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Dog Poop Etiquette

 by danielle on 10 Jul 2014 |
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When out walking your dog on a sunny day the inevitable is bound to happen – poop clean up duty. It is not something anyone enjoys particularly, though is generally accepted as a necessary evil.
 
But is it ever okay just to…leave things lie? Can you ever walk away pretending nothing happened?
 
Well, not really. One gram of dog waste contains up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. This variety of bacteria is known to cause cramps, diarrhoea, intestinal illness and serious kidney disorders in people – not the sort of thing that should just be left lying in a park!

 

Similarly, dog waste can also contain worm larvae. In the case of roundworm larvae, if a child or adult ingests it, it can travel through the body spreading disease to the brain, lungs, liver, heart and eyes. Long after the waste has disintegrated, parasite eggs can remain, creating the chance of infection with anyone that comes into contact with the soil.
 
Very far from fertilizer – the product of herbivorous animals – dog waste is toxic to grass, destroying the plant life and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency categorises dog waste in the same category as herbicides, insecticides, oil, grease, toxic chemicals and acid drainage from abandoned mines due to the detrimental effects it can cause on flora and fauna.

 
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For example, the decay of dog waste creates nutrients for organisms such as weeds and algae which can cause blooms which block light from penetrating the water’s surface. As a result of this, oxygen levels in the water decrease, asphyxiating fish, underwater plants and other creatures.
 
Therefore, even if the location you are in seems relatively unpopulated, it is far better to scoop and bin.

 
 Image Credit 

Dog owners who fail to pick up droppings can also influence ‘dog bans’ from parks, due to fears of contamination from other sections of the public, spoiling enjoyment for the whole of the dog owning community. In some areas leaving dog droppings in public spaces is not just subject to social censure, but is in fact illegal and subject to strict penalisation.
 
The verdict is in: always pick up your dog’s leavings, for your sake, the community’s, and the planet’s!

 

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