The great British dog poo debate

Dog poo debate

We’ve all been a victim of ‘dog-poo-shoe’ at some point in our lives. And it’s so much more frustrating than being pooped on by a bird. Why? Because, when we step in mess, we know that it could have been avoided if the owner had done what any responsible owner should do: scoop up and properly dispose of their dog’s poo. 

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It’s certainly not the most glamorous aspect of owning a dog. Even the most philanthropic citizen would probably prefer not to pick up dog mess and carry it around in a bag for the duration of their walk, in search of a suitable bin to dispose of it. We’ve all considered turning a blind eye at some stage, especially when we’re in a rush to get somewhere.

However, it’s worth remembering that there are real health risks involved with dog poo; as well as spreading diseases between dogs themselves, it can be dangerous to humans – leading to toxocariasis, which can cause serious illness and even blindness. 

Dog poo debate

It’s political 

While it’s been incensing people for decades (if not centuries), it’s certainly become a hot topic in recent months, with many stories making both local and national news. The people of Portsmouth, for example, have been left outraged after the Conservative/Labour/UKIP coalition that runs Portsmouth City Council decided to scrap the team dedicated to tackling dog foulers. They have even set up a petition to urge them to reverse the decision. 

Prior warnings

Many councils seem to clamp down, but only after several warnings have been issued. Last month, Boston Borough Council ordered a woman who failed to clear up dog poo from her back garden to pay a £1,000 fine. However, according to a spokesman, she was given “several warnings” and “chances to remedy the unpleasant situation” before she was charged. Do you think on-the-spot fines should be given, even when the dog faeces are contained to a person’s back yard? According to reports from neighbours, there were terrible smells and lots of flies coming from the property.

Dog poo debate

Pink poo

Desperate to think of new ways of deterring dog owners from ignoring their pets’ mess, Havant Borough Council decided to neon spray-paint the poo to (physically and metaphorically) highlight the problem and shame owners. With young children playing in parks and fitness boot camps taking place, it is a way of showing just how much mess is left behind. One mother in the area claimed that the walk to school through the park was like “running a gauntlet.” 

In Kingston, a group of children dressed in superhero costumes - known as the “Poosaders” - have been spraying dog mess to urge dog owners to clean up their act. Some think it’s a great idea, as it prevents running through the poo with buggy wheels; however, others claim that it makes the mess even more unsightly, and that some of the highlighted poo is, in fact, fox scat. Are you for or against spray-painting dog mess?

Dog poo debate

Pro-active

One of the most pro-active campaigns we’ve seen is in Darlington. A campaign from Councillor Nick Wallis has been launched whereby, with the support of the police, poo bags are being handed out to dog owners and maps are offered which detail where dog waste bins can be located. The response to the campaign has been very positive. Would you like to see a similar strategy adopted in your local area?

We all know that failing to clear up dogs’ mess is foul play (pardon the pun), but what are your suggestions to resolve the issue? Have your say on our Facebook debate here

If you’re looking for more dog owner tips, please click here

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