What's With All the Dog Poo Bags?

 Does your walk routine with your furry best friend look something like this?

  1. Grab dog poo bag.
  2. Walk dog.
  3. Pick up poo with the bag.
  4. Leave bag on ground because you’ll definitely grab it on the way back.
  5. Walk back to car and realise that you definitely forgot the fully loaded dog poo bag on the ground. 

Need a better way to carry it? Check out this video for easy ways to hold onto used dog poo bags until you can throw them away in the rubbish here:

We’ve discovered that there’s often no malice behind leaving poo bags on the ground. A lot of us have our hands full while walking our furry friends, so we decide to leave the bags and grab them on our way back. And then, as we’re thinking about getting to work or hurrying home to make dinner…we forget. In places where dog poo bags are commonly abandoned, we can create a new social norm, indicating that it’s okay to leave dog poo bags on the ground. A new dog owner or someone new to the area might see the bags and decide that this is a common and accepted practice. And bags that are touted to be “biodegradable” can lead people to think that it’s okay to leave them on the ground when, in reality, it can still take years for those bags to break down.

- Isn’t it worse to throw bagged poo in a landfill, rather than letting it decompose?    

Neither solution is perfect. But with regard to the ecological ramifications of dog waste in our public spaces, here’s a few tidbits to keep in mind:      

  • Dogs in Ireland. produce hundreds and thousands of dog poo each year. The average dog deposits about ¾ pounds of dog poop daily, which adds up to 270 pounds of poo a year.
  • Dog poo can contain E. coli, Giardia, worms, pharmaceuticals, as well as several billion fecal coliform bacteria. It can spread diseases, such as Parvovirus, and pollute soil and the water we drink and play in.
  • In some cities, dog poop is the 3rd or 4th most significant cause of water pollution.
  • Picking up your dog’s poop keeps people from stepping in it and dogs from sniffing (or, if we’re being honest, eating) it?

- Can I bury my dog's poo on a backpacking trip?

If you’re in public area where agencies recommend digging a 6-8 inch cathole to dispose of human waste, then it is acceptable to bury your dog’s poop in the same manner. Because they do not decompose, dog poo bags should still be packed out. Dog poo can also be flushed down toilets, but, again, dispose of the bag – it can clog plumbing.  

Enjoy Your World. Leave No Trace.