How much dog waste is in my community?
Dogs vary greatly in size, as do communities, so it’s hard to say exactly. That said, however, it’s estimated that the average dog discards approximately ¾ lbs of waste every day and 274 lbs every year.
If your community has 10 resident dogs, that adds up to approximately 7.5 lbs of waste per day; 52 lbs per week; 225lbs per month; and 2,750 lbs per year.
If the dog population in your community is closer to 100, the numbers are considerably larger: 75 lbs deposited daily; 525 lbs weekly; 2,250 lbs monthly; and 27,375 lbs annually. That’s a lot of poop!
Which pet waste stations are best for my community?
Great question! To learn about pet waste stations and how to choose the right ones for your community, take a look through our complete guide here >>
Why don’t people pick up after their pets?
Many times, unattended dog waste is the result of circumstance rather than bad intentions.
For dog walkers, forgetting to bring a bag for the waste or running out of bags during the walk are the most common reasons why waste is left on the ground.
For homeowners, a lack of time is the most common reason dog poop is left sitting in the backyard unscooped. Simply put: time is a precious commodity, and of all of the things on the average homeowner’s to-do list, picking up after the pooch is typically down there towards the bottom.
As unpleasant and time consuming as scooping poop may be, keeping this waste off the ground is an important responsibility held by all dog owners and community managers.
Does dog waste attract rodents?
Oh yes. For rats and other rodents, dog waste is the breakfast of champions. In developed areas, doggie deposits left on the ground often serve as a steady, abundant food source for rats and their cousins.
An unwanted neighbor in any community, the presence of rodents can decrease the property values of all nearby homes and presents a host of additional health concerns to residents and their pets. Rats, for instance, as well as their urine or feces, have been linked to a number of diseases that can easily be passed to humans, including leptospirosis, typhus, rat-bite fever and salmonellosis.
While rats are typically associated with big cities, they can also live prosperous lives in the suburbs as well.
Once these rodents have taken up residence, they can be remarkably difficult to evict. This is because rats have an uncanny ability to survive (and even thrive) in inhospitable environments. Rats will eat nearly any type of food; they can climb brick or stucco; swim as far as half a mile; gnaw through wood, metal, plastic and cinderblock; and they can squeeze themselves through holes as small as a quarter. Rats are also successful colonists, reproducing four to seven times per year, with the average litter containing eight to twelve offspring that can reach maturity in as little as eight weeks.
In particular, rats only need three things to survive: Food, water and shelter, all of which they are experts at finding. In neighborhoods without restaurants or commercial dumpsters, and where uncovered trash is not a widespread problem, dog waste often becomes their primary food source.
What’s the scoop on dog waste DNA analysis?
Dog waste DNA analysis is a relatively new approach to curbing dog waste that has received a mixed bag of reactions from community managers, dog owners and the public since making its debut in 2011. To be effective, the program requires a community that is governed as a single entity (ex: association) with by-laws, declarations and/or covenants that allow for mandated programs to be implemented and enforced, with or without voluntary participation from residents.
The system works as follows: All new and existing dog-owning residents are required to submit a mouth swab DNA sample from their pet. A database is then created and when wayward dog waste is found on community grounds, the community manager collects a sample in a plastic vial and sends it to the dog waste DNA testing facility. Waste samples are then crosschecked with DNA records to identify the offender. Once a match is made, the community levies an assessment fee against the offending owner; typically $100 for the first offence. In many communities using this system, repeat offenders risk escalating fines and possible loss of pet ownership privileges in the community.
Dog poop DNA testing is a new, high-tech approach to curbing community dog waste problems and, as with most new technology entering a market, it can be expensive. To properly introduce the program, every dog in the community must have their DNA collected with a cheek swab and added to a database. A fee is charged for each dog added to the DNA database. In addition, there is also typically a fee for each waste sample collection kit and an additional fee to analyze each fecal sample.
The ultimate goal of community dog waste management is to keep residents happy while keeping dog waste off the ground. Dog poop DNA testing may be appropriate in certain applications, such as in apartment buildings where dogs are relieving themselves in hallways and elevators. In most cases, however, we believe the most effective dog waste management programs focus on education and prevention rather than punitive actions.
Requiring every dog owner to have their pet submit to DNA testing often creates animosity and conflict between residents and their community managers. In addition, the logistics of such a program are challenging: enrollment, collection, processing, documentation, notification, tracking, pursuit and assessment of fees.
Above all else, a community exists to serve its residents, make their lives better and protect property values. To prevent dog waste issues, pet owners should be educated on the positive impact picking up after their pets has on the community and amenities such as pet waste stations should be provided to help them do just that. Likewise, most communities are best served by adopting a proactive strategy that encourages responsible behavior and communicates their stance on dog waste in a positive way.
In our experience, the best long term solutions to managing dog waste are achieved when a community’s message to its residents is “We are in this together. We are here to help.”
Read the complete Dog Doo FAQ at www.doodyfreewater.org >>
For questions about DoodyCalls community pet waste management services, our Customer Care Team is here to answer your questions seven days a week at 1.800.366.3922.
In areas where DoodyCalls provides service, we will happily come out and create a pet waste management proposal for your community or come to a community meeting to make a brief presentation on strategies for keeping communities clean, free of charge.
To learn more about pet waste management equipment and supplies, take a look through our Pet Waste Product Guides >>