When I first started to think about this topic, my original title was not as nice or family friendly.  And the reasons I had as my content for "Why You Should Pick Up Your Dog's $#!T" were pretty much:

1. Because it's GROSS
2. Because we all have to live in this world TOGETHER
3. Because it's RUDE not too 

And so on. 

Not very helpful if you are someone who doesn't recognize those as valid reasons. It might not be gross to you and you might be someone who systematically doesn't give a crap about what impact your actions have on the lives of others. (I couldn't come up with a nice way to say that last part, sorry - but really I'm not here to judge.)

But there are other reasons to appeal to besides just being considerate of others. Some big reasons that could cumulatively have a big impact on our own health, our communities, and our earth as a whole.  So even if the appeal of common human decency doesn't persuade you to bag it up, perhaps a little nudge from science might?

1. Feces spread disease, in the form of viruses like Parvo, parasites like whipworms, hookworms and roundworms, and bacteria like giardia and coccidia.  These can spread from dog to dog, and some of these nasty things are transmittable to humans.  If your dog steps or rolls in a pile of poo and then walks into your house . . . I'll let you draw your own conclusions. 

2. Dog poop pollutes water. When we leave our dog's waste on the ground, rainwater and snow melt runoff carries all this nastiness to the nearest watershed.  This causes bacterial pollution in the water, as well as higher phosphorous levels that can cause damage to water quality and plant life. I couldn't help but chuckle (and grimace) at the EPA's Clean Water Campaign's slogan: "If you think picking up dog poop is unpleasant, try swimming in it." Gross.

3. Not picking up after your dog makes will make it harder for you (and every other dog owner) to find a place to live or stay that will allow your dog. Perhaps this is a little out of the science category and more in the common sense category.  If dogs are a nuisance in a community because their humans don't clean up after them, landlords will stop renting to tenants with dogs.  Or charge a higher fee for pet rent to compensate for the extra maintenance and wear and tear on their property. No one wants that. I love being able to live in a condo complex with my dog, where there are no private yards and consequently everyone's dogs poop all over the communal walking areas. But if it goes on like this, eventually, those rental (and buying) opportunities for properties like my home will disappear for those of us who insist on living with dogs. Let's not let that happen.

Roo & Dylon are loaning their beautiful model faces to the cause - who's with them? ;)