There's not much more disgusting than stepping in stray dog poop when out in your yard. Plus, dog feces transmits diseases and stinks up your lawn. The only way to get rid of the unwanted presents is to prevent strays from wandering into your yard in the first place.
Remove temptations from your yard that may be luring stray dogs in. Get rid of food and water sources, tightly close trash can lids and keep pet food indoors. Secure your yard against rodents and other small animals that may be prey for strays.
Install a fence around your yard to keep stray dogs out. Because most strays will turn away when they encounter even a low fence, a 3-foot fence is probably sufficient to protect your yard. Check for holes or other entry points in existing fencing. Secure gates with latches that lock automatically upon closing.
Plant a natural fence with thick hedges or prickly plants. This option is less expensive than installing a wooden or vinyl fence and can be designed to add visual appeal to your yard. Look for fast-growing hedges that require minimal maintenance, like rosemary.
Place motion-activated sprinklers in areas where stray dogs are pooping. The sprinklers will activate only when they detect movement. Being sprayed with water will scare strays away.
Create a perimeter around your yard with a natural dog deterrent, such as vinegar, chili pepper, ammonia or cayenne. The smell will irritate the nasal passages of strays and discourage them from entering your yard. Eucalyptus or citrus oil may also help. Pouring vinegar onto plants can kill them; place it carefully.
Try a commercial dog deterrent. These products are generally effective, but their benefits may last only days or weeks. Some require reapplication following rain. Commercial dog deterrents are available online and in most pet stores.
Protect specific areas from stray dog poop by laying chicken wire on top of the ground, filling beds with sharp lava rocks or saving cuttings from rose bushes and other thorny plants to place under or around gardens. Stray dogs dislike stepping on and digging in these areas and will be less likely to poop there.
Contact your local animal control office if you've tried borders and deterrents and still find stray dog poop in your yard. In addition to being gross, dog feces can spread worms and bacteria. Animal control can assist in catching and removing stray dogs.
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."