Stoop to scoop the poop?

Stoop to scoop the poop?

There are 8 million dogs in the UK, which adds up to a lot of daily walks and potential for a lot of dog faeces to be left behind. Most dog walkers are happy and even proud to bag and bin their dog’s waste, some might leave waste if they are off the beaten track or in more rural locations, while a small proportion of dog walkers are totally disengaged from the idea that picking up their dog waste is the “right thing to do.” A new study in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, discusses the environmental, health and safety issues.

Dog faeces are not only as unpleasant as any animal waste, they can also carry parasitic diseases that have health impacts on people and animals that come into contact with them. For instance, they might transmit toxocariasis, via the larvae (immature worms) of the dog roundworm (Toxocara canis), which can cause blindness, asthma and neurological problems in those affected. Dog faeces from animals that eat raw meat and bones are also suspected of causing neosporosis in cattle. The researchers also point out that the presence of dog faeces in country parks, walks and other recreational areas can deter visitors and so have a local economic impact in those areas.

Dog waste signs, bins and their collection are a significant cost to local authorities amounting to more than £22 million per year across England and Wales. “Dog waste is also an emotive subject and complaints made by the public to local authorities are often dominated by dog waste issues,.” There are, the researchers report, several hundred thousand public complaints each year, which also adds costs to local authorities.

“It is becoming socially unacceptable for dog owners in the UK not to clean up after their dogs,” the team says. “This behavioural change may also be partly associated with the construction of ‘the responsible dog owner’ that has developed in the context of increased media exposure of dog attacks.”

The researchers carried out a path audit in popular dog walking areas of Lancashire, UK, to determine the influence of path morphology, location and management (related to dog waste) on the frequency and location of bagged and non-bagged dog waste. They also conducted an online, nationwide survey of dog walkers to determine attitudes and behaviour regarding dog waste.

The team suggests that there are five types of dog walker from the most to the least socially and environmentally responsible:

  • Proud to pick up — happy to be seen carrying dog waste, will pick up in all locations and take it home if no bins are available
  • It is the right thing to do — will pick up in public places but will seek to dispose of the waste as soon as it is practical; often embarrassed to be seen carrying bagged waste
  • I have done my job — if there is no bin available will leave the bagged waste to be dealt with by others
  • Only if I have to — will only pick up in the presence of other people — likely to discard when no one is looking
  • Disengaged — will not pick up in any situation even if they are aware of the environmental consequences of their actions

The study highlights the complexities of the issue, the team says, and in particular the importance of interactions between situational, social and individual motivational factors in influencing behaviour. “It is suggested that significantly more research is required to assist in addressing this emotive yet complex problem,” they conclude.

Rolling in Stinky Stuff

Rolling in Stinky Stuff

Why would a perfectly normal dog choose to roll around in garbage, dung, or rotting corpses? Like it or not, some do, and seem to get great pleasure out of it. And it’s rarely the dog’s own mess; rather, it’s nearly always something else’s putrid leavings. Go figure.

Why? One theory claims that dogs want to mark over a strong scent with their own smell, rising to the olfactory “challenge.” Others posit it’s a holdover from when dogs wished to camouflage their own scent in order to sneak up on prey. Or it may simply be that dogs to whom scent is everything, simply revel in the fragrances emitted by gross things. To dogs, what we find horrid is actually interesting. Think teenage boys wearing cheap cologne.

To prevent your dog anointing himself with eau de rotting seal keep things as clean as possible around home and property. While on walks, make sure you decide when your dogs stops to relieve themselves, or investigate. Keep an eye out for garbage, dead animals, or generally stinky stuff. Work on the Leave it! command, as well as a reliable recall command to stop an off-leash dog from rolling in stink. If needed, use a loud clap and a verbal Leave it! if you see him going for that flattened squirrel. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot on dog shampoo.

How to travel with your dog

SONY DSC

The most comfortable way to travel with a dog is by motor vehicle. This form of transportation gives the best opportunity to effectively tend to their needs and give them needed attention. However, not all dogs enjoy riding in vehicles. While some dogs jump at the chance to go for a car ride, others detest it. Sometimes car travel is not possible and air travel becomes the only alternative. It is important to do the homework necessary to insure the comfort and security of the cherished companion.

It may be necessary to prepare the dog for the upcoming trip. Here are some suggestions which may help:

*Introduce the dog to the carrier in ample time before the trip. Make it as comfortable as possible, including any favorite and comforting toys.
*If the dog is not accustomed to riding in a car, go for short rides, making sure to secure the carrier with a seat belt.
*When the departure date arrives, feed your dog at least three hours before it is time to leave.
*Whether traveling by car or airline, always make sure that your dog has the proper identification.
*If traveling by air, the first step is to check flight restrictions. It is important to find out which airlines accept dogs and select the ones that will have the most comfortable and secure environment.
*Dogs pick up on their owners’ emotional states. If you are anxious, most likely, your dog will be anxious as well. It is important to plan all aspects of your trip in a way that will insure your own peace of mind.

How to keep your dog healthy

dog healthy

The combination of low nutrition and a high chemical load from your dog’s diet and medication, has the effect of causing liver (in particular, but other organs are not unaffected) toxicity and a low immunity. The effect of a compromised liver can lead to anger and aggression, as well as digestive problems and cancer.

The effect of a compromised immune system means your dog is far more likely to contract other health related problems and is easy prey to passing epidemics.

Simply changing the diet can start to unload the toxins in your dog and improve his/her immune system. The best food for your dog is to make it yourself from quality, human grade ingredients. You can find more information on this subject here. http://naturallyhealthydogs.com/indexnn.html