best way to clean up dog poop in yard!
Wouldn’t it be great if training your dog to use the toilet was an option? You would never have to worry about how to get rid of dog poop in your yard again!
Unfortunately, they can’t. Well, none that I’ve met anyway.
Picking up your dog’s poop should be done every day, regardless of how many dogs you have or how big or small they are.
Who has the time to pick up dog poop every single day?
Instead of doing it daily we have a weekly schedule. Luckily our three dogs are medium sized and don’t produce that much waste. If you have larger dogs or multiple dogs then your schedule may need to be adjusted.
The schedule you keep will be tailored to your weekly dog poop production. Unless you hire a dog waste removal business to do it you will have to do the task of doing it yourself.
Homeowners over renters
When we rented a townhouse we would walk our dogs every day either in the front yard for a quick potty break or a longer neighborhood walk for some extra exercise. Walking your dog on a leash for potty breaks in a neighborhood obligates you to pick up any waste that your dog leaves behind. We never had the problem of getting rid of dog poop until we moved into our own home.
When we were shopping for our home one of the top features we were looking for was a large fenced in backyard. We wanted our dogs the luxury of being able to go outside and play and potty whenever they wanted without us taking them on a leash. Little did we know the maintenance and work that was yet to come.
Fenced in backyards
Although having a fenced in backyard for your dogs to play in is nice, it takes maintenance and care.
We have three dogs that are left outside in our fenced in backyard for extended periods of time. They are allowed to go to the bathroom whenever they want! We are responsible for making sure they have a clean playing area and to ensure the yard does not smell.
If you do not do weekly maintenance it will get real bad real quick. Your neighbors will be able to smell the stink coming from your backyard and your dogs will be stepping in it and bringing it into your home.
By maintaining the dog wast in your yard you will not only be a responsible dog parent but a good neighbor as well.
Where is all the poop?
After one week of constantly being fertilized by doggy doo doo, your grass will grow fairly fast. Making it difficult to discover where all the dog poop is at. In order to thoroughly find all the dog poop and remove it from your yard you will have to cut the grass down some. I‘ve listed just 10 simple steps below for you to follow and ensure you get rid of all that dog poop from your yard.
Once you’ve gone through and cut the grass down just enough to find the poop you can make a second trip around and cut the grass even shorter.
This will allow you to get even closer to the dirt and discover older dog poop that has been stepped on or disintegrated. Getting an even more thorough clean up!
Materials You'll Need
#1. Pooper Scooper with a rake
Don’t buy the traditional pooper scooper that looks like it came out of the claw machine. Those claw types are intended for indoor and pavement pick ups. Unless your grass is already cut super low they do not work in the yard.
You definitely want to buy one that has a small rake and a large pan. This will allow you to make less trips to the bucket to dump the waste and will allow you to pick the poop up easier. The rake will also allow for a more thorough clean up making sure to get all the way down to the dirt.
#2. Lawnmower with a bagger
You’re going to want to use a lawnmower that has a bag system attached to it. This will allow for the dirty grass trimming to be collected.You can use a lawn mower without a bag.
If you don’t have this option but be sure the side is opened. The whole point here is to get the grass cut down to a length so you can find the poop.
#4. 5 gallon bucket
The bucket will be used to collect the waste as you walk around the yard. You won’t have to make a hundred trips back and forth to the large outdoor trash can. Be sure and put the black trash bags in the 5-gallon bucket.
You can pick up 5 gallon buckets at any Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Step 1. Pick up the visible poop first
Watch your dogs when they go and do their duty through out the week. If you have more than one dog they tend to go in the same area as each other. If not they should routinely go in their own chosen designated area.
Keep an eye out for these popular pooping places so when you go to clean up you won’t be guessing.
Look for dark green grass that is growing faster than normal. This is a sign of healthy grass being well fertilized from your dogs poop.
Do a quick walk through of your yard and scoop up the dog poop you can see before you mow. Our grass is very healthy and grows super quick so I am not able to find many piles.
You may not find any at all, depending on when the last time you mowed was. It’s helpful to get as much poop cleaned up before you mow but it’s okay if you don’t. We’ll get to the hidden poop in step two.
Step 2. Cut down the grass
In order to find the poop that’s hidden in the grass, you’ll need to mow it. Do not worry, your not going to cut and sling dog poop everywhere.
If you’ve ever used a lawnmower you know that it can roll over small items like sticks, toys, rocks and dog poop and not have the blade hit it.
Check and see how low your mower is to the ground.
You will want to raise the lawn mower to a higher position. You can easily do this on most mowers by pulling the attachments by the front and rear wheels then raising the mower up.
After you’ve raised the mower, your’e ready to start mowing! Pick any spot in the yard and mow like you would normally.
Step 3. Watch out for land mines
As your mowing the grass walk slowly and carefully. I extend my arms out from my body leaving plenty of room between my feet and the mower.
While your walking forward keep an eye both in front of the mower and down at your feet. You want to walk around the dog poop.
Stepping on poop happens. I like to wear old shoes with no tread on the soles. That way If I do happen to step in some I can easily wipe it of on some dry dirt.
Just be sure to keep a good distance from the mower and you should do fine.
Don’t wear boots or tennis shoes with a lot of tread on the bottom.
If you do happen to step in some doggy doo doo it will be harder to get the poop out.
Wear old shoes with little to no tread. This will allow you to easily wipe off the poop!
Step 4. Empty the grass in bag
You will want to empty the bag often. It is being filled with dirty dog poop covered grass and we don’t want that in the yard. Be sure and turn the mower off before you do this.
You will be able to know when the bag is full and ready to be emptied by how hard the mower is to push.
Most mowers have a easy bag removal system where you simply lift it up and at an angle. After it’s empty just slide it back in the slots and start the mower back up.
Step 5. Pet dog & Continue to cut!
You will have to empty the bag frequently depending on the size of your yard and how tall the grass is. This step is crucial in preventing the old poopy grass from staying in your yard so take your time and ensure you get as much cut grass out of your yard as possible.
I like to have my dogs out with me when I mow the back yard and have some doggy daddy bonding time. Taking a break to throw the ball and pet them a little will make it less of a chore and more of a fun past time with your pups.
Step 6. Walk around and pick up the poop!
After you’re all done cutting the grass and throwing it all in the trash can the dog poop should be visible. Simply walk around with your rake and dog poop scooper and scoop it all up.
Be sure and place the garbage bag in the 5-gallon bucket first. You don’t want to put the dog poop in the bucket without a bag!
After you’ve picked up all the dog poop feel free to go back through and mow the grass again with your mower lowered. You can go the second round without the bagger and get the job done quicker.
This will shave off some more grass and allow the poop to be more visible for next week’s cleaning.
Adding dirt inside the poop bucket will help decrease the smell in your trash can. I don’t typically have an issue since I store my trash can on the side of my house out of the sun but I know this helps.
I also schedule to cut the grass a day or two before the trash service comes. This way I don’t have a large bag of dog poop sitting in my trash can for a week.
Step 7.) Throw the poop bag away!
1.) Grab the drawstrings on both sides of the large trash bag and pull the bag up and out of the bucket.
2.) Tie the drawstrings in a tight knot and toss the bag in a large trash can.
Step 8. Inspect the bottom of your mower
This is what the hole for the grass cuttings to come out of looks like after mowing just a small portion of my yard.
The bottom is even worse! We can’t put our lawnmower back in the shed looking like this!
You’re going to want to go ahead and clean the lawnmower thoroughly after you mow the backyard. Trust me. Either do it after you mow or before you mow.
Cleaning it right after you mow is a lot easier. The grass is still damp and slides off easier.
Wait a week or two and the grass dries and hardens. The entire belly of your lawn mower will also be covered in white mold and nasty bacteria.
Step 9. Give your lawn mower a bath
Most lawn mowers available on the market come with the hose cleaning attachment. This is a great tool for cleaning your lawn mower quickly and easily.
It’s very simple to do.
- Attach your garden hose to the attachment.
- Turn on the water and allow the under carriage to get saturated
- Start the mower and let it do its magic!
Step 10. Finish the job with a rinse
That wasn’t so bad was it? Now you can go to sleep at night assured that the next time you pull your lawnmower out to cut the back yard it will be ready to go!
Step 11.) Hose off the top
What a beautiful lawn mower! Spraying off the top and around the neck of the mower will prevent any nasty crud accumulating. Don’t spray directly inside the engine, you don’t want water inside the engine compartment through the exhaust.
Just give a soft rinse on the engine part. You can spray hard around the body and the wheels all you want.
Step 12. Go take a shower!
Don’t go inside and wash your hands and face. Take a full blown shower. There will be all kinds of bacteria and unhealthy organisms flying around when you do this weekly chore. You don’t want to bring all that disease inside your home.
After ridding your back yard of all dog poop and getting it ready for another week of collecting more, you’re going to want to take a shower.