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Question: I hate cleaning up after my dog. What are the benefits of hiring a service to do the dirty work for me?

Answer: Adam Hoffman, owner of Pet Butler of Mont-gomery County (petbutler.com) Scooping poop is definitely no one’s favorite chore, but it’s important to do so on a regular basis for many reasons. Dog waste is not a fertilizer like horse manure, so it has no nutritional value for the lawn. It doesn’t decompose, and it burns out the grass. If you leave dog waste on the ground, bacteria and common parasites (including roundworm) can live in the soil for years, contaminating the water supply and creating a possible hazard for children.

Yards should be cleaned at least once—if not twice—a week. We apply a veterinary-grade pharmaceutical disinfectant to the area where the dog does its business. We also clean our boots and tools with an EPA-approved parvocidal disinfectant between each property, so we don’t spread any germs from one client to another.

Have a question for an expert? E-mail tbehan@mainlinetoday.com.

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