There’s no puppy poop etiquette manual, but every new pup parent needs to know that there are some basic guidelines. Because no, it doesn’t matter that composting biodegradable matter is on-trend. You simply can’t rely on that as a logical excuse for leaving your puppy’s poop in the playground, on the park lawn or any other public space.
What you do in the privacy of your own home is your own business. But what you do in public is everyone’s business. So, without further ado, here are the rules for poop etiquette:
Puppy poop etiquette 101
Everyone in a park knows when one person is planning to leave their puppy’s poop behind without disposing of it. They also know who comes to the park with this plan in mind (we’re looking at you, no bagger). Don’t be that person. It’s not becoming.
And sure, it’s understandable that you don’t want to hold poop – bagged or not. But in the interest of your social status, your and other people’s shoes, and the environment, you need a plan.
At home, that means toilet training your puppy to use the same outdoor spot as their toilet. Then afterwards, it requires training yourself to regularly clean said toileting area.
If you have a garden, and you can teach your pooch about where to do their business, they may even bury it themselves. In addition, you could start a dog poo compost kit that uses enzymes to break down and minimise waste.
Picking up dog poop
We know. Even reading that headline makes you squeamish. It’s something all first-time parents go through but there’s real light (and improved hygiene) at the other end of the tunnel.
In fact, you just need to stock up on the right supplies and, bingo, you’re a dog park poop pro. And a footpath poop pro. And a grassy verge pro. And so on…
Here’s what you need to stock up on:
- Compostable poop bags – you can buy these in bulk. Try to not use non-compostable bags; do your bit for the environment
- Gloves – these are optional and especially great for the more squeamish pup parents. The additional barrier between your fingertips and the poop bag can be strangely calming. But remember, it’s an added layer of plastic for the environment. Do you really need them? Any poop picking up expert can easily avoid poop fingers
- Hygienic wet wipes – these are optional, for the purposes of wiping your hands after you’ve thrown away the poop in its bag. Seriously consider going compostable here too, if you must use wipes
In short when it comes to a DIY dog walking kit – preparation is key, including planning for poop pick ups.
Dog poop disposal
The rule of thumb is that you wait for your pooch to finish doing their business before moving in to clear up. As soon as they’re done, you need to pick up the poop. Put your hand (gloved or not) inside the bag to pick up the poop then turn the bag inside out and tie it off. That way there’s no actual skin to poop contact.
Your last step is obviously to pop it in the poop bin. Which sometimes means you have to wait until you’re home – so tie that baby off tightly!
As a result, you’ll keep on good terms with your neighbours and park friends, and they won’t be scared to socialise their dog with yours.
Plus, if you’re a good pup parent who does their duties once pup has done theirs, that helps your puppy feel well cared for. Which hopefully means they’ll behave even better.
Dog poop diseases
And remember, lots of parasites and diseases live in pet poop. So, leaving your pup’s poop in the park can put the other dogs at risk. Many dog diseases can spill over onto the human population and can make people sick too.
Here’s a quick look at some of these diseases:
You’ll be happy to know that these illnesses and parasites listed above can be stamped out with visits to the vet and vaccinations.
Your vet can share a vaccination schedule with you and can also do the deworming treatments.
Happily, with pet insurance, visits to the vet won’t cost you a fortune. Plus, PD Insurance Classic and Deluxe dog insurance plans have a Wellness Benefit package add-on that includes vaccinations cover, desexing and much more.
Puppy poop etiquette – over to you
Have you seen any puppy parents silently shuffling away from their pooch’s poop? With that look of feigned ignorance? I mean, who doesn’t notice their puppy doing their business.
Or, are you that puppy parent who pretended not to see and now you feel chided into good behaviour? Not to worry, many puppy parents who scorn those who don’t pick up their pooch’s poop were once those people. You’ll feel better once you come over to the other team.
Tell us your puppy poop etiquette story in the comments below. We’re all furry ears.