How picking up after your dog can protect the environment

by Stuart Leavenworth

Dog waste doesn’t vanish when it rains. Classified as an environmental pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency, it gets washed into nearby waterways and can make people, wildlife and other dogs sick.

Indeed, one gram of dog waste can contain over 23 million bacteria, and no matter where you live, the ecosystem isn’t built to handle the extra waste.

Being a responsible dog owner includes picking up after your pet using thick, leak-proof bags to prevent contamination of local water. Don’t flush it either; many towns can’t handle dog waste bacteria when treating wastewater, and even flushable poop bags can clog plumbing.

Under today’s FTC regulations defining requirements for product labeling, there are currently no dog waste bag manufacturers that can claim biodegradability, since the bags cannot be proven to break down completely in a landfill within a specified timeline. Some companies however, continue to label their bags as “biodegradable,” which doesn’t guarantee they’re different from unlabeled counterparts.

Look for responsible companies doing their part to reduce their footprint and give back to the community. For example, Earth Rated, an affordable option, uses recycled materials in packaging and in the core of their rolls of dog waste bags.

More dog waste pick-up tips are available at

Don’t forget: After you bag it, properly dispose of it.

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