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Written by Disha Ramanan
As dog lovers and pet parents, we pay utmost attention to our furry pal’s every need – be it food, bedding, toys, treats, dog clothes, you name it. But there’s also something else that we should be addressing every day. Sometimes multiple times a day.
Yep, you guessed it. We’re talking about dog poo.
Let’s Flush Some Myths
Our recent survey, Pet Dogs of India 2019, highlighted an astonishing fact – more than 60% of our respondents admitted to not picking up after their dog.
Dog parents often believe numerous myths regarding their dog’s business, which might be a big reason behind this statistic. Some of the more common ones include “dog poo is like fertilizer, it’ll naturally enrich the soil as it decomposes”, or “dogs on the streets poop and we take that as a part of urban nature, so why can’t my dog be pooping outside” or even “well, my dog is healthy, so her poop isn’t going to cause any infections or anything”. A couple of people we’ve spoken to have also felt that paying for cleaners in their residential colonies and/or paying the annual pet registration fee at their city’s municipal corporation is enough for somebody else to do the job for them.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. As responsible dog parents, we must realise how crucial picking up after our dogs is. First, let’s deconstruct some of these myths.
Sniffing Out The Truth
The bottom line about dog poop is that it’s toxic.
That’s irrespective of whether your dog is healthy or ill. Every dog’s poop is poisonous to grass, plants, the soil and the water table. It’s common for us to believe that all animal waste is manure, but that’s largely dependent on how each unique species’ system works as well as what they eat.
A cow exclusively feeds on plant material whereas a dog is usually raised on a meat diet. This does not leave our dog in a position where its poop can be beneficial to the soil.
Many dogs in India are raised on a meat-free diet, but there again, another issue arises. Your dog’s waste is naturally acidic. That alone can kill any plants in the area.
If you’ve missed your dog’s deworming schedule, don’t be surprised if his business has worms in it. This leaves other dogs, be it community (stray) dogs or other pet dogs, susceptible to the same worms. And that’s neither fair nor responsible.
Dog waste lying outside also contaminates our water. Many of us feel that the rain will “wash away” the poop, but essentially, the same acidic and toxic waste gets carried as run-off into our waterways, leading to fecal contamination.
Further, even if your dog is healthy, waste is always going to have bacteria, and bacteria cause illnesses of all kinds – whether it’s to humans, other dogs, smaller animals or even plants. Coupled with the troubling trend of carelessly medicating with antibiotics, a far more terrifying consequence seems to be emerging – the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli and other bacteria and parasites (which does indeed affect humans as well) in our water and soil.
And anyway, at the end of the day, let’s face it – it’s just common courtesy to not leave piles of poo out and about for the next unsuspecting person’s foot to dive into, is it?
Aside from this, 32.4% of the dog parents who took our Survey mentioned that their neighbours do not have a positive opinion of them or their dogs. Where the general opinion about dogs and their parents already isn’t the best, let’s not give anybody another reason for disliking doggos. Also unfortunately, street dogs get a bad rap for pet dog poop that’s been left unattended to.
So next time, it might be a good idea to ensure there’s no brown proof that your dog’s been out for a walk.
Some Smell-free Solutions
If you’re downright disgusted at the very thought of picking up poo, you’re not alone. But it’s most crucial to do it all the same. Here are some suggestions to make the process as hassle-free as possible.
While cleaning up dog poop may not be the most glamorous thing in the world, the benefits far outweigh the temporary inconvenience. There’s no health risk to you by picking up after your dog, but you could be minimizing a lot of health risk to other dogs, animals, plants, the soil and the broader community by doing something that really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Importantly, if you see any dog parent leave behind their dog’s poo, it’s always a good idea to have a polite and informative discussion on why they should be picking up. After all, if you truly love your dog, you gotta love picking up after them too.
Dear lanapaws.com owner, Your posts are always well-written and easy to understand.
MUST read for all dog owners
Hello Renuka, you can buy composting enzymes on amazon.in such as this one – https://amzn.to/3183jJq
Hope it helps.
Useful information. Where can you get a dog poo composter
Very informative. Thanks