With the amount of walking the Pet Sitting MKE team does each day, it sometimes feels like
we’ve circled the planet. And along those miles, we avoid stepping in countless instances of dog
waste that wasn’t taken care of by a previous passerby. So this Earth Day, we’re shedding some
light on the problems that unattended dog waste causes on the earth below our feet.
Today, there are an estimated 90 million dogs in the United States alone. And one study
estimated over 40% of owners do not pick up after their dogs, citing reasons like “forgetting
bags,” “it’ll decompose,” and “it’s unpleasant.” 40 percent of 90 million dogs gets up to 36
million dogs’ waste being left to pollute the sewers, groundwater and watersheds of our
This activity–or lack thereof–became such an issue that the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) classified unattended to dog waste as a “nonpoint source pollution,” putting it in the
same category and level of severity as pesticides, motor vehicle toxins and acid drainage from
There are some easy ways to not contribute to this lingering problem, though. As someone who
picks up her fair share of doggy business, I’ve learned a few tricks to the trade:
Keep a doggy bag roll in your pocket, purse or attached to your leash at all times.
Integrate it into your everyday pat-down of “phone, wallet, keys–and now mask.”
Don’t feed your dog scraps and excessive treats so they maintain a healthy consistency
of stool. There’s nothing worse than trying to wrangle up loose number two.
Hold other owners accountable. I have personally offered a bag to owners who walk
past without doing their neighborly duty after their dog does theirs.
Attach a bag clip to your leash so you don’t have to hold the tied up bag until you find a
If your dog goes in your yard, not only is it harmful to your own property’s soil and
groundwater to keep large amounts of waste out for a while, but it can create a greater
potential for doggy poo-related messes in the future and promises for a daunting task
when you finally get around to it on the weekend.
Talk to a dog walker to do the dirty work for you!
This Earth Day–and every day–love your dog and our planet by respecting your neighbors and
clean up after your fur babies.