The Washington Post called it an ‘epidemic.’
The city of Tel Aviv uses DNA testing to counter the 1100lbs (500kg) of it left on the street every month.
UK councils are encouraging vigilant civilians to paint it bright pink to shame the owners.
Dog poop. It doesn’t just stink. It doesn’t just look bad (especially on your shoe). It’s dangerous.
A dollop of dog poop may contain up to a million tiny Toxocara eggs. A Toxocariasis infection can cause pain, dizziness, nausea, asthma, epilepsy, and eventually blindness. The most common humans to get it are aged between 18 months and five years. (It’s bad for other dogs, too.)
But where is dog poop most commonly found? Protect My Paws analyzed Twitter data to see which cities and states tweet the most about abandoned dog poop. These are the dog poop capitals of the US and the UK.
‘Poopsburgh,’ Pennsylvania, is America’s Poopiest City
Strict laws are in place across the suburbs of Pittsburgh, where “anti-defecation and urination laws” make it borderline illegal to take your dog for a regular walk. However, officials clarify that “common sense and discretion are the watchwords here….if the owner picks [waste] up that’s not a violation.”
Still, the message is clear: Pittsburgh has a poop problem. There was even a short-lived Instagram account on the topic: Pittsburgh Dog Poop Signs. (Let’s face it, exotic poop signs are the best aspect of the whole dog poop thing.)
Also at the ‘top of the bottom’ is Washington D.C., the 9th poopiest city in our study. D.C.’s lawmakers actually encourage locals to design and print their own anti-poop signs, which have a degree of district government formality about them, no matter how basic the clip art.
However, it’s also possible that the scale of poop commentary coming out of D.C. is attributable to President Biden’s ever-troubled ‘first dogs.’
The ‘Dog Poop State’ Colorado’s Great Outdoors Is A Little Stinky
“Dog waste creates its own nasty, naughty, horrible ecosystem that is terrible for water quality, terrible for soil quality, and recruits non-native species,” says visitor services manager Mary Ann Bonnell. Yes, we’re in Colorado: wholesome, outdoorsy, and littered with bagged-but-abandoned dog poop. “Nature never planned for three million canines to be entering the front Foothills.”
Colorado is America’s most poopy state. But, like a tied-up dog poop bag hanging from a trail sign, Oregon is not off the hook: the Beaver State is in second place by just 0.1 of a tweet per 100,000 residents.
Delaware is the former home of first pups Champ and Major – but it is evidently sweeter smelling now. The state takes the crown for being the least troubled by abandoned dog poop, according to Twitter.
York is the UK’s Foul Capital of Dog Poop
“There is more poo than people on the streets of York right now.” So said a refuse collection firm spokesman in the spring of 2021. The streets were devoid of people as the city of York plunged into its third Covid-19 lockdown – meaning that devious dog owners felt less ‘watched’ as their dogs completed their business.
Twitter concurs. There are 97.6 angry dog poop tweets per 100,000 residents in York, a picturesque and historical city in the county of Yorkshire and the Humber. That makes York the Dog Poop Capital of the UK.
Manchester, the UK’s third-angriest-about-pavement-parcels city, tweets 82.8 times per 100,000 people per year. It’s no surprise when you consider Manchester’s canine population produces 77 tons (70,000kg) of the stuff every day – around twice as much as Newcastle, Southampton, or Sheffield.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s dog poop capital and number four in the UK. Keep Scotland Beautiful recently campaigned for locals not to do ‘half a jobbie’ – bag the poop but then discard the whole bag thoughtlessly. One Edinburgh family was forced to collect more than 380 bagged poops chucked onto their farm over the first few months of lockdown.
The Importance of Dog Poop
There are those that leave dog poop where it falls and those who bag it and then abandon the bag (why? You already did the difficult part!). And then there is the majority, who pick it, bag it, and dispose of it responsibly. But the story doesn’t end there.
Your dog’s poop can talk to you. While it is a health hazard for anyone else, dog poop is a vital sign of a dog’s health to its owner. The color, shape, and consistency of pooch’s droppings can alert you to pressing medical needs – so before you chuck it, check it!
Methodology & Sources
We made a list of poop-related keywords (e.g., “dog poo,” “dog poop,” “dog litter,” “stepped in poo,” “poo bag,” “poo bags,” “dog fouling”). Then, using Twitter API, we analyzed and extracted tweets featuring those words, removing locations other than the United States or the United Kingdom. We extrapolated data to calculate the numbers for a whole year. We then compared the number of tweets with population figures and ranked the cities in both the UK and US.
Naples News. (2019). Dog’s delight: Naples a top city to visit with your canine, report says. eu.naplesnews.com
National Records of Scotland. (2016). List of Tables. nrscotland.gov.uk
Office for National Statistics. (2021). Estimates of the population for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. ons.gov.uk
Statista. (2021). Number of pet dogs in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2010/11 to 2020/21 (in millions). statista.com
Twitter API. (2021). twitter.com
United States Census Bureau. (2020). City and Town Population Totals: 2010-2020. census.gov
United States Census Bureau. (2021). 2020 Census Apportionment Results. census.gov
Fair Use Statement
Would you like to republish this study? Whether you’re sharing the maps or just the findings of our study (in part or whole), we ask that you credit Protect My Paws including a link back to this page as the original source. That will allow your readers to learn more about the study, while our team gets recognized for their work.