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Poop Week: Puppies, Poo and Plastic Bags

Posted by Loren Drummond at Jul 31, 2014 07:25 AM |

If you hike with a dog, removing your dog's waste from the trail is your responsibility. Besides reducing the impact on Washington's most beautiful places, when you do the right thing, you are helping to create a more welcoming trail culture for your dog in the future.

Welcome to Day 3 of Poop Week, the week where we get real about No. 2. From diapers to dogs, the conservation science of scat to the best backcountry privies in Washington, we're digging into the subject of poop on trail all week long.

Yoda, Noca, Madigan, Lula, Alfie -- these are just a few of the hiking dogs here at WTA. As a staff, we intimately know both the joys and trials of hiking with our dogs, and we're often sharing training tips to shape our dogs into great trail ambassadors. Try as we might, though, we've never been able to train our pups to pick up their own waste. That duty remains with us, the hikers.

Do the right thing dogs tips

When it comes to dogs, you have two good options: bury it like you would your own waste or pack it out. Pack a trowel and bury the waste as you would your own. Alternatively, pack it out in a plastic baggie.

  • Carry and bury. To bury your dog's waste properly, carry it at least 200 feet from water, trailheads, trails or your camp and use a small trowel, a stick or your heel, dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep.
  • Keep the baggie with you. If you're packing pet waste out, keep the baggie with you. Don't stash it alongside the trail or leave it hanging from a tree. Why? Besides taking the chance that you will miss it on the way out, your dog poop just looks like trash to every other hiker on the trail.
  • Make your pup pack it out. If you don't want to carry it in your pack for the rest of your hike, get your dog a backpack and have your pup pack it out.
  • Keeping your dog on leash will help you keep track of where she does her business. If you get good at reading your dog's signals, you may even be able to walk her off trail to a more ideal digging spot.
  • On snow or in winter, you'll need to treat your dog's waste just as you would your own and pack it out.
  • Worried about the smell? Double bag it, or train your dog to follow you on leash and have him carry the poop.

Reduce impact, help create a trail culture welcoming to dogs

If you hike with a dog, removing your dog's waste from the trail is your responsibility. Besides reducing the impact on Washington's most beautiful places, when you do the right thing, you are helping to create a more welcoming trail culture for your dog in the future.

Comments

MapleLeaf on Poop Week: Puppies, Poo and Plastic Bags

THanks WTA for publishing this much needed article. There is a continual need for education about this topic, especially since more people and dogs are using the trails these days. It would be great if you could put a link to this on your home page or some place where it would be more visible, especially for those who are new to hiking in the area.

Posted by:


MapleLeaf on Aug 09, 2014 11:21 AM

Beckfield on Poop Week: Puppies, Poo and Plastic Bags

This is a great article. I would like to suggest the following addition:
If the guidelines for the trail say "Don't leave the trail," this is NOT an excuse to ignore the guidelines and bury your waste near the trail/water/trailhead. In this case, your only option is to pack it out.

Posted by:


Beckfield on Mar 29, 2017 02:37 PM

Colony Cleanup on Poop Week: Puppies, Poo and Plastic Bags

Great article, thanks for the information! Check out colonycleanup.com for helpful tips and products to fight the litter!

Posted by:


Colony Cleanup on Jun 13, 2020 06:25 PM