Pretty much every dog owner will be aware that dog waste is a bit of a 'hot topic' these days and a high percentage of both owners and non-owners share a resentment towards those that refuse to 'scoop the poop'.
Aside from the ever increasing raft of legislation aimed at offenders that refuse to pick up after their dogs, there are a multitude of clever memes across social media highlighting the topic and aimed at making the 'non-scooping' fraternity feel a sense of guilt at their actions.
I thought I would weigh in with a few dog waste facts that may help 'non-scoopers' understand the consequences of their habit and hopefully encourage a few people to appreciate why, apart from the more obvious anti-social aspects, it is a serious health issue.
Dog Waste Kills Fish!
Around water sources a dog's waste actually creates nutrients for weeds and the algae that commonly covers these water sources. Algae can limit the light that penetrates the water's surface and essentially starve the fish of oxygen.
Don't Compare Your Dog To Undomesticated Animals When It Comes To Waste
Wild animals such as Coyotes, Foxes, Wolves etc. eat a diet that contain no preservatives, chemicals or grains and their waste decomposes within days. Insects such as flies and beetles make easy work of breaking down wild animals natural waste and even the bacteria in soil help this waste decompose.
Domestic dog waste is another matter and dependant on diet (the cheapest are the worst) a dog's waste can take up to a year to decompose and in some instances not decompose at all. This not very environmentally friendly waste also has the added negative of retaining it's smell and consistency for a long time even if it does eventually break down.
Dog Waste Contains These Harmful Horrors!
Aside from parasitic worms such as Heartworms. Hookworms, Roundworms,Tapeworms and Whipworms, dog waste may also contain Parvovirus, Salmonella, E.Coli amongst other horrors.
As you can see above, non-disposal of a dog's waste can have far reaching implications on both the environment and the health of animals and people that come into contact with it.
The privilege of owning a dog comes with a pretty low price tag when you consider what dogs bring to our lives. It would be respectful if we could all honour that privilege and pay the small price of cleaning up after our dogs.
John Deeprose is a former Dog Trainer, Animal Behaviourist and Pet Business Owner. John is an established authority in the canine world and has a large social media following of dog owners and dog-related businesses worldwide.