Expert Author Kay Ringelstetter

As responsible dog owners, we all know the importance of picking up dog poop. We understand very well the implications of leaving it lying on the ground. Abandoned dog waste is a threat to our environment, our waters, our health, the health of our pets and the health of others and their pets. Most of us know the importance of using dog poop bags to accomplish our tasks as a responsible pet owner. However, please read on to understand how many of us do not perform this task correctly and most importantly, safely.

1) The first mistake we make is that our dog poop bags may have holes in them. We often use plastic grocery bags, which quite often have a tear in them. Always use two bags if using grocery bags, by inserting one inside the other. Even if we use authentic dog waste bags purchased for picking up dog poop, we often stuff these bags in our pockets when heading out the door. Quickly ripping them from our pockets when needed may weaken or cause a small unseen puncture in the wall of the bag. So stuffing the bags in our pockets is not often the best option for carrying them.

2) Our next error is not picking up the dog waste correctly. If we scrape of mash the bag against the ground while scooping, we often tear the dog poop bags. This will also cause more poop to lie remaining on the ground and this will cause additional problems. We must gently and gingerly lift the mess directly up from the ground, trying to leave as little remaining behind as possible.

3) Our third error is the one that is most often made by the majority of canine owners. Once the dog waste is scooped up, we either tie the bag to the leash or we carry it by hand. The possibility of breakage has just increased immensely. We have been doing it this way for so many years, that we don't even think about what we are doing. We are carrying a disgusting bag of animal feces down the public street where it can be bumped or scraped against the dog, the ground, your body, a building, a tree and more. How often have you walked down the street carrying a bag of your own feces? Yet your feces are much safer and less disease-carrying, than your dog's waste, which has the potential to cause 11 diseases and is also a common carrier of worms and their eggs. Carrying dog poop bags in this unprotected manner is not only disgusting, but very unsafe.

4) Our final error is that we fail to do the most obvious and important task. Let me ask a question: What do you do after visiting toilet facilities? You wash your hands, correct? Now why in the world don't we do the same after handling dog waste? You may say "I didn't touch anything". But you still wash after visiting the toilet don't you, when you didn't touch anything? You may say "there is no soap and water nearby". Have you ever heard of hand sanitizer? You may say "I've never done it and no one else does either". Are you going to continue to live in the past, not move forward to do what is correct and healthy and fail to teach others by your example the correct way to pick up dog waste?

The above four errors are very common mistakes in picking up canine feces and yet are very easy to fix. By doing so, we will continue to improve our environment, our health and the health of others. In addition, you will be viewed as a responsible dog owner who is mature, knowledgeable, safety-conscious and considerate of others. Please consider a dog poop bag holder to assist you in correctly picking up dog poop.