Let’s talk about dog poo and why it’s so important to pick up after our pets. After all, there’s no dog poo fairy to do the work for us. Read on to see how you can play your part in keeping our environment clean and our fellow humans safe from disease.
We’ve all been there. You take a step, sniff the air, then have the horrible realisation that you need to hold your nose and start scraping away the dog mess.
Dog fouling is an incredibly emotive issue, and as Keep Britain Tidy says: “…one of the most unacceptable and offensive types of litter on our streets.”
One of our most important roles as dog owners is to always, always pick up, bag and bin our dog’s poo.
Picking up is important, not only because of the mess factor, but also because of the risk of disease transmission.
For example, there’s a risk of infection with worm eggs from dogs with Toxocara canis.
Although very rare, children are more at risk and can even run the risk of sight loss. Just one case is one too many - another good reason to dispose of your dog’s waste responsibly.
This simple action of picking up after your pet only takes a minute, but makes such a difference to our environment, and our experience of it.
As any good dog owner will tell you, keeping a good supply of poo bags (ideally the biodegradable variety) with you is a simple step to ensure you’re always able to clear up after your canine companion.
NPM team members always keep a stash in their cars, their bags and even in jacket pockets to ensure they never run out.
It’s important to remember there is no risk in picking up fresh poo. Worm eggs must embryonate before they can be excreted and this process takes up to one month.
One easy way to remove the risk of infection completely, including from any residual mess in the soil, is regular worming of your dog.
NOAH (National Office of Animal Health)’s survey carried out by Kantar in December 2022 showed that although use of parasite prevention products is high, it’s likely to decrease amongst some households in the coming year due the cost of living.
While the majority of pet owners had not made changes to their parasite prevention purchasing over the past 12 months, households with more than 1 pet, with pets 3 years old or younger and those most highly affected by the cost of living crisis are more likely to have purchased less in the past and are more likely to buy less in the future too.
An amazing 16% mistakenly thought there was no need to treat their pet for worms if they couldn’t see them, with 16-34 year olds and residents of Greater London significantly more likely to agree that not seeing the parasite meant there was no need to treat it!
However, there was good news, with the majority of pet owners recognising the importance of parasite prevention.
Reassuringly, 85% believed preventing parasites such as worms, ticks and fleas was essential to protect their pet and 84% also understood the importance of preventing these parasites to the health of their family.
For any advice and support when it comes to disease prevention, always talk to your local vet.
KeepBritainTidy.org launched a light-hearted campaign - “There’s No Such Thing As The Dog Poo Fairy” - that packs an important message, encouraging dog owners to bag their dog’s poo and dispose of it responsibly. By that, we mean not just hanging poo bags in random trees, or leaving bagged waste at the side of a road or path, but placing it in a suitable bin.
For more advice and support on this important issue check out Keep Britain Tidy and let’s keep our environment clean and safe for all to enjoy.
* For permission to use the Poo Fairy artwork above please contact KeepBritainTidy.org