What Happens if You Leave Dog Poop in the Yard?


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Over a third of us have a furry friend in our lives, proving dogs are, without a doubt, man’s best friend. We give them regular treats, take them out for walks, and even dress them in stylish clothing.

We can all agree that dogs are the cutest things in the world until it’s time to pick up their poop.

Depending on the breed, adult dogs poop at least once a day. Leaving dog poop in your yard might seem like a harmless act, but it can actually have some pretty serious consequences.

In this blog post, we’ll look closely at what happens if you don’t pick up the dog poop in your yard and how to properly dispose of it.

dachshund laying on back in grass

What Happens if You Leave Dog Poop in the Yard?

As a dog owner, it’s important to pick up your dog’s poop when they go outside. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also have some serious consequences for your grass. Not only does it make your yard look unsightly, but it can also kill the grass and contaminate the soil.

Let’s answer the following questions:

  • How do I neutralize dog poop on my lawn?
  • How long does it take for dog poop to disintegrate in the grass?
  • How often should you pick up dog poop in your yard?
  • Is dog poop good fertilizer?
  • Does rain wash away dog poop?
  • How do you speed up the decomposition of dog poop?
  • Does dog poop attract rats?
  • What’s the easiest way to pick up dog poop?

How do I neutralize dog poop on my lawn?

The fastest and safest option to neutralize dog poop is white vinegar because of its antiseptic and antibacterial benefits. It not only helps to dissolve dog poop but acts as a stain remover and an odor repellent, so your lawn will look cleaner than ever.

Although white vinegar is the safest option for getting rid of poop, keep your dog away from the neutralized lawn area – ingesting large amounts of vinegar can cause diarrhea.

How long does it take for dog poop to disintegrate in the grass?

Dog poop breaks down slowly because of the canine’s high protein diet and can take up to a year to fully decompose.

The rate at which poop decomposes depends not only on the dog’s diet but environmental factors such as climate. For example, if you live in a warmer climate, dog poop could take only nine weeks to decompose because the waste is unable to freeze.

golden retriever dog laying in grass looking at camera

How often should you pick up dog poop in your yard?

How often you have to pick up poop depends entirely on how many dogs you own. If you only have one dog, it’s acceptable to clean up your yard once a week, though if you have enough time, you should pick up poop every time your dog goes.

If you have multiple dogs, each pooping twice a day, your yard could get messy fast and see significant damage – if this is the case, you’ll need to pick up dog poop multiple times per day.

Is dog poop good fertilizer?

There seems to be a common misconception that dog poop fertilizes grass, but dog poop is NOT a good fertilizer.

The impact of a single gram of dog waste is sobering: it can contain up to 20+ million fecal bacteria and carry numerous diseases, including whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and parvo. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that humans are at risk of becoming infected if they come into contact with pet droppings without taking proper precautions; all it takes is direct contact with the soil to contract one or more disease-causing pathogens.

Does rain wash away dog poop?

Dog poop will eventually wash away during the rainy season, but it will not fully dissolve. Instead, the steady rain will break down the poop particles, and you’ll be faced with scattered brown patches across your lawn – not ideal.

If rain falls for days at a time then the poop will eventually wash away, but we’d recommend picking it up before it spreads across your yard.

How do you speed up the decomposition of dog poop?

We’ve mentioned white vinegar, but did you know you can also use gardening lime and enzyme-based dissolving solutions?

Gardening lime, or agricultural lime, is an effective way to speed up the decomposition process. All you need to do is sprinkle it over the poop and watch the magic happen.

You can also use an enzyme-based dissolving solution to remove poop and urine odors without using chemicals. This makes them safer for your furry friend.

beagle looking at camera with tongue out

Does dog poop attract rats?

Yes. Unfortunately, dog poop is one of the main food sources for rats in urban areas, so leaving dog poop in your yard could attract rodents to your home and lead to a potential infestation.

Rats can cause structural damage to your home and spread diseases, so it’s important to avoid an infestation by picking up dog poop (at least) weekly.

What’s the easiest way to pick up dog poop?

If you can’t stand picking up dog poop and try to avoid doing so at all costs, it might be time to use a new strategy. Here are some easier ways to pick up dog poop:

Use a Pooper Scooper

If you struggle with bending down and getting too close to the poop, a pooper scooper might be the best option for you. This gadget eliminates the need to use multiple bags, meaning you can pick up all the poop easily at the end of the day and dispose of them safely. Amazon has tons of pooper scoopers to choose from.

Flush It

This might sound strange, but flushing your dog poop down the toilet is better for the environment and eliminates harsh smells quickly.

The EPA endorses flushing dog poop as waste is treated at a water plant that removes pollutants rather than left degrading slowly at the landfill.

Hire a Professional

If you really can’t stand disposing of poop, then why not hire a professional?

Dog waste removal services are becoming increasingly popular, providing a professional and hands-off approach to picking up poop. Most work on a contractual basis depending on your needs, either coming multiple times a week or once a month.

Although this is a pricier option, it takes out one of the most tiresome chores as a dog owner and lets you spend more time with your furry friend.

Don’t want to pick up dog poop every day? Fear not!

Generally speaking, it’s okay to pick up dog poop weekly rather than daily. However, leaving poop to sit on your lawn for too long can cause permanent damage to the grass, as dog waste contains high amounts of nitrogen. While nitrogen is considered good for plants, a too-high concentration can scorch grass and cause discolored patches.


This article has covered what happens when you leave dog poop in your yard. For advice on keeping your home clean when owning a dog, check out our article How to Keep Your House Clean with Dogs. If your carpet has been affected by dog poop, read our informative guide on Keeping Your Carpets Clean.

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Join the Conversation

  1. As much as we love our furry friends, we can’t deny that dog poop on the lawn is a problem. Not only does it make our yards look unsightly, but it can also harm the grass and soil. That’s why it’s essential to always have a pooper scooper on hand to pick up after your pup. But what if you forget? The solution is simple: neutralize the poop with white vinegar! It’s a quick and safe way to dissolve the poop and get rid of any stains or odors left behind. Plus, it’s a natural alternative to harsh chemicals that could harm your grass. So, next time you forget your pooper scooper, reach for the white vinegar and keep your yard looking pristine.

  2. I design a special room for my dog and train him to go to it to poop. It takes me two weeks to train the dog not to poop in the yard.

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