty easy, right?
  5. This is the tricky part.  Remember all the warnings to lift heavy objects with your legs?  The same is true here.  If you bend over and put your face above your job, it’s going to be harder to avoid the smell.  Squat down next to the poo, and you have a better chance of cleaning up without throwing up.
  6. Pick up the poo with your Hasmet covered hand.  This is not difficult.
  7. With your free hand, pull the plastic sleeve down and over the poo-holding hand.
  8. Tie a knot and dump the bag in the trash can.  This is pretty easy stuff people.  Be like Nike and “Just Do It!” In many places, like Colorado, it’s the law.