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How to deal with pet droppings

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  • How to deal with pet droppings

    I am sure that I am not the only landscaper with some customers that have no disregard for cleaning up after their dogs. What do you guys do? I know I can put it in the contract to have the yard clean prior to our arrival but they will either ignore it or just drop us. Any pointers? There are some things I don’t mind but I have been in some yards that are loaded with land mines, and it just messes up your equipment as well as the quality of your service.

  • #2
    I have notes about surcharges for this in my agreement forms. I also ask when I arrive to do the estimates if they have dogs? How many? & do you clean up after them? If the answer to the last question is no, not really, or they look at ya funny & think for a minute before answering yes add a couple bucks per service for cleaning the sh!t off your tires & dealing with the stink in your trailer.

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    • #3
      I have notes about surcharges for this in my agreement forms. I also ask when I arrive to do the estimates if they have dogs? How many? & do you clean up after them? If the answer to the last question is no, not really, or they look at ya funny & think for a minute before answering yes add a couple bucks per service for cleaning the sh!t off your tires & dealing with the stink in your trailer.
      Chuck,

      Do you find that you charge the customer with dogs more per cut because they have dogs and then do you add a surcharge if they don't cleanup after their dogs?

      Does the surcharge cover you picking up after their dog? How much do you suggest a lawn care business owner charge for their surcharge and should it be per dog or what?
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      • #4
        During mid summer I was so sick of it that I was thinking of adding like $5 to every dog sh!t lawn and hiring someone just to pick it up for me. We then have to spend like 10 minutes banging off boots and making sure no one tracks it into the truck. I hate when it gets into the tire tred but a lot of times I can clean it off with the customers hose, but the absolute worst was one day this past season, one of my guys was on a weed wacker and didn’t see a pile, well too late, it was shot on him like confetti, good thing we weren’t too far from home, I had to take him home to change his clothes. I think that was the main turning point and I knew that I had to do something about this problem. Well thanks I will definitely add some money to the accounts and then hold them to it. Quick thinking during the initial estimate as well.

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        • #5
          If you own a rider, does it really matter? I used to have a dog poo clause in my agreements but I removed it because I got tired of losing the deal over something so trivial. Really, how much poo can there be on one lawn? I hose my equipment down daily so I could care less if theres dog ****e on my rubber at the end of the day.

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          • #6
            I used to have a dog poo clause in my agreements but I removed it because I got tired of losing the deal over something so trivial.
            Do you mean that when a customer read the contract they would balk and not sign it and look for someone else to cut their lawn?
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            • #7
              Well crap on the tire is not the biggest problem I hose that right off. The only rider I own is a 48” scag walk behind with the velkie, which by the way is the hardest place to clean crap off that little wheel. The big thing was that one of my guys had it thrown on him because he didn’t see it or something when he was weed wacking, and then we get it all over our boots and have spend time cleaning them out because I don’t really want to smell it in my truck. And the fact that I will loose customers over a “poo clause” kinda sucks but may be the answer. And if we were talking about just a few piles I wouldn’t care but of all the problem areas, one lady breeds these little ankle biters which normally wouldn’t be a prob. Accept for the fact that there is at least 10 dogs crapping in a small area. And the other places all own 2 monstrous dogs. The thing that all these houses have in common is that they all have nice front yards that make the contract worthwhile, then you go to the back yard which are all smaller than the fronts and its like you have to float from one end to the other so you don’t step in sh!t. but I am getting to that point where I don’t care if I loose the customer because it’s a pain in the *** as well as all the complaints I have to hear from my guys about it also.

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              • #8
                I know I can put it in the contract to have the yard clean prior to our arrival but they will either ignore it or just drop us. Any pointers?
                There are a couple of contracts in our free lawn care contract section that have dog waste clauses in them. See if any of them would work for you and let me know.
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                • #9
                  Do you mean that when a customer read the contract they would balk and not sign it and look for someone else to cut their lawn?
                  Yeah, I used to hold my ground but I was seeing to many potential customers slip through my hands because of it so I just removed it and decided to deal with it.

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                  • #10
                    Well crap on the tire is not the biggest problem I hose that right off. The only rider I own is a 48” scag walk behind with the velkie, which by the way is the hardest place to clean crap off that little wheel. The big thing was that one of my guys had it thrown on him because he didn’t see it or something when he was weed wacking, and then we get it all over our boots and have spend time cleaning them out because I don’t really want to smell it in my truck. And the fact that I will loose customers over a “poo clause” kinda sucks but may be the answer. And if we were talking about just a few piles I wouldn’t care but of all the problem areas, one lady breeds these little ankle biters which normally wouldn’t be a prob. Accept for the fact that there is at least 10 dogs crapping in a small area. And the other places all own 2 monstrous dogs. The thing that all these houses have in common is that they all have nice front yards that make the contract worthwhile, then you go to the back yard which are all smaller than the fronts and its like you have to float from one end to the other so you don’t step in sh!t. but I am getting to that point where I don’t care if I loose the customer because it’s a pain in the *** as well as all the complaints I have to hear from my guys about it also.
                    I wasnt trying to give you a hard time by any means, I hate dog crap as much as the next man, but for me I had to make the decision to just deal with it.
                    If its just a couple of accounts and you can afford to get rid of them why dont you just let them know that your not interested in taking care of thier lawn any longer? Let someone else deal with the crap, some pun intended.

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                    • #11
                      Shane for the customers that wouldn't sign a contract with such a clause, would they have been open to paying for a service that picked up the dog waste or were they just not going to pay anymore than the bare bones amount for lawn care?

                      Is there more money on the table for this type of service?
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                      • #12
                        Steve,
                        If I include it in the estimate don't surcharge them on top of it. Just having it on my paper work seems to be motivation enough. I have clients who see me pull up & come running out with a bucket & shovel to avoid being charged. I have rarely had to impose this fee but if the "crap" gets out of control I can. I'm sure I've lost one or 2 estimates because of my up front approach about it but I don't care. Look the customer in the eye & make a light hearted joke about it... "Hey, if you had to deal with extra sh!t at your job you'd expect to be compensated right? "

                        My 52" zt is used for front lawns as it has a nice mulch kit on it. My 48" Centar runs the regular side shute so it's used for back yards & has thus been named by my employees the D.S.E. (Dog Sh!t Express)

                        I have had 2 guys take a dog poop shower from a line trimmer, it's no fun at all, & yet as long as it's not you it's hysterically funny.

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                        • #13
                          If I include it in the estimate don't surcharge them on top of it. Just having it on my paper work seems to be motivation enough.
                          Ok so potentially on the estimate it would make a line item note that there is a fee to clean up for the dogs?
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                          • #14
                            Well no it kinda reads like :



                            Premium turf maintenance package to include mowing, trimming, edging, blow off all concrete areas. (fee per service) $_____________
                            Doggy Patrol : If animals are kept on the property, $3.00 will be charged per visit, per dog kept. This charge will
                            Apply anytime the yard is left soiled. The fee is to cover the costs & time associated with equipment clean up. $____________

                            Total per service fee $____________

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                            • #15
                              I like that. I think if I was a consumer and I had the options to pay for dog clean up service like that, I would be happy with it.

                              Why not!

                              I know a lot of pet owners and they don't like cleaning up after their dog. If they can spend a few bucks a week to have it taken care of, then why not!

                              I almost fee like the $3.00 per dog is cheap! I think it is a good deal for the consumer.

                              How do most of the customers respond to it?
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