Atlas is a 21-month-old puppy, and this is his second year of helping with cleanup while on our many daily walks. He finds and brings me cans and bottles or anything else I send him after. It’s especially handy if such items are in the brush because he knows if I tell him “Fetch!”, there is something to find! He is now so good at his job that he often just picks up a can and carries it home for me to discard. Dogs like a job and are happy to help if you show them how. Despite his trash hunting behavior, Atlas had a successful hunting season last fall and completed his Junior Hunter title with the AKC. No need to worry that roadside clean up might interfere with a dog’s hunting abilities!
Dog poo is a big problem all over the world. We love our canine family members, but they must poo like all animals, and we need to clean it up. There are many reasons why dog waste is unhealthy and hazardous to the environment.
Feces are full of bacteria. Excessive amounts of bacterial runoff can contaminate our lakes and water supplies and can cause illness and algae overgrowth. And feces are especially high in E. coli, which can cause serious illness in humans and other animals.
Dog feces are full of chemicals used to prevent fleas, ticks, worms and so on. These chemicals, while formulated to prevent parasites in dogs, are often toxic to other species.
Feces do not make good fertilizer. They contain high nitrogen levels which can upset the balance of the chemical composition of the water, creating excessive growth of some plant life and killing off others. High nitrogen is toxic to many land plants including many found in our lawns.
Feces do not decompose very quickly. They can take a year and that is in warm weather. They don’t decompose at all in the winter.
Feces can carry parasites. Canines can carry giardia, salmonella, whipworms, hookworms, tape worms and roundworms which can spread to wild canines and other animals including humans. Your pet can also get parvo and canine flu from feces of ill dogs.
Poo Etiquette Tips:
•Potty your dog at home before exercising in public.
•Take a baggy along to pick up the poo. If you forget the bag, come back later.
•Grossed out by poo? Use a pooper scooper.
•Dispose of the poo properly down the toilet (no baggie, please) or separately bagged
and put in the garbage.
•To make pick up easier, train your dog to go in a certain area.