Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another reason to clean up promptly after your dog

Set aside the "ewww" factor and consider this story from Science Daily* . In an air quality study done in Cleveland and Detroit during the winter, the dominant form of bacteria found in the air came from dog feces. Because this was only one study done in the Great Lakes region, no one can say how the bacterial count in these cities compares to others.

Ephemeral sculpture

People notice the smell of dog poop, especially if they take a walk and find someone else's dog's poop on their shoes, but who considers what the smell means? Then take super-dog cities like Seattle and Portland where we outnumber the national average of one dog for every three people and, well, we're lucky to have air blowing in off rivers and oceans--I think.

The scientists intend to study the microbe populations in more cities. Imagine a bacterial atlas of the United States, adjusted seasonally, to help you decide where to take your next vacation and what areas to avoid in your search for clean air.

I see this bacteria count as one more justification for wacking non-scoopers upside the head with my plastic bag of poop. Instead, at those rare times when I see someone not picking up, I cheerfully offer them a bag because I carry extras.

Always prepared

*R. M. Bowers, A. P. Sullivan, E. K. Costello, J. L. Collett, R. Knight, N. Fierer. Sources of bacteria in outdoor air across cities in the midwestern United States. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2011; DOI: 10.1128/AEM.05498-11


  1. I wish we all had dog parks where the street lamps were powered by dog poop. Just like the 'spark park projects' in Cambridge, Mass and Denver. Co. Such a great idea and a way to encourage people to do the right thing :)

    Wyatt's mom

    I talked to Metro(Parks Dept.) here in Portland about it once and I just got the stink eye...someday!

  2. An excellent and most timely reminder to scoop the poop!


  3. Food for thought, we always pick up George's but you can still smell it from the bag!! good idea if you see other folks not picking up there dogs to offer a bag, will start doing that, thanks for the tip ;)
    Have a good week
    See Yea Jan and George xxx

  4. I had no idea the smell was in the aire! No idea at all. Gross!

    I have to talk my sister into picking up her dogs poop if we are in a forest. Her argument is that no one picks up the horses poop why pick up dog poop?

    It's an on going battle. At least she picks up on her regular walks, just not in 'forests'.

    I wish we had the poop street lights too. Just doesn't seem to catch on yet....

  5. YUCK. Good reminder to scoop the poop! :)

  6. Never thought about whacking them in the head with my bag of poop but...
    Good article on stinky poop. I have the leash bag holder but always carry a bigger bag or two in my pocket for depositing the little bags into when there is not a garbage can close.

  7. Great reminder!

    Our PA and her assistant get very annoyed when we are out and we come across poop left by naughty owners!

    It give us all a bad name.

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx