Cleaning up dog poop in the yard after winter may not be fun, but it’s necessary for both your yard and your pooch. Contrary to what you might believe, dog poop is not fertilizer.
The Environmental and Protection Agency (EPA) puts dog waste in the same category as herbicides, insecticides, and other pesticides. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states confirms that it’s hazardous to both humans and pets.
When it comes to dog poop, you shouldn’t wait for spring to clean up everything. Thawing dog poop with its ever-lingering smell is not pleasant to clean up.
And also, when you leave it for a long time, it will contaminate the soil and the groundwater with other parasites that harm not only animals but humans and the environment as well. Because of this, you should pick your dog’s poop up daily even if it’s cold outside.
How to Clean Dog Poop After Winter in 3 Steps
1. Bag It
Your first step is to bag it; this should only take 10 to 15 minutes at most. You can either use a specially designed dog poop pickup bag or a simple plastic grocery bag. Take one bag, place your hand inside the bag, grasp the poo, then turn it inside out so, tie it off and dispose of it.
Another way to do this is to use two bags: one to put the poop in and one to be used as a glove. Or you could also wear disposable gloves and a paper towel. Pick which method is best for you.
Cleaning up wet dog poop is an exercise in stomach strength, don’t do it. Wait until the poop settles and freeze a bit before picking it up.
If you’re in a hurry and cannot clear your dog’s poop immediately, you may want to spray it with flying insect spray, then come back later to collect it. The flying insect spray will kill all the flies and halt the eggs from hatching.
Need a visual demonstration? Check out the video below.
2. Use a Rake and a Shovel
A rake and shovel can be handy to clean dog poop buried in the snow when the spring rolls around. You want to start with a rake first to catch any poop stuck in the grass.
Rake it into piles and scoop the waste directly into a trash bag using a shovel. The best time to do it is right after the snow is gone, but the ground is still cold/frozen.
Don’t forget to wear waterproof rubber gloves, just in case. And wear boots too, to keep a firm footing and reduce the risk of slipping.
Check out the following video for a visual demonstration.
3. How to Dispose of Dog Poop
After scooping the dog poop into a bag, the last step is to dispose of it. There are several ways to do this.
The easiest way is to just put the bag inside a trash can by the garage and then dump it in a dumpster on a garbage day. I would recommend collecting the poop the day before the garbage truck arrived so that the stuff won’t stink your garage for weeks.
For you who prefer an eco-friendly solution, you can buy a ready-made pet waste disposal system and install it in your yard or build your own homemade version. This device dissolves the poop into a biodegradable liquid which the soil easily absorbs. To use this device, simply shovel the poop into the system, add warm water, and add the digestive enzymes.
If your local wastewater system allows pet poop, you can flush your dog waste down the toilet using flushable poop bags — the bags that degrade naturally when they come in contact with water.
Since not many cities allow dog poops in human toilets, it’s best to check first with your local Department of Health or Munipicial Waste Department.
Use a Pet Waste Removal Service
If you don’t have the time or prefer to keep your hands clean, you may want to consider hiring scooper services. The service price starts at $25 a month to clean up after one to three dogs.
Recommended Dog Poop Cleaning Tools
1. Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags. Dog owners love this very strong, well-made bag (including me). It’s cheap, easy-to-open, extra thick, and leakproof. With 12,730 ratings, it sports a very respectable 5 out of 5 ratings at Amazon.
2. Nature’s Miracle Non-Stick Advanced Jaw Scoop has a clamp that opens and closes like an excavator. This type of pooper scooper works does a terrific job of grabbing the poop that is stuck in the grass and pulls it out. It also works well for a backyard that is filled with small stones or gravel, like mine.
3. Dog Poop Disposal Container. If you want to install a built-in septic system as a solution to dispose of your dog’s poops, you may want to check out my top picks.
Our top picks: The Best Dog Poop Containers
Some More Tips
- Train your dog to do their business in a specific spot of the yard. It will clean up easier and faster.
- Most often, the sides that appear most stuck to the ground are the easiest to pick up.
- Try to bend at the knees and keep your straight back when picking up the dog poop to avoid putting too much strain on your back.
- When doing scooping, follow a simple grid pattern to make it easier to find all of the poops in a yard.
- Watch where you step because dog poop on the shoe can be burdensome and quite difficult to deal with.
- Do not hose down a dog waste from cemented areas, patios, or the likes as this could spread the germs. To sanitize this type of area, wear gloves and scrub the area with hot water and disinfectant.