A lot of people in North Dakota have backyards where their dogs can go around and play without fear. The health and safety of pets and the environment depend on a clean yard, so keeping it tidy isn't merely for show.

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To make sure your yard is still a safe sanctuary for your dog, it's a good idea to review the best practices for dog waste cleanup before spring arrives.

Not only is dog feces unsightly, but it also contains dangerous bacteria, including Yersinia, Salmonella, and E. coli.

According to the NIH, dogs can swallow these bacteria when they step in excrement and then lick their paws. Also, if you leave trash lying around, it can lure in wild animals that your dog doesn't want to hang out with.

It is impossible to overstate the environmental cost of ignoring the need to pick up canine waste. Dog poop, in contrast to other types of animal excrement, is extremely acidic and can kill grass plants, causing them to become brown or yellow. The CDC also notes that it has the potential to poison streams, which might harm local ecosystems.

If you want your yard to be spotless and safe for your pet, you must establish a routine for cleaning it. It would be ideal if you could pick up after your dog every time they defecate, but that might not always be possible.

Alternatively, try to check your yard for trash every day. Heavy rain can spread waste, which could contaminate water supplies, so it's a good idea to clean up before a rainfall.

Having the proper equipment can greatly simplify the cleanup process. There are a variety of efficient tools for cleaning different surfaces, including wire rake scoopers, spade scoopers, and spring-loaded scoopers.

For quick cleanups when you're out and about with your pet, be sure to bring along some trash bags.

Whenever possible, choose disposal options that are less harmful to the environment. Rather than making the more inconvenient choice of putting garbage in the trash, think about flushing it down the toilet whenever possible.

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