Okay, I have done the research and I can offically say that dog poop is a problem. What's even worse is that there does not seem to be a reasonable solution. So, watch your step as we explore the hazards of dog poo. These days, there are many potential hazards of dog foul including but not limited to fines, disease, mucked up shoes, social chastising, and environmental issues.
To begin, dog poop comes in many sizes, shapes, and colors. It is similar to human poop and poop of most other mammals. Smells can vary depending upon diet of the canine. Ol Roy will create a foul, putrid, paper mill-ish smell that is unbearable while eukanuba waste will be more bearable and smell more like a mild fart. Dogs that maintain a diet of people food and wet canned dog food have a wide variety of stool samples and a very inconsistent odor. We at the GreenGaggle do not recommend varying a dog's diet mainly because of the inconsistency.
Now, lets explore the US dog population. Just like poop, dogs come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Some are crapply little shits like the tzi zhus and pomeranians of the world and others are majestic beasts of beauty like the golden retriever and lab families. Because the government does not record numbers for this, don't give the taxocrats any ideas, we cannot give an exact number of dogs in the US. However, estimates weigh in at nearly 60 million pet dogs in the country. The US has more dogs than people than only about 20 countries in the world. The UK weighs in at a healthy 60 million citizens which is about the same. That's a lot of dogs. The US has a lot more dogs per capita as well.. If we have 60M dogs and about 290M people, our ratio is .21 dogs per person. The UK which also fancies dogs and invented a considerable number of the breeds currently roaming the planet today weighs in at about .1 dogs per person. America loves its dogs.
America does not love its dog shit however. Those 60M dogs produce about 5000 tons of foul every day. I know... I know.. You're probably like.. HOLY FUCKING SHIT.. THAT's A LOT OF SHIT!! Well, you're right. To better illustrate this, we can compare this to the USS Ronald Reagan which is currently the largest carrier in the US Navy fleet. The ship weighs about 97000 tons whereas the shit weighs about 5000 tons. So, in 20 days, the dogs could amass a shit pile heavier than our largest air craft carrier.
So, what happens to all of that poo you may ask. The overwhelming majority of it is left on the ground where the dog so nicely chose to put it. Have you ever noticed the intense concentration a dog has when deciding where to unload? My dog could walk around crouched over for 5 minutes before deciding between a bed of grass or stack of pine straw as a suitable resting place for his turd. I for one am glad that we have the toilet. The next most popular method of disposal is the pick up and throw out. There are many methods of this. Some people use baggies and others use scoopers. I prefer the baggie (bio-degradeable of course) because it is easy to use and you don't have to wash anything off. The scooper comes in an infinitely dazzling array of different varieties all advertising that they will pick up poop better than the competitors. Well, IMO, you can't beat the baggie. You can get bio-degradeable baggies at any pet store. They are usually comparable in price. The baggie provides a dexterity that is unmatched by the rival pooper scooper contraptions on the market.
Once the poop has been picked up, it will generally be disposed of in one of three ways. It will be thrown in a trash can or dumpster, placed in a home trash can to go to the dumpster or landfill later, or flushed down the toilet. I for one utilize the dumpster as I do not want to have this poop around me very long.
We will now examine the impact of each.
1. Dumpster disposal - The poop will be sent to a landfill to be buried with other trash. It will take years for poop to degrade even if it is in a bio-degradeable baggie. We will now have untold amounts of shit piles the size of aircraft carriers sitting in our landfills. Here's more reason to hate cats. Each year, over 2 million tons of cat litter ends up in municipal solid waste landfills. Most of that litter, an estimated 100,000 truckloads per year, is made from non-biodegradable clay that never decomposes. At least dogs don't have to use kitty litter.
2. Trash disposal - see number 1.
3. Flush disposal - Well, I'm not really sure where that goes. I presume the municipality harvests this poo with that of other poo that has been flushed and regenerates this into some kind fertilizer that is put back on the ground to feed crops to make more food to feed us to make more poo and continue the amazing cycle. So far, I like this one best.
4. Just leaving it - When you leave your dog's waste, it looks innocent enough. Aside from the annoyance of stepping in a pile every once in a while, what's really wrong with it? Well, let me tell you. For one, One gram of dog waste can contain 23M fecal coliform bacteria. When it rains, some of the shit washes off with the rain water and into the ground and runoff drains. The pathogens, bacteria, and viruses that were in the crap are now in this untreated water which in turn runs off into streams and rivers where we swim and fish. Now, we have polluted runoff which can close a beach or contaminate fish stocks. Recent studies have shown pet waste from cats and dogs as a major culprit for contamination at beaches.
To finish up, I’d have to conclude that dog poop is a pretty big problem. I didn’t get into the types of disease that can be spread from dog poop but rest assured that you don’t want to get some of them. So, until we can invent a product such as vaPOOrize, pick up your dog’s shit and put it in the dumpster or flush it down the toilet.