Is it bad to mow over dog poop? What to Know

What happens if a lawn mower goes over dog poop?

Dog poop is NOT fertilizer. It will NOT encourage your lawn to grow. It will burn and discolor your lawn. Mowing over it will make it go away.

Going beyond the nitrogen issue, let’s further examine the potential dangers in your dog’s poop

At any given time, whether or not your dog is showing any signs of illness, just one gram of your dog’s waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Furthermore your dog may be carrying any number of pathogens located within their intestinal tract – including Giardia, Salmonella, and Roundworm. Your dog’s immune system may be successfully fighting off the contagion, but that does not mean their excrement is safe enough to leave situated in your backyard.

Why You Should Pick Up Dog Poop before Mowing

It’s always essential to get rid of any dog droppings before you start mowing your lawn. Here’s why:

#1. Mowing doesn’t clean up dog poop. After mowing a poop-filled lawn, you may not see the poop, but it’s still there. What mowing does is squishing, shredding, and spreading the dog waste all over your lawn.

#2. Dog waste isn’t a fertilizer. Instead, it contains high nitrogen content that can cause soil imbalance. The imbalance lowers the amounts of other nutrients in the soil, making the grass on your lawn turn yellow or even die altogether. Moreover, the EPA categorizes pet poop as one of the nonpoint source pollutants. Other nonpoint pollutants include grease, oil, acid drainage, insecticides, herbicides, and toxic chemicals from cars (how to keep a car off your lawn). These nonpoint pollutants can foul drinking water, damage recreational areas, harm wildlife and fish, and kill native vegetation.

# 3. A poop-filled backyard is an eyesore and can make your space smelly. If you don’t pick dog droppings from your lawn, it’ll look like you’ve neglected your pet and home in general. That’s something you don’t want, especially if you’re planning to sell your house. A shabby-looking lawn will be a major turn-off and may incredibly lower your property’s value.

# 4. The other drawback of mowing your lawn with dog poop is the feces can be detrimental to your health. This is because it contains harmful parasites and bacteria that can cause various diseases in humans and even other pets. Some of the most common diseases include:

From Bacteria

  • Campylobacteriosis- Symptoms include cramping, diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain.
  • Salmonellosis – Symptoms include muscle aches, fever, vomiting, headache, and diarrhea.
  • E. Coli – Certain strains of E. Coli and other fecal coliforms can escape into your bloodstream or cause nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
  • From Parasites

  • Cyclospora infection- incubates for a week in the body and then causes gastroenteritis that can wane and wax for over a month.
  • Tapeworms – They attach to their hosts’ intestines and absorb nutrients.
  • Roundworms (including whipworm and hookworm) larva can travel throughout the body to the lungs, brain, kidneys, brain, liver, heart, and eyes. They can cause blindness.
  • What to do about dog poo when you are mowing a lawn?

    Time is a precious commodity, and of all of the things on the average homeowner’s to-do list, picking up after the pooch is probably down there towards the bottom. For some, the solution to their pet waste problems is to eradicate the waste by simply chopping it into bits while mowing the lawn. Pet owners, take note: This is not an effective solution.

    Many don’t realize it, but dog waste is more than just a gross and unsightly mess – it is an environmental pollutant and a human health hazard.

    In 1991, dog waste was labeled a non-point source pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, the EPA estimates that, two or three days worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs can contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay and all watershed areas within 20 miles to swimming and shell fishing.

    Unlike other common sources of pollution, such as rinse water from driveways and motor oil, doggie deposits often carry disease-causing parasites and bacteria that can be transmitted directly to humans and make them sick. Roundworm, for example, is one of the most common parasites found in dog doo and it can remain infectious in contaminated soil and water for years.

    Running doggie deposits over with a lawn mower may seem like the perfect doo doo disappearing act, but just because you can’t see the waste anymore doesn’t mean it is not there. In reality, lawn mowers spread the waste around and make it more difficult to properly clean up, if not impossible.

    Instead, the best action people can take for their family and community is to make sure their pets are always picked up after. Those who are too busy to deal with the mess should consider hiring a local pet waste management service.