Most pet owners find it difficult to brave the freezing temperatures during the winter and go out to scoop their pet droppings. And since the feces in the yard hardly smell during this period, they wait until spring to remove them.
When spring comes and the grass starts to grow again, you can be tempted to mow your lawn the way it is to get rid of the poop. But is it okay to mow the lawn without picking dog poop first?
The answer is a definite no you can not mow a lawn with dog poop. Or, at least dog poo is not the fertilizer that you’ve been looking for.
Although this may seem to make your work easier, there are more underlying problems if you don’t pick up dog poop before mowing. So let’s get into the details.
Why You Should Pick Up Dog Poop before Mowing
It’s always essential to get rid of any dog droppings before you start mowing your lawn. Here’s why:
#1. Mowing doesn’t clean up dog poop. After mowing a poop-filled lawn, you may not see the poop, but it’s still there. What mowing does is squishing, shredding, and spreading the dog waste all over your lawn.
#2. Dog waste isn’t a fertilizer. Instead, it contains high nitrogen content that can cause soil imbalance. The imbalance lowers the amounts of other nutrients in the soil, making the grass on your lawn turn yellow or even die altogether. Moreover, the EPA categorizes pet poop as one of the nonpoint source pollutants. Other nonpoint pollutants include grease, oil, acid drainage, insecticides, herbicides, and toxic chemicals from cars (how to keep a car off your lawn). These nonpoint pollutants can foul drinking water, damage recreational areas, harm wildlife and fish, and kill native vegetation.
# 3. A poop-filled backyard is an eyesore and can make your space smelly. If you don’t pick dog droppings from your lawn, it’ll look like you’ve neglected your pet and home in general. That’s something you don’t want, especially if you’re planning to sell your house. A shabby-looking lawn will be a major turn-off and may incredibly lower your property’s value.
# 4. The other drawback of mowing your lawn with dog poop is the feces can be detrimental to your health. This is because it contains harmful parasites and bacteria that can cause various diseases in humans and even other pets. Some of the most common diseases include:
- Campylobacteriosis- Symptoms include cramping, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain.
- Salmonellosis – Symptoms include muscle aches, fever, vomiting, headache, and diarrhea.
- E. Coli – Certain strains of E. Coli and other fecal coliforms can escape into your bloodstream or cause nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
- Cyclospora infection- incubates for a week in the body and then causes gastroenteritis that can wane and wax for over a month.
- Tapeworms – They attach to their hosts’ intestines and absorb nutrients.
- Roundworms (including whipworm and hookworm) larva can travel throughout the body to the lungs, brain, kidneys, brain, liver, heart, and eyes. They can cause blindness.
The Best Way to Clean Up Dog Poop in Your Yard
Although there are several ways to remove dog waste from your yard, using a pooper scooper is the best way to clean it up. With this device, you’ll be able to pick up dog waste without coming into contact with it.
There are various pooper scooper varieties in the market, but they generally come with a spade or small clamp at the tip of the handle. When you pull this handle, it closes around the dog droppings. After that, you can move the scooped poop into a bag and then dispose of it when it fills up or when you’re done cleaning.
However, some varieties have bags that you can directly attach to the scooper and directly deposit the waste into the unique bag minus putting the poop in the bag.
The Takeaway: You Should Not Mow a Lawn with Dog Poop
Running your doggie deposits over with a mower may seem like an excellent doo doo disappearing trick, but just because you cannot see the waste anymore does not mean it’s not there. The best practice is to do your due diligence and remove the poop first before moving. Dog urine can kill grass as well, particularly if you have a female dog.