Opens May 1st - 2023 Photo Contest Entry Period
Doo the Right Thing!
Pet waste is not only smelly and unsightly, but it is a health risk to pets and people, and creates water quality issues too. When walking your dog, always carry a plastic baggie to scoop up the waste. Dispose of sealed baggies in the trash. Clean up dog waste in your yard at least once a week, and either flush it down the toilet or dispose of it in the trash. Click here for more tips.
Looking for information on the Doo the Right Thing Photo Contest? Click here to vote!
There are approximately 1.5 million dogs in the North Central Texas region. If the average dog produces 3/4 pounds of waste a day, almost 1,125,000 pounds of dog waste is being produced each day. That's a lot of doo! View a map of the estimated dog population in the region.
Pet waste that is not disposed of properly can put your health, your dog's health, and your child's health at risk.
Parvovirus is a serious, highly contagious disease that affects dogs of any age, breed, or sex. It is highly contagious to unvaccinated puppies. A dog may be a carrier of the disease without even showing signs of being infected. It affects the intestinal lining, causing diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, and even death. It is transmitted by contact with infected dog waste either directly or indirectly through soiled shoes, car tires, and anything else that it touches. The virus can remain infectious on the ground for six months or even longer!
Dog waste can also affect people. Some of the diseases or parasites that can be transmitted to people from dog waste include campylobacteriosis, cryptosporidium, and toxocariasis. Children playing in the yard and adults gardening can be exposed to these diseases or parasites.
That’s why it is important to not leave dog waste on the ground. Help keep pets and people safe and healthy by picking up after your dog.
Water Quality Issue
Additionally, improperly disposed pet waste can wash into storm drains through by rain, melting snow, and even from the runoff from sprinklers and other landscape watering. Storm drains in North Central Texas drain directly into our lakes and streams, carrying many pollutants along with the water. This water is NOT treated or cleaned before it empties into a body of water.
Pet waste that ends up in our lakes, rivers, and streams causes many problems. Pet waste in the water increases bacteria levels and that can cause gastrointestinal problems and skin reactions, making the water unsafe for swimming and other activities. Pet waste in the water also decays, using up oxygen and sometimes releasing ammonia. Low oxygen levels and ammonia combined with warm temperatures can kill fish. Pet waste also contains nutrients that encourage weed and algae growth. Overly fertile water becomes cloudy and green--unattractive for swimming, boating, and fishing.
This is why it is important to not leave dog waste on the ground. Help protect our water quality by picking up after your dog.
Tips for Dealing with Pet Waste
Flush it. Pick up the waste with a pooper scooper or slip a plastic bag over your hand. Flush the waste down the toilet (do not flush the plastic bag).
Toss it (in a trash can). Collect the waste in a plastic bag, tie the end securely, and toss it in your trash can.
Bury it. Scoop the waste and bury it at least six inches in the ground and away from gardens and water sources.
Attach a small bag or pouch to your dog's leash so that you can always carry a supply of baggies. Be creative in reusing materials for picking up pet waste. Save plastic bread bags, plastic newspaper sleeves, or plastic produce bags and use them as scooping baggies.
Clean up droppings around the yard at least once a week. Either flush them down the toilet, or dispose of them in a secured baggie in the trash can. Pet waste composters are also available commercially, so check those out.
Take Action and Spread the Message
Model “DOO”ing the right thing for your neighbors and fellow dog owners by picking up after your own dog on walks in the park and around the neighborhood. Be a good example. Others will follow your lead!
View the DOO the Right Thing animated video (developed by the cities of Irving, Farmers Branch, Sherman, Lewisville, Grand Prairie, and Plano)
Learn more by visiting (references):
- FDA Consumer magazine, Keeping Pets (and People) Healthy, January-February 2004 Issue
- Washington State Department of Ecology, Focus on Pet Waste Management
- Pacific Shellfish Institute
- Merck Veterinary Manual - Canine Parvovirus
- EPA, Pet Waste and Water Quality
2023 Doo the Right Thing Photo Contest
For the Love of your Pet, Please DOO the Right Thing!
The 2023 Doo the Right Thing Photo Contest will open on May 1st, 2023.
For the opportunity to have your pet featured in the future as a Watershed Protector on our Doo The Right Thing social media profiles, take the pledge linked below and submit a picture of your pup(s). You can find us online on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @DooNorthTexas. Please share your efforts to help protect our watersheds by picking up poo on social media using the hashtag #DooTheRightThing!
Submit Photo to the Doo The Right Thing Contest
Contest Terms and Conditions, submissions for the 2023 contest will be accepted May 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023. Submissions will be voted upon by the General Public from August 7-25, 2023, and winners will be announced starting in October 2023.
Need a little photo inspiration? Check out past years' calendars!
Explore the map below to see what watershed you live in and what watersheds others have pledged to protect. Zoom in on the map to see the streams and lakes. Note: Dog locations on map are abstracted and do not represent exact home locations of displayed pet.
The Doo the Right Thing Calendar
Congratulations to all of the Doo the Right Thing Calendar Photo Contest winners over the years, and thank you to all the dog owners who took the Doo the Right Thing pledge and submitted their dogs' photos for the contests! These responsible pet owners took the pledge to Doo The Right Thing and clean up their pet's waste to protect water quality! To request the print files for years prior to 2018, please email your request to EandD@nctcog.org.
View/Download 2019 Calendar (24Mb)