If a dog poops in a forest....do you have to pick it up?

If a dog poops in a forest....do you have to pick it up?

You should pick up your dog’s poop no matter where you are — yes, even in the woods. Here’s why: 

Dog poop is not the same as wildlife poop. Local wildlife eat only plants/animals local to their environment (a circular ecosystem).

But dogs don’t (no matter how natural your dog’s diet is). So when they poop, it introduces new elements and bacteria not naturally found in the local ecosystem.

For example, modern dog food and recipes are rich in the nutrients domestic dogs need for a complete diet. This often leads to excess nitrogen and phosphorous in their poop. 

That nitrogen and phosphorous can create an inviting habitat for invasive weeds, cause algae blooms in local waterways, and slowly kill off local plant and aquatic life. 

It can even get into our oceans or drinking water, and make people sick. According to the FDA, as few as 100 dogs (yes, only 100) living near the ocean can produce enough waste in only 2-3 days to shut down 20 miles of a bay and watershed for swimming and shellfishing. 

Other studies have found that 20% of the bacteria contaminating waterways can be traced back to the digestive system of dogs.

If you’re thinking, “It’s just one little poop. It won’t make a difference,” consider the fact that thousands of others are likely thinking the same thing. 

One study from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics showed that only about 73% of dog owners picked up their pets’ waste in one popular hiking area in Colorado (5.3 million visitors each year). That's around 60,000 pounds of dog poop left to decompose in nature.

Plus, no one wants to step in your dog’s poop. 

So, while it might seem easiest to just toss a poo in the leaves where you think no one will walk, don't do it. 

Just pick up the poop, put it in a nice compostable bag, and stick it in the garbage. It’s not a perfect solution when it comes to sustainability, but when it comes to environmentalism, it’s the best we’re gonna get. 

Because the only thing that stinks worse than dog poop is when that dog poop ruins our environment.

While you're at it, might as well be more sustainable with our insect-based dog treats.