How often should dog waste be cleaned up from my yard?


In a perfect world, you should clean up after your dog each time she goes potty. Doing this saves the most time because as soon as it happens you can collect it in a baggy and throw it in the trash.

However, if picking up dog waste makes you queasy, you might not want to get that close to the waste. If that is the case, we recommend cleaning up after the dog at least once a week using a rake and lobby pan lined with a trash bag.

When hiring a professional pooper scooper, here are the available service options and our recommendations for each.

One Time Cleaning

This option is perfect for people who regularly clean up after their dogs. The intent is to lend a helping hand when needing to catch up on the dirty work. Situations where you would need a One Time Cleaning:

  • Spring – Sometimes people stop cleaning the yard in the winter when temperatures drop or when snowing begins. A One Time Cleanup in the spring removes all the waste and can save pet owners an hour or more. Similarly, a Fall Cleaning would work when hot weather precludes regular weekly cleanups.
  • Moving – If you are selling your house or getting ready to move out of a rental, making the house move in ready is important. Dog waste left scattered across the yard sends a negative message to buyers about the home. Having it cleaned up before moving will save you time to get other things done while improving the property’s appeal to new buyers or tenants. If you’re renting, it could also assist you in getting your deposit returned.
  • Hosting an event  – Having a birthday party, pool party, or backyard barbecue? If you plan on spending most of the time outside entertaining your guests, you will want to make sure that any of your planned activities will not be interrupted by a sudden splat!

Once a Month

This option should seldom be used. When the waste is not picked up regularly, it can cause damage to your yard, it can pollute the environment, it can become a nuisance to neighbors, and it could result in health problems for people and pets. However, cleaning up once a month is better than not at all so this option might be best from an economical standpoint. Even though a service provider is only cleaning your yard once a month, expect a higher price per cleaning than a more frequent service.

This option may be suitable for pet owners with one or two small breed dogs.

Once Every other Week

At a minimum, this is the best choice for owners with up to 3 small breed dogs. Less waste accumulates in 14 days than does in 30 days, so these jobs usually take less time. As a result, each cleaning costs significantly less than once a month service cleanings do.

Once a Week

At a minimum, anyone with one or more medium breed dogs should have waste cleaned up once a week. The average dog produces three-fourths of a pound of waste per day. That means in 7 days, one dog will produce 5.25 lbs of waste. Depending on the size of your yard, that could mean a significant pile up, just with one medium sized dog. And when you have multiple dogs, this amount increases.

If you are tired of stepping in dog waste and don’t have the time to stay caught up on this necessary chore, consider delegating the work to a professional who will find, collect, and haul away the dog waste for you.

Twice a Week

This option is not for everybody. However, for those who need it, they generally know it. Twice a week service is ideal for anyone with one or more large breed dogs. While food is primarily responsible for the size of dog waste, anecdotally, large dogs produce large waste and small dogs produce small waste. The price per cleaning is slightly lower than once a week cleanings; however, the overall monthly bill appears larger. For those who can afford it, twice a week service offers the best value.

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3 thoughts on “How often should dog waste be cleaned up from my yard?

    1. petcorps says:

      Hi, Anna! Thanks for reading.

      In my experience, winter cleanup can be easy OR it can be very difficult. It just depends on the weather in your area. Sometimes, the waste gets frozen to the earth and is hard to scoop up. Although, “poop-cicles” often scoop up nicely out of the grass.

      The septic system is called Dog-I-Pot. Simply scoop the waste into the tank and voila, no more dirty yards.

      Waiting until winter to scoop could mean a BIG job on your hands. Plus, the waste tends to do more harm than good to your lawn. Check out my Friday post How does hiring a professional pooper scooper help the environment? for more details

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