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Why You Should Always Pick Up Your Dog's Poo

Why You Should Always Pick Up Your Dog's Poo

Chris Cole
29/11/2017

When you're out on a walk, your dog is likely to take a poo in public. If nobody's watching, what's the harm in leaving it be?As it turns out, abandoned dog poo affects everyone. Picking up poo is part of being a responsible dog owner. Here's why you should always pick up your dog's poo:

Dog Fouling Laws

Whether you're walking around your neighborhood, park, city or other public place, dog fouling laws state that you must always bag and dispose of your dog's droppings. Even if there is no posted sign, you can be fined £50 to £80 for your first offence. It's much cheaper to purchase enough poo bags to keep in the pockets of all of your coats, in your car. You can also attach a poo bag dispenser to your dog's lead so you'll never be without them on walks.

Because Nobody Likes Stepping In Dog Poo

Nothing ruins your day like stepping in a pile of dog poo. It's extremely difficult to get out of the grooves in the sole of a shoe, especially when you're away from home and don't have access to a water hose. When people step in poo, they'll carry it wherever they go, getting traces inside stores, offices, and even inside their home.

Dog Poo Spreads Disease

Even if your dog seems healthy, they can carry pathogens and parasites that can make other animals and people sick. This is especially dangerous for children, senior citizens, people who may have compromised immune systems, wildlife, and young puppies that have not yet had all of their vaccines.Healthy dogs can shed e.coli and salmonella in their poo, regardless of their diet. A dog's digestive tract is short, allowing bacteria to pass through without populating inside their body, but the same can't be said for humans.[caption id="attachment_1933" align="alignright" width="402"] Small children are especially vulnerable to contracting disease from dog poo because they often play on the ground and put their fingers in their mouth.Dogs that carry parasites like roundworms, tapeworms and whipworms pass eggs in their poo. Much of the time, worms and their eggs are not visible in poo. This is why it's important to regularly deworm your dog. Their monthly heartworm preventative may also take care of worms, ask your vet for more information.Just a few of the other types of pathogens found in dog's poo include multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria such as Enterococcus and S. aureus, both of which can affect humans.

A Major Contribution To Water Pollution

It may seem harmless to leave dog poo away from pavement and  children's play areas. If you're in a wooded area, by a quiet beach or otherwise out of sight, you may be tempted to let the poo wash away with the rain.[caption id="attachment_1934" align="alignleft" width="339"]Dog poo algae overgrowth Dog poo contributes to the overgrowth of algae.But dog poo does not simply disappear. When it rains, the poo can wash away in a gutter and end up in local waterways. Bacteria and parasites can infect local waterways, affecting wildlife along the way.What's more, dog poo contains high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, which cause overgrowth of algae, which in turn depletes oxygen in the water, making it impossible for fish and other organisms to survive.

How To Clean Up Your Dog's Poo

When you go for a walk, be sure to bring poo bags, as well as hand sanitizer so you can avoid contracting an illness from picking up your own dog's poo.You can easily pick up the poo by turning the bag inside out, using it as a glove to pick up the poo. Then, securely knot the top of the bag and dispose of it in a nearby rubbish bin. Do not place it in a recycling bin.If you cannot find a rubbish bin, do not leave a bag full of poo in the grass or hanging from a tree or fence. If you're in your neighborhood a few blocks from home, just take it home with you. If you're not near home, you toss it in any public rubbish bin.Some people do not mind if you put your dog's poo in their rubbish bin if it's out by the kerb. It's best to do this if the bin is full and awaiting pickup, because if it has just been emptied, the poo could stink up their rubbish bin. It's best to ask first.