Why it’s important to Scoop that Poop!
While it may not be the most enjoyable aspect of taking your dog for a walk, picking up his faeces and most importantly, disposing of it in a bin is an important aspect of responsible dog ownership.
In fact it is an offence not to do so (under Section 22 of the Litter Pollution Act 1197) and owners or handlers who do not dispose of dog faeces in a responsible manner may receive an on-the-spot fine of €150, with the maximum fine for this offence being €3,000.
Besides the yuck factor of stepping in dog poo, it can pose a health risk to humans, especially children as there is a risk they could become infected by a parasite called Toxocara canis that can cause blindness. Although usually a mild infection in humans, Toxocariasis can have potentially serious health effects such as blindness. This is rare BUT it can and does happen.
Who is most at risk?
Young people, especially toddlers, are at most risk as they commonly handle soil and are more likely to put their hands in or to their mouths without washing them first.
- Worm your dog regularly – most dogs should be wormed four times a year (dependant on the worming product) but puppies require more frequent worming so contact your local veterinary practice for advice.
- If you have a children’s sand pit cover it over when not in use.
- Pick up poo daily from your garden.
- Pick up and bin poo when out dog walking.
Some poo bags don’t have handles but nappy bags do, which makes them more convenient to carry until you reach the nearest bin.
If you happen to walk in an area with little or no bins available there are now handy poo holding gadgets that can be found online.
Dogs Trust has a team of Education and Community Officers who attend primary schools around the country giving free curriculum linked workshops to educate the dog owners of the future. For more information, please visit their website www.learnwithdogstrust.ie and click on their blog for a full overview.