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How To Keep Dogs From Pooping In Your Yard

Updated: 5 days ago

How To Keep Dogs From Pooping In Your Yard Graphic

It is one thing to clean up after your own pet, but it's quite another when you are left to deal with the mess of a neighbor's dog on your property. There are several ways to handle and prevent the situation.

If talking with your neighbor does not rectify the problem, you could try commercial repellent sprays, home remedies such as vinegar, motion-activated sprinklers, barriers, specific plants, or ultrasonic devices.

The goal should be to handle the situation in a lawful, safe, and dignified manner. There should never be any threats, aggression, or acts of retaliation.

Chore-ology is here to help guide you through these messy occurrences. We have 10 humane methods to prevent your neighbors' dogs, or any dog, from pooping in your yard.

10 Ways To Prevent A Dog From Pooping In Your Yard

There are several options to prevent dogs from pooping in your yard that will not cause any harm to your garden or the animal. Please remember, that it is a federal offense to harm any animal.

1. Speak to your neighbors

If you know the owners of the dog that has been pooping in your yard, the first thing you should do is talk to them. If this is the first time discussing it with your neighbor, be sure to do so in a calm and non-accusatory manner. Your neighbor may not be aware of the situation.

Being aggressive will only make the situation worse - you'll end up with poop on your lawn and a neighbor with a grudge.

Unfortunately, not all dog owners take this matter seriously. If the problem persists, have a look at some of the options below that you can implement without involving your neighbor.

2. Repellent sprays

There is a wide variety of commercial dog repellent sprays that deter canines from pooping and marking their territory. Use the repellent in areas where the dog is known to poop. These sprays have been specially developed to ensure that it is not harmful to the animal or the environment.

Dogs have an especially keen sense of smell and find certain natural odors offensive. Since the ingredients in these sprays are natural, you could even make your own spray by combining ingredients such as vinegar, and citrus essential oils.

3. Natural barriers and deterrents

As mentioned, dogs have sensitive noses. By introducing specific varieties of plant life into your yard, you could create natural barriers (like shrubs and hedges acting as a fence) along with an odor barrier to discourage the dog from entering your property. These plants are not toxic to dogs but their scent alone should keep them from pooping in your yard:

  • Citrus trees or plants

  • Rosemary

  • Citronella plants

  • Marigolds

  • Pepper or chili plants

  • Garlic

  • Curry plants

  • Lemongrass

  • Lavender

Alternatively, you could place gravel stones, pebbles, or rough landscaping rocks around the perimeter or in the areas your neighbor's dog poops.

4. Ultrasonic repelling device

Apart from their sensitive noses, dogs also have extremely sensitive ears. Ultrasonic devices can be motion-activated and emit a high-frequency sound only registered by certain animals. This sound deters dogs from entering and pooping on your property. The sound that is emitted will stay within the range of your yard; however, your own dog may be affected by it too.

If you do not have pets of your own, this is also a great device to use to rid your garden of other unwanted pests such as rats, moles, raccoons, foxes, cats, and groundhogs. Many of the ultrasonic sensors are solar-powered and waterproof, making them extremely low maintenance.

5. Motion-activated lawn sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers are great for many reasons. They will not only stop a dog from pooping in your yard, but they can also ward off other unwanted visitors such as foxes, coyotes, deer, and intruders.

These sprinklers will activate as soon as any motion is detected and the unexpected spray of water will scare off (but not harm) the dog. You'll have a lush watered garden free from dog poop.

6. Change your fertilizer

Dogs are creatures of habit and like to do their business in places that are familiar to them. By switching up your fertilizer, the sudden difference in smell may be enough to deter the canine from entering your property altogether.

7. Get rid of things that may encourage the dog

You may be unwittingly encouraging a dog to poop in your yard. If you are making use of commercial repellent sprays for animals such as rabbits, deer, raccoons, and skunks, this may be the reason neighborhood dogs are attracted to your yard.

These repellents contain coyote urine which will encourage a dog to pee and poop in the area.

Additionally, ensure that your garbage bins are not easily accessible and overflowing with food items that may attract dogs or other pests into your yard.

8. Limiting accessibility and signs

A surefire way to ensure your neighbor's dog stays out of your property is to erect a fence or tall barrier wall. This is obviously not ideal for everyone as some prefer to have their front lawn open and easily accessible.

You could also post flyers or put up signs to inform your neighbors that not picking up after their dog is illegal. You would need to check the laws of your state to be sure of this as well as the potential fines.

9. Motion sensor cameras

Motion sensor security cameras could aid you in two ways. Firstly, you will be notified when the dog has entered your property which gives you time to gently usher him away. By encouraging the dog to leave, you can create the illusion of a hostile environment without resorting to force. The dog should eventually come to realize that your yard is a no-pooping zone.

Secondly, the camera serves as a means of gathering video evidence, should your neighbors be in denial, or should you need to figure out which dog owner to hold responsible.

10. Legal action

This should be your absolute last resort. If your neighbor's dog pooping in your yard has not stopped despite your best efforts, and they refuse to do anything to rectify the situation, get local authorities involved.

This does not necessarily mean that you sue them. Initially, try reaching out to the neighborhood watch for support, or inform your neighbor of the local regulations concerning waste disposal. If the matter persists, send a certified letter to your neighbors urging them to take responsibility.

If the dog that is pooping in your yard is a stray, call animal control services so they can safely remove the dog. The poop from a stray dog may contain especially harmful bacteria and viruses, so call in the professionals to have it removed and the area decontaminated.

Things Not To Do To Stop Dogs From Pooping In Your Yard

There are many "hacks" out there concerning the prevention of unwanted dog poop in your yard. However, many of these things should be ignored, and for good reason.

  1. Cayenne pepper: Sprinkling cayenne pepper and chili powder in your garden may deter unwanted dogs, but if inhaled, it can cause serious irritation to their eyes and nose. It is not toxic but is thought to be a less-than-humane method.

  2. Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds are toxic to dogs, the same way as chocolate.

  3. Mothballs: Mothballs and ammonia are not only toxic but life-threatening to dogs and, if ingested, can cause serious illness. The camphor in mothballs affects the central nervous system, and the dog may start having convulsions.

You may have seen videos of neighbors getting "revenge" in some petty way by returning the dog waste to the owner. Please do not engage in such behavior. Handling dog feces, especially from an unknown dog, comes with many health risks.


Risks Associated With Dog Feces

Dog poop is not just an unsightly inconvenience. There are health risks associated with the incorrect disposal of dog feces. As much as cleaning up another person's dog mess shouldn't be your problem, it is something that should be done quickly.

Hygiene risks

The parasites, bacteria, and viruses that could be in dog poop can contaminate the soil, water, and plant life in surrounding areas. This is harmful to wildlife, you, and any pets of your own. Fecal matter can be considered biohazardous waste and must be removed correctly.

Other damage caused by dog poop

Poop is highly flammable, even more so when it is dried, so it is best to remove it quickly.

Dog pee and poop can also cause damage to your lawns and structures if not cleaned properly. The nitrogen in a dog's urine can cause yellow or brown stains on your green lawn.

Properly Disposing of Dog Poop

Wear rubber or disposable gloves when handling dog poop. Use a dedicated scoop or shovel and be sure to disinfect it after use. The dog waste should be placed in a poop bag, tied securely, and placed in your trash can.

Do not be tempted to use your garden hose to wash it away down storm drains. This will spread harmful bacteria into your lawn, soil, and possibly other ecosystems and waterways.

If you do not feel properly equipped to handle such a mess, Chore-ology has biohazard decontamination services on offer. We ensure that your home and garden are clean, safe, and healthy environments.


Stopping Your Dog From Pooping In Certain Parts Of The Yard

What if it is not your neighbor's dogs pooping, that is the issue? Dog owners sometimes have trouble teaching their dogs to poop in one area of the garden. If you have children and other pets, having a dedicated zone in the garden for dog waste can ensure unwanted tracking of trace fecal matter in your home.

No matter your stance on dogs, or your opinion of your neighbors, making enemies of them can lead to an uncomfortable home environment. It is, therefore, essential that you carry out your preventative measures in a dignified, humane, and environmentally safe way.

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