Being a dog mum (or dad) is one of life’s little blessings! We love everything that comes with being a furparent…all the cuddles, snuggles, wagging tails, sloppy kisses, walkies, breakfasts at the local café and the fact that they love us no matter what!
Oh and we love picking up their poop…..said no one EVER!
That is the one little (or big in some cases) thing that every pooch parent across the globe would gladly hand over for someone else to do.
But why is it so important to pick up our dogs poop anyway?
Hello people….it is just common courtesy after all. No one, yup even those naughty ‘paw’rants who refuse to pick up after their own pooch like to perform the “poop dodge” or worse not spotting a freshie before it’s too late.
Contrary to some people believe, dog poop is not a natural fertilizer! Dog waste is actually so high in nitrogen and phosphorus that it can have the opposite effect of fertilizer. It can kill grass and even some plants.
Not picking up your dogs waste can put other people and their dogs at risk of getting sick. Dog waste is full of E. coli, salmonella and is a common carrier of worms, Parvovirus, Coronavirus, Giardiasis, Salmonellosis, Cryptosporidiosis, and Campybacteriosis and can remain in soil for years.
So now you might be reading this thinking “hang on a second I am one of the good guys who always pick up my dog’s doo-doo”…and we thank you for doing that. But have your ever taken a minute to consider the impact your humble poop bag may be having on our environment?
We all know now that plastic is not good on our environment, but surely the impact of a single plastic poop bag is not that much, right? I decided to ask expert Chief Crapologist, Bruce Hultgren of Oh Crap, Dog Poop Bags! to explain what impact does plastic poop bag have on our environment?
Its’ hard for people to imagine this effect in the long term because it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind. But when you think about it in “real” terms – it kinda looks like this. Imagine a VW Beetle car, made from solid dog poop, and every poop is wrapped in a plastic dog waste bag. That’s exactly how much dog waste goes into landfill every single day from Australia’s dog community – about 1200kgs worth. Every. Single. Day. Now imagine 100 years from now and that dog waste just today is sitting in the earth. It’s become a mummified rock of dog crap (yuk – right?) and the plastic bag it was encased in is still present in the ground, not completely gone and still giving off fumes and whatever else is in that construction of the bag. And if you’re wondering, across Australia this amount of dog waste represents about 1.2 BILLION dog waste bags each and every year. This is why we say that every bag makes a difference, because it literally does!
So now you want to try and go a little greener to reduce your pooches environmental paw print? Great idea! Below are just a few simple steps to start you on your eco-friendly way:
- Don’t toss out your old toys, leads, collars or bowls. Donate them to your local shelter!
- Use your dogs bathwater to water your pot plants. Maybe even try a natural dry shampoo every second wash.
- Instead of taking your dog for a car ride, dust off your bike, attach a dog trailer and away you go! A much more gentle option for your dogs hips and knees than running next to your bike and you get the extra cardio benefit from towing your pooch. Sure, you might want to choose a nice flat route if you own a Lab!
- Ditch the cheap kibble and tinned food. Read the ingredients listed on the label and go for quality protein such as organic beef, lamb, chicken, goat, kangaroo or fish among the first few items and avoid products loaded with corn, food dyes, meat by-product meal or other bulking additives; this just means your pet will get hungry quicker. Good quality organic raw, air or freeze dried commercial pet food may be more expensive but more quality protein means less poop!
- Buy local or at least Australian made. The cost to ship or truck commercial made or grown food, whether it is for human or animal consumption across the country or globe is a costly process which in turn creates planet damaging fossil fuels. Look for ingredients that are grown in Australia.
- Use a pooper scooper or spade to pick up your dog’s poop at home. When out on a walk use a poop bag. Remember though, not all poop bags are what they claim to be; most are made of plastic (not very eco-friendly), look for environmentally friendly biodegradable compostable poop bags.
Hang on a second, are you thinking what I am thinking? Isn’t biodegradable & compostable the same thing? And what about degradable poop bags? I have seen those at the shops too. Why are they not on the list above? Lets go back to Bruce our Chief Crapologist, and see if he can explain the difference and finally tell us, which exactly is the most eco-friendly option to choose?
I’ll get right to the point on this one. In order for a dog bag to be recognised as “Compostable” – it needs to go through international testing standards and MUST be completely gone within a specific amount of time. And they’re typically made of something like cornstarch – something that worms and micro-organisms will actually eat and digest. As an example – in perfect composting conditions, compostable bags will have disappeared, be completely GONE in 90 days. In non perfect conditions – you allow 180 days. When you ask about “bio-degradable” – there is actually NO time limit associated with this word – it’s just a word that sounds eco-friendly – but you can’t prove it degradation time. So – a plastic bag can be considered this if you want to wait 100+ years for the result – it degrades, but it doesn’t completely disappear. The next term you’ll hear is “oxo-degradable” – you know when you hear about little plastic pellets found in the stomachs of fish and birds – THAT is what this term means – little pellets of plastic.
So now we know, always pick up your dogs poop and go for guaranteed compostable poop bags that have passed International Testing Standards like Oh Crap, Dog Poop Bags.
It’s just a better choice for our planet!