Sure, we've all felt the temptation. Maybe you're tired. Maybe you're just not feeling great that day. Maybe the weather is bad and you just want to go home. Maybe you just don't think anyone is looking. But whatever the reason, you're out walking the dog -- and suddenly, you lose your resolve to scoop that poop.

While the urge to leave the dog doo on the ground is normal, even inevitable, it's a temptation that you should resist. Most responsible dog owners pick up after their pets most of the time. But here are five good reasons why ALL dog owners should pick up after their dog ALL of the time.

Reason #1: It's the Law
In most urban and suburban areas of the United States, the law requires you to pick up after your dog when you are on others' property or in public areas like parks and sidewalks. Sure, you won't go to jail if you caught, but the fine will hurt and the conviction would be quite embarrassing.

Reason #2: It's Your Reputation
In a residential neighborhood, you just never know who's peeking out through those blinds, about to walk out that door, or about to drive down the street -- and catch you in the act. All it takes is one neighbor to tell another that they spotted you walking your dog without the customary plastic bag. Before you know it, the whole neighborhood will be blaming you for every pile of poop for miles around.

Reason #3: It's Healthy
Even the biggest pile of dog poop left on the ground will eventually disappear. Have you ever wondered where it goes? The answer is that it washes away with the rain -- down the storm drain and into the nearest creek. Dog doo is full of germs that can make people who play in the creeks (or the animals that live there) sick. In fact, dog doo is a significant source of the pollution that is slowly killing the Chesapeake Bay and other famous bodies of water.

Reason #4: It's Nice
Let's face it, it's just flat out nasty to end up with that stuff in your shoe. And it's not much better when your dog licks you -- after eating some of that stuff that somebody else left lying around. So remember the golden rule, and pick up after your pet.

Reason #5: It's Easy
One trip to the pet store will reveal all manner of plastic doodads and gimicks that make it easy for you to scoop the poop without even bending over and getting too close to the stuff. And after that, all you have do is toss it in the trash can when you get home. Your friendly neighborhood sanitation workers will take care of it from there.

Sometimes even dog owners who want to do the right thing will accidentally do the wrong thing. For example, you might assume that tossing the doo into a storm drain is the same thing as picking it up. While this may prevent somebody from stepping in the stuff, it sends the germs and pollution directly into the creek.

Another mistake some dog owners make is to toss the stuff into the bushes or in the woods. That may stop people from stepping in it, but dog doo is actually not good fertilizer. No matter where you leave it, dog doo is a big pile of germs that pollutes the environment and that will eventually find its way into local streams.

So don't toss dog doo down the stormdrain or into the woods. Put it in a plastic bag and put that bag in the trash!

Have you ever seen that bumper sticker, "I strive to be the person my dog thinks I am." Here's a simple and easy way to live up to your dog's image of you: Scoop the poop and dispose of it properly. Every single time.

Author's Bio: 

Are you a Virginia dog owner? Then check out the Northern Virginia Dog Blog -- your source for canine news and fun. This article was placed in this directory by the environmental message and communications company Water Words That Work, LLC, on behalf of the Northern Virginia Clean Water Partners.