Who but a pet sitter can find so much to discuss about pet poop pickup? (Other than new moms and dads, perhaps.) We have it in our bones and in our un-written code of ethics as pet sitters that, “All poop shall be scooped!”
Well. That’s almost true.
Let’s have a look at a cross-section of your client base to see some of the situations you might find yourself in, shall we?
The Scoop on Pet Poop Pickup: Three Client Types
- This first client type’s yard is pristine. There’s a specific bucket or handy garbage pail for pet poop pickups, and poo bags and pooper scoopers are always at hand. This one is easy. You pick up everything on the walk or that’s done in the yard while you’re there.
- The second client type points out the poo bags in the cupboard (even though you always, always have a stash in your car, pockets, and purse.) You might notice their box of bags looks rather well-worn but it’s still packed full, and when you ask where to put the filled poo bags you’ll get a little wave of the hand in the direction of the garage but no attempt to point out the pail. Sadly, on your first trip there you find the garbage bucket blocked by a car, bikes, or lawn tools. Or the inner bag is too full or non-existent.
You need to make a decision now. Either you leave your stash close by and in your visit note tell them you had difficulty putting the bag in the pail this time but you’ve put it in a safe place…or you get in the habit of taking it home yourself (which some people would prefer.) Don’t choose this option too often or you won’t have room for your own trash! (And it’s not too pleasant in the hot months.)
- The third client type says, “Don’t worry about it.” Their son takes care of the yard. At these homes we make sure our first walk through the yard is during the daylight hours or we have rubber boots on! The son has never done a pet poop pickup in his life. And if you forget to bring poo bags for the walk, don’t bother looking through the pet gear cupboard…you won’t find any there. For these clients, see our philosophy below.
Pet Poop Pickup Philosophy
When we were first in the business, we spent a lot of time trying to be helpful with pet poop pickup and took up whatever we found in the yard along with what was just done, but a new crop was always sitting waiting for us the next week. So now for homes that don’t do regular pick ups, we generally pick up what’s “ours” and don’t worry about any others. If we look after the dogs for a vacation visit, however, we pick up everything within reason (for example…not the whole winter’s supply if it happens to be a spring holiday!) And of course we pick up during all our walks off the property.
You are hired to take responsibility for the dog, which includes being socially responsible and being a professional in our industry. But we also owe it to our own health and the health of the dogs we visit next in our daily schedules not to arrive with filth on our shoes. So do not feel guilty about a client’s yard if they don’t.
Just do your best.
The Flinger Poop – WARNING: Do Not Try This at Home :o)
And now the exception to the rule! We call it the “flinger.” Only a very few poops truly qualify and we suggest only professionals should attempt it. 🙂
Say you are walking along a forest trail or on the road beside the woods with the dog on leash of course! (This hardly ever happens in urban centers, so for those of you who don’t live in the wilds, we suggest you read no further!)
Let’s say the dog you are with decides to do his business in an untraveled area…meaning nowhere near a residence, on the trail/road itself, or just on the shoulder where the next unsuspecting dog or walker would step. IF the poop is of good consistency, consider picking up a nearby twig and giving it a healthy “fling” farther into the brush where no one could follow.
Flingers must never be attempted when (a) a house is in sight or, (b) a car or person is passing, or (c) the poop is mushy (just take my word on this one.)
Remember…anyone seeing you could be a future client or a friend of your client who recognizes the dog. So take precautions.
Messy Pet Poop Pickups
In situations where pickups are messy? Scoop what you can with the first bag…then with a fresh one, use it as a glove to pick up some nearby earth, small pebbles, grass, or even snow to cover the remnants. Then use that bag to double-sack the first and you’ll be happy for the extra layer.
The path you leave clean is not only the responsible thing to do for others, but it could be what saves your shoes the next time you’re out with a dog in this neighborhood!