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Planting season is here, but could your pooch get poisoned from your new yard additions?

Summer time is here and many of us are planting new shrubs and annuals to brighten up our yards.  While taking place in the process of brightening our yard we went shopping at a local nursery and took our dogs of course cause they love to go shopping and anywhere we go really.  A helpful employee at the nursery was helping us check out and we had stocked up on oleander cause we just loved how they would look in our backyard.  To our surprise the very knowledgeable employee put 2 and 2 together and said “you know that oleander is poisonous for your dogs”

Well no we didn’t!  So it got me thinking that there must be other plants that are poisonous to our pups as well.  After doing some research we complied a list of some common ones that we thought would be helpful.  Take a look at the list so you aren’t poisoning your puppy unknowingly.   Most of these are really a major concern if your dog likes to dig or munch on the plant life, which they often do.



Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestions of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Sago Palm

All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the largest amount of toxin. The ingestion of just one or two seeds can result in very serious effects, which include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures and liver failure.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs

The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.


Members of the Rhododenron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.


All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Castor Bean

The poisonous principle in Ricinus communis is ricin, a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness and loss of appetite. Severe cases of poisoning can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma and death.


Cylamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxic component is typically located in the root portion of the plant. If consumed, Cylamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Fatalities have also been reported in some cases.


This plant contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation, as well as those that are toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate.


Taxus spp. contains a toxic component known as taxine, which causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, incoordination, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, which can result in death.


Common garden plants popular around Easter, Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors.

Autumn Crocus

Ingestion of Colchicum autumnale by pets can result in oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage and bone marrow suppression.


These popular blooms are part of the Compositae family, which contain pyrethrins that may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, if eaten. In certain cases depression and loss of coordination may also develop if enough of any part of the plant is consumed.

English Ivy

Also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.

Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)

Spathiphyllum contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.


Pothos (both Scindapsus and Epipremnum) belongs to the Araceae family. If chewed or ingested, this popular household plant can cause significant mechanical irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.


Schefflera and Brassaia actinophylla contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

The ASPCA also has a spreadsheet for a more comprehensive list.

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Tips for your pooch & you having a successful summer season.

Summer is upon us.  Pool parties, bbqs, holiday weekends. and lots of other outdoor based activities are in full swing.  Its time to get ready to have that special event in your backyard.

Summer Fiestas

Before you go bonkers trying to have the perfect yard for the event remember to scoop the dog poop.   Dog poop in the warm summer months can be at it most unpleasant.  Heat and humidity only increase the smell and pungent smell of dog waste.  Make sure you not only scoop it or have a pooper scooper company service your yard but have it removed from the premises.  Baking in your trash can be almost as bad as sitting in your back yard.  Yuck!

School’s out for Summer.

The kids are out of school for the summer and gonna be full of energy and playing outside in the yard.  Children are constantly running inside and outside tracking whatever they have on thier shoes all over the house.  The parasites and pests found in and around dog waste thrive in warmer temperatures and become the most active and aggressive during the summer months.  Having the kids in the yard playing all day just isn’t smart while the dog waste is capable of spreading infection and other diseases.

Flower Power

Summer months are usually the greatest for planting landscapes and bedding plants.  Dog waste isn’t fertilizer not matter what you might have thought up to this point.  It is highly acidic.  Only herbivores waste (cow, deer, etc) can be used as fertilizer.  Dog food has animal proteins in it that make your dogs waste damaging to plants and landscapes.  Dog waste can destroy lawn equipment so make sure to pick up before you mow over it as well.  It can cause premature breakdown of machinery because of it chemical make up.  If you are going to plant beautiful plants this summer make sure to pick up the waste or use a repellent.  Some of our franchises, such as Minneapolis are now offering repellent treatments that keep dogs off of treated area.  It is non toxic to plants and animal it simply keeps your dog from digging or defecating in that area.

Have a great summer!

10. Because its not gonna go any where soon if you don’t

Happy First Birthday - Dog Poop

– Dog waste takes up to 1 year to full break down a pile into organic components. Until then it is sitting, stinking, polluting, and killing your back yard landscape.

9. Poop and all its friends

– Dog waste attracts pests, flies, maggots, millipedes, rats, and parasitic worms.  Having dog waste present in your backyard can increase all of these critters in your yard and knocking at your door almost 10 fold.

8. Because its poop!

Unless you are dung beetle no one wants to be around the stuff, esp your family or neighbors, its just plain unpleasant.

7. Some cities will fine you if you don’t scoop.

Almost every metropolitan communities have laws in place that require people pick up after their dog in public places and municipal areas. Some cities are even putting into place similar laws for private property as well because watersheds and adjacent properties can become polluted from high concentrations of dog waste.

6. Your yard is your kids play place.

Kids have great imaginations and endless energy which usually leads to them getting into everything. They love to run, bounce, throw and kick almost anything. Often times dog waste can become tracked in on a pair of shoes and all the bacteria are in your house. ewwwww.  The backyard is usually a very safe place for your kids to play, but not with dog waste all over it.

5. Transferable microbes from dog waste to other dogs and children

Dogs can be a significant host of giardia and salmonella.  Parvo Virus, Hookworms, Roundworms, Giardia and Coccidia can all be transferred to humans and/or other dogs from dog waste.

4. Watershed pollution-

The supply of drinking water varies from city to city but all our lakes and rivers are all filled with run off from surrounding areas.  In metropolitan and suburban areas that means your property.  Dog waste is becoming an increasing problem due to the number of dogs we own and the density of our cities is rising.

3. Dog waste kill grass and plants.

– Dog poop isn’t fertilizer!!  it is very acidic and its ph level will chemically burn and destroy plants, grass and anything else growing in your yard

2. Dog waste destroys lawn equipment.

– Being highly acidic and of unusual consistency it can attach itself to inner workings of of machinery and cause premature breakdown.


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Today while on our normal exercise session with my dog “Doug” down at the Auditorium Shores section of Lady Bird Lake, i noticed several people still refusing to pick up after their dog.  One lady in particular with a small black lab puppy sees her dog starting to take the obvious relentless sniffing that a dog does before he is about to poop.  Right as our furry friend gets down in the pose she acts as if she is distracted by something, thinking that in the mess of dogs and owners running around no one will connect her with the dog.  I sat and watched for another 10 mins or so in the area and then as she leashes up the dog to go home a bike cop rides up and ask her why she didn’t pick up after the dog.  “Wow” are the only words i can.  The officer was watching the entire time.  She played dumb and said she didn’t see it, but that wasn’t flying with the officer.  She was actually issued a ticket, as she left, ticket in hand she of course acted like she was wrongly convicted and was the victim.

I spoke to the officer i did explain that i own a dog waste service in the Austin area (Poop 911 – Austin)  He said that the problem isn’t getting better it’s getting worse.  Based on what he and city is seeing.  The amount of dog waste left each day seems to just get worse.  He said there are less police officers at the parks cause of the need for them on the streets or other areas of the lake.

So in essence more and more dog waste is piling up over time even with increasing legislation and fines up to $500.  Something isn’t working… the amount of dog waste running into Lady Bird Lake with rain and natural erosion is amazing.  I remember taking part in the Austin Triathlon 2 years ago, in which the swim portion takes place in the lake.  It was nearly canceled due to the LCRAs  testing of the water that morning and having such a high “fecal bacteria count”  apparently they do regular testing to determine if it is safe for humans to be especially before races.

Here is the exact legal run down on the poop scoop law…


“An owner or handler shall promptly remove and sanitarily dispose of feces left on public or private property by a dog or cat being handled by the person, other than property owned by the owner or handler of the dog or cat.”

However disappointing it was to hear the officer’s side of the story… I was happy to see that someone ACTUALLY can get a ticket for this. Obviously for me it is an important topic, many people may read this and feel the same way. One thing they might not think about is that all of our yards where are dogs poop are connected to same environmental concerns. Dog waste left in your yard eventually seeps down to the watershed and into waterways. Ideally everyone would pick it up themselves but that isn’t the most fun chore so my company will be happy to come out and do it for you. We are inexpensive and reliable.

Lets “Scoop the Poop” Austin!  Our backyard’s rain runoffs all eventually end up in our lakes and rivers, so make sure you either pick in your yards or hire a service to do it for you.

In our northern  snow covered states we all tend to get a little reclusive in the winter months. Choosing to enjoy the picturesque snow from our warm indoors with a cup of something hot. We spend little time in our yards due to cold temperatures, snow, and ice. However our dogs natural process of excreting dog waste never stops and keeps going 365 days a year snow or sun.

The bad news is that dog waste is accumulating all winter long in your yard. When the snow melts and just about the time you are on the edge of your toes wanting to get outside and thaw out…..WHAM! The snow is gone but the dog waste isn’t. The good news is that in a frozen state the dog waste can do little damage do the environment, humans, and our landscaping. The bad news.. is that when the dog waste thaws it is all at once.  All of the issues with dog waste are set into motion.  So you have a bombardment of dog waste all doing its worst all at once.  Most all bacteria and parasites that live in pet waste can survive very extreme temperatures and are simple dormant in winter months.  Take a nap more or less tell the weather is nice enough for them to get to work and of course this is the same time you and your family are heading out to the yard.

Remember if you live in one of our northern snow states to take care of your dogs business at first thawing of the snow.  Pooper Scooper Companies like POOP 911 offer service that you can keep up regular service during the summer months. If we don’t service your area check for a poop scoop service in your area.

Yep its that time of year again

Spring is upon us and many people are ready to emerge and enjoy the outdoors with our pets.  Spending time outside this time of year can be great while temperatures are mild for humans and pets.  After a long day of enjoying the outside the last thing you want to see is that old familiar itching that some invading flea has found his way on to your pooch.

When you get your yard ready for spring and summer obviously priority #1 should be hiring a top notch pooper scooper and pet waste clean up company like Poop 911… but one other thing to keep in mind is that it is FLEA SEASON.

For the yard, if you want to treat the yard with a long-term flea control, you might want to look into something such as nematodes. Wet the yard first. Apply the first treatment to kill eggs and larvae, and then in 5-7 days apply a second treatment to kill adults. The nematodes keep on working for up to 2 years depending of how much you water the yard and how hot summertime gets. The nematodes also knock out fire ants. I can’t think of a better one-two punch!!! Fleas and fire ants…. seriously doesn’t anyone like either one of those guys?

Flea control in the house can be managed by mixing Borax with a small amount of rosemary and shake over your carpet.  It isn’t pleasant so just let it sit as long as you can handle it.  Vacuum up the powder and toss the vacuum bag. To get rid of the unhatched eggs repeat vacuuming for one week.

Please follow the directions, even with natural flea prevention products.

Dog poop piles up in your yard when you don’t scoop it.  Fleas, various beatles and other pests swarm to large area of dog waste.  Removing the pet waste is a good start and then a follow up with some of these remedies can ensure your dog a safe and happy summer inside and out of the house.

We all love dogs and dogs love us right back that is why they have accompanied humans for centuries in many accepts of day to day life. When dogs are puppies we train them for weeks, months, and even years to get them to go outside to go to use the bathroom as to spare ourselves the problems of having dog waste in the house. But what happens to the dog waste in and around your yard? With so many dogs living in cities and metropolitan areas this concentration has become not only undesirable but toxic to the environment.

Before we get too far lets discuss a few dog waste misconceptions…

Myth #1 – “Animal waste is fertilizer”

FALSE… animals that consume meats and animal proteins excrete a high acid stool… so acidic in fact that it acts like a poison on grass, plant life, and even the watershed.

Myth #2 – “The natural process of decomposition will just eliminate the harmful bacteria and the waste”

FALSE… dog waste is can destroy waterways and watershed sending fecal bacteria counts through the roof. LIPA reports “3.6 billion pounds of dog waste/per year that is produced in just the united states alone.” A single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal caliform bacteria. Can you imagine all that bacteria… where does it go from your backyard? well it slowly seeps into the soil and the underlying watershed or local waterways.

There are many ways to be responsible about this, many cites have already passed legislation requiring proper disposal of dog waste on public property with a penalty of a stiff fine for those who fail to comply. There are several cities around the US that are proposing the same legislation for private property because of the waste’s effect on the environment. Hiring a pooper scooper company like us (Poop 911) is one way to go about it, we can dispose of your dogs waste properly. Most local and online pet retailers also have tools that can make regular poop scooping easier to do yourself. There are also composting options that are become increasingly popular, however because you are using a very acid manure please make sure you follow the guideline for composting properly.

Poop Scooping and Pet waste removal weather it is done by the pet owner or a dog waste removal service is here to stay. Lets start being responsible pet owners and scoop the poop.