I have an ethical Poop Problem – I need advice

Our question this week was:

Hi! I have an “ethical poop problem”. It has been raining for over a month here in Central Texas. To be honest I’m not complaining that its been so wet…its actually a blessing to have 70 degree weather! My problem has to do with my dog. The past 2 days she’s had some severe diarrhea. Diarrhea and wet, flooding grass don’t mix. And having moody neighbors has made things harder. They complain that I haven’t been cleaning it.

My argument is that its been flooding and its not going to do any good cleaning her squishy poop right now. I live in an apartment next to a huge park where people walk their dogs. I can understand dry weather hard poop and wet weather hard poop……..I DONT understand wet weather wet squishy poop? What are the ethics behind this poop thing???

Confused in Texas.


Hi there, Confused in Texas. Thanks for your email. Sorry to hear about your dilemma.

I think it is the responsibility of the dog owner (especially in public places) to clean up their dogs “poop”. I understand your neighbor’s angst. You would probably feel the same if you were in their shoes. They may not only worry about the smell but they may be worried about their dog catching something contagious from your dog.

I understand the circumstances of rainy wet weather plus diarrhea may make this difficult. I think if your dog is having diarrhea, it would be better not to take her to a public park until her symptoms are resolved. Furthermore, you may consider leash walking her only and encouraging her to only defecate in one area that may be easier to clean than other areas. Generally even in wet conditions, there are some areas that are dryer.

I’d also try to figure out the cause of the diarrhea and get it resolved as soon as possible.

An article that might be helpful to you is How to Be a Good Neighbor. Another article that might be helpful is Diarrhea in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra