Two Knobby Tires® - Eco-Friendly Outdoor Gear

Environmentally Conscious Dog Walking

For the purpose of preserving our sensitive ecosystems and environment, it is vital to collect your dog's feces while hiking or walking.

Myth: dog waste fertilizes plants near the trail - Feces is known to be a fertilizer so leaving it near a trail maybe beneficial to plants. Further, if wildlife feces is acceptable then leaving my dog's feces near a trail must be acceptable too. Finally, collecting and disposing of dog waste requires additional work that can be justified as nonessential.

Problem: dog waste causes native plants to be replaced by non-native plants  - Since dog food and treats are chemically-engineered, dog feces can contain a high level of nitrogen not found in wildlife feces. In many places, soils naturally contain a low concentration of nitrogen and, thus, most native plants thrive in that environment. On the other hand, many non-native plants and weeds thrive in high nitrogen soils. Thus, leaving your dog's waste to decompose near a trail increases the soils nitrogen level and ultimately increases the chance that non-native plants will replace native ones. A reduction in native plants results in a loss of a food source for local wildlife and insects because non-native plants do not provide as much nutritional value. What's more, wildlife search for unnatural sources of food such as human garbage, pets, and gardens when native plants are destroyed. Finally, native plants typically do a better job of inhibiting erosion than do non-native plants.

Solution: collect dog feces in pet waste bags - It is advocated to make a habit of picking up your dog's feces using biodegradable and disposable waste bags for the purpose of minimizing your impact on the environment. This habit can help preserve the land and wildlife habitat for enjoyment by future generations.

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