Why You Should Pick Up Dog Poo Before Mowing Your Lawn

It’s not actually a fertilizer, you know…

Jne Valokuvaus/Shutterstock

The snow has melted, the flowers have bloomed, and the dog poop is everywhere! When the winter months are upon you, it’s hard to actually go out in the snow and scoop your pet’s feces—especially when the temperature is below freezing. Plus, what’s the point of even picking up the dog poop if it won’t smell in such cold weather? So you let the dog do its thing, and wait for the spring to come before dealing with dog poop in the yard.

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Well, spring is here, and you are now looking at a backyard full of dog poop that you really don’t want to clean up. Plus, with the lawn starting to grow, it makes sense to just swipe the lawn mower over those little mounds and even everything out. Dog poop can be a great fertilizer, right?

Sorry…but that’s false!

Although dog poop can seem quite harmless, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) feels otherwise. Dog poop is actually considered an environmental pollutant in the same category as herbicides, insecticides, oil, grease, toxic chemicals, and acid drainage. It actually does the opposite of fertilizing your lawn, leaving your perfectly green grass with discoloring and even burns.

It’s said that a gram of dog waste can actually contain up to 23 million fecal bacteria, and can even carry diseases including whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, parvo, corona, giardiasis, salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis, and campylobacteriosis. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), humans can actually contract diseases from pet droppings if not handled properly. All it takes is contact with the soil to catch a disease such as this.

This, of course, can cause issues if you’re trying to mow your lawn. By leaving the dog’s waste in the backyard while you mow, you are then spreading what has been determined as “toxic” chemicals by the EPA and CDC all over your lawn. It will certainly diminish the color and look of the luscious green grass you have and will create a higher likelihood of catching zoonoses. Zoonoses comes from the eggs of roundworms and other parasites, which can actually live in your soil for years and years. Which, of course, sounds pretty dangerous if your kid wants to play an innocent game of catch in the backyard.

Needless to say, remove the poop. The best thing you can do for your soil (and those living on the property) is to remove the feces right away after the dog does the nasty. But if you were one of the many who didn’t end up cleaning the dog’s dung after a long winter, make sure you do before mowing that lawn as warmer weather approaches.

Speaking of your lawn, you really need to stop believing these lawn care myths.