Consider it your duty to deal with your dog's doody. Dog poop is a common area of contention in neighborhoods all across the country. Researchers estimate there are more than 80 million dogs in the country, producing about 10.6 million tons of poop a year. Yet only 60 percent of pet owners bother to pick it up. Many assume it's a natural fertilizer or it will disintegrate on its own. It's time to get the scoop on your dog's poop and its effect on the environment, so let’s start with six common myths.

Myth 1: Dog Poo Is Good for the Soil

Many dog owners don’t worry about dog poop in their yard because they assume poop is fertilizer. However, studies have shown dog poop is not the kind of fertilizer that you want to have around your plants. Poop left on the soil not only kills the grass, but it also makes the lawn unsuitable for use.

Myth 2: Dog Poo Can’t Hurt Me

Dog waste is full of bacteria, and it has many ways of making its way into your home. Dogs step in poop. So do people. Traces of poop can be present on your bed, carpet, couch or anywhere the dog or people wander. Hookworms and roundworms are commonly found in dog poop as are bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Keep your family safe by picking up the poop so that it doesn’t find its way indoors.

Myth 3: It Really Isn’t That Much Poop

Yes, it is. The average dog poops about ¾ of a pound of poop every day. That’s more than 250 pounds of poop on your lawn each year. Add in a couple of extra pups, and your yard becomes a poop party. Dog poop does break down over time, but do you want so much poop covering the lawn that you can't use it for other activities? Cleaning up after your pet is just one way to keep your yard safe and secure for your pooch and guests.

Myth 4: My Dog Doesn’t Eat His Poop

Most dogs don’t eat their poop, but you may look out the window one day to find your dog scarfing down what just came out the other end. Dogs are scavengers, which means that they like going through the trash, eating random stuff on the ground, or eating dog poop in the yard. This means your dog could be sharing germs with you when they lick your face.

Myth 5: Throwing It Out Is the Best Option

Most Americans throw their dog poop in the trash, but it's better to flush it down the toilet. Poop is poop is poop. You wouldn’t throw your poop in the garbage so why toss your dog’s poop in the trash? Most dog owners use old plastic grocery bags to pick up the waste. These bags then go to the landfill and don’t breakdown making for rotting dog poop encased in plastic for years on end.

Myth 6: Stepping in Dog Poop Is Good Luck

There’s nothing lucky about stepping on a landmine. Stepping in dog poop means you weren’t looking where you stepped or that your lawn is so full of poop that you had no choice. Either way, you now have to disinfect the bottom of your shoe before you go any further. Stepping in dog poop is pretty much the opposite of anything but good luck.

Understanding your dog and their excrement is a vital part of owning a pet. So let's dispose of the myths, and your dog's doo properly. You'll be keeping your family, your pet, and the planet healthier.