When hitting the trails with your dog, there’s a good chance at some point, your dog is going to poop.
Since you are out in the wild, it may be tempting to let them do their business in the woods and be done with it.
I mean the animals in the wild poop in the forest, so it may seem like a good option.
However, picking up your dogs poop is an important part of hiking with your dog. I’ll explain why.
- Do I Have to Pick Up My Dogs Poop While Hiking?
- What Do You Do With Dog Poop While Hiking?
- Use a Sealed Poop Container
- Use a Fancy Dog Poop Holder
- Have Your Dog Carry It
- Using Baggies
- Try Greener Bags
- Ziplock Baggie
- Training Your Dog to Poop Before Hiking
- Can I Bury My Dogs Poop While Hiking?
- Is It Ok to Throw Dog Poop in the Woods?
Do I Have to Pick Up My Dogs Poop While Hiking?
All good hikers and their companions need to pick up their dogs poo while enjoying the bounties of nature
But when hiking with your dog, it’s important to clean up their poop. Unlike wild animals, dog waste can pose environmental dangers.
In fact, according to the EPA“
Animal waste contains two types of pollutants that harm local waters: nutrients and pathogens. When this waste ends up in water bodies, it decomposes, releasing nutrients that cause excessive growth of algae and weeds. This makes the water murky, green, smelly, and even unusable for swimming, boating, or fishing. The pathogens, disease causing bacteria and viruses, can also make local waters unswimmable and unfishable, and have caused severe illness in humans. -The EPA
As a hiker and nature enthusiast, it’s important to recognize that our dogs poop can cause harm to the natural areas we love. So picking up your dogs poo is crucial to protecting these areas.
What Do You Do With Dog Poop While Hiking?
When hiking, you should pick up your dogs poop and carry it on you either in a bag or container. If allowed in the area you are hiking, you can also bring a small shovel and bury your dogs poop.
The best solution will depend on you, your dog and the area you are hiking.
Here are a few of our favorite solutions for picking up, carrying and disposing of your dogs waste.
Use a Sealed Poop Container
If you are a frequent hiker, you may consider getting a dedicated container to hold your dogs poop while hiking. A good quality, sealed container can hold your dogs poop while sealing in the smell.
You can use a small Tupperware container or a container with a twist on lid. Food grade containers are usually pretty good at containing the smell.
I’ve used this method in the past and it worked pretty well. I usually bag up the poop first and then pack the bag into the container.
You can then drop the container into your backpack. If your dog poops again, you can add it to the rest of the waste in the container.
Make sure you label it well and only use this container for poop. You don’t want to accidently use it for food later. (Yikes)
Clean your container regularly to ensure the smell stays at a minimum.
Use a Fancy Dog Poop Holder
They have specialty containers created just for holding your dogs poop while walking or hiking.
These containers are designed to reduce odors and germs.
This little Doo Doo Tube (Yes that’s the real name for it) is small and portable and can hold enough waste for small and medium dogs to poop a few times while on the trails.
It also has a carabiner on it so you can attach it easily to your backpack, your dogs harness or even the leash.
Have Your Dog Carry It
As we mentioned above, using a small container with a carabiner on it can allow you to attach it to your dogs harness. Since the smell is sealed in, i doubt your dog will barely even notice it.
If your dog wears a backpack, you can seal it in a sealable bag and slip it into a dedicated poop pocket. And in case your wondering how much weight a dog can carry in their backpack, this little nugget won’t add much weight to it.
Again, I only recommend using sealed containers that hold in the smell. After all your dogs sense of smell is very sensitive and it may distract from all the other wonderful smells of the hike.
Of course, most people use baggies to grab and hold their dogs poop while on short walks or hikes.
If you have extra grocery bags you can simply grab a few to take with you on hikes. You can grab the poop with your bag and then double bag it.
If the trail your on has garage canisters on it, you can simply carry it until you get to the next garbage can.
Some trails even have dedicated doggie poop stations, complete with baggies and a place to dispose of the poop safely.
Other wise you could tie it to your backpack and carry it with you.
I personally don’t like this method. I get paranoid that the bag will bust and it detracts from me enjoying our hike.
You could use the grocery bags to grab and contain the poop before putting it into your poop container.
Try Greener Bags
Since most hikers enjoy nature so much, they are also concerned about the environmental effects general waste can cause to our beloved nature areas.
Why not try using compostable baggies like these?
These baggies are made to be able to break down and decompose with your dogs waste in safe areas.
Since where you dispose of your dogs waste is important, you’ll have to be mindful of where your are composting your four legged friends poop.
I often use these little compost bags to hold my dogs poop and bring it home. I can then find an area our large back yard to bury it.
Make sure to stay far from natural water sources and don’t compost dog waste in the same area you are composting for food or garden use.
Some people have used ziplock baggies with good success. For this, I recommend using a small doggy bag like the disposable ones above, and dropping them into a sturdy gallon sized ziplock bag.
You can also line the bag with a few dryer sheets to absorb some of the smell.
These can sometimes fit better into your hiking pack or into your dogs hiking back pack. Again, I prefer harder containers, simply because the small squish bags make me nervous.
Training Your Dog to Poop Before Hiking
Training your dog is essential when preparing your dog for a hike. It can be the best gift you can give to both of your for adventuring with your dog.
It makes hiking safer, more enjoyable and depending on what you work on, can help with the poop solution.
Did you know there are things you can do to get your dog to poop before you hit the trails?
With a bit of practice and a few know-how tips, you can avoid having to pick up your dogs poop while hiking.
Here is a great video on a few simple tricks you can use with your dog before hand so you can dispose of their poop ahead of time.
Now, even if you get your dog to poop before going on your hike, all the exercise and exciment may get them going again.
So always come prepared to grab your dogs waste Regaurdless.
Can I Bury My Dogs Poop While Hiking?
Burying your dogs poop is a great option when it’s permitted. Always check out the trail rules and recommendations for the area your in.
If it’s advised for humans to bury their waste, then by all means bury your dogs poop. Just make sure you are 500 feet away from natural water sources.
Keep a small shovel with you and dig a small hole at least 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Drop the poop and bury it back up.
This is probably the best solution as there is no plastic waste and no need to carry the poop with you.
Just be sure to check that its ok before you bury your dogs poop.
Is It Ok to Throw Dog Poop in the Woods?
Sadly no, dog poop should not be throw into the woods or forest. It contains contaminants that can negatively affect the area around you, including harming natural water sources or spreading disease to surrounding wild life.