Doggy Do, or Doggy Don't!

Dear Margaret,
Why is there such a fuss about dog shit? I've never let my dog mess on the sidewalk, which is clearly anti-social, but have always been careful to see she does her business in the gutter, or on a nature strip, or in the park, where it is a useful organic fertiliser.
Now I'm informed I can be fined quite heavily by the Local Authority for doing this - if they catch us!.

Many Local Authorities are now introducing fines for people who do not remove their dog's faeces from any public place. The reason is that they are organic fertiliser, & find their way, either through the stormwater system, or via the groundwater, into our waterways, causing major imbalances in nutrients. The results are disastrous, ranging from the disappearance of frogs & native fish, to huge blooms of toxic blue-green algae. Eventually the excess nutrients end up in the sea, disrupting the ecological balance of estuaries & the ocean itself.

We all live in a water catchment, however far we may think we are from a major river system.

So please consider joining the ranks of responsible dog owners who carry a plastic bag & some * newspaper, & take their dog's organic matter home for proper disposal. Not only is said fertiliser very concentrated, & often highly saline, but it contains bacteria such as E.Coli, viruses, & parasites. When it's fresh & moist, flies feast on it, then re-gurgitate the excess where next they settle! These organisms also end up in the waterways, to infest wildlife, & anyone unfortunate enough to fall in, or silly enough to swim in the polluted water - which may look quite clean to the naked eye! In towns & cities, where dog populations are very high, their excrement is a major source of contamination.

If your Local Authority has not provided dedicated dog-crap disposal bins, please take your doggy gifts home, don't put them in the rubbish bin where they will still pollute the waterways through run-off from the local tip.
*NOTE - Training your dog to defecate onto a piece of newspaper will not only make it easier to remove the faeces & place them in & remove them from your plastic bag, but the paper can be composted, & the bag is easier to dispose of. If not soiled you could even re-use it a number of times. Compost them properly or use a doggy-loo, or worm-farm specially designed to deal with dog crap. (Since most dogs with responsible owners worm them regularly, faeces passed on the day or two after worming could seriously decimate your worm population.) Fresh manure of any kind burns plants & may spread disease. If you haven't a garden or a gardening friend, flush the stuff down your own loo.

By the way, dog's urine is just as much of a problem, but harder to deal with. Anyone whose dog (or neighbour's dog!) regularly pees on the same patch of lawn will be only too familiar with those tell-tale brown patches. Dilute the stuff by watering the area well at least once a day. Better still, train your pooch to relieve itself onto thick mulch. Bitches are preferable to dogs, they don't constantly pee to mark out their territory.

If you really love your dog, you will encourage others to love it too, by taking care of our, & your dog's, environment
Back to Street Gardening

Stop Abuse!  Don't Litter - Spay & neuter

For more confirmation that this is necessary to maintain water quality, see PROTECT THE OCEAN
or simply Google dogs + pollution

Visit this informative & friendly site for pet owners.
Dog and Cat Management

Note:In researching & answering questions about earthwise living, Margaret offers information, opinion, & personal experience, but no quick fixes! Readers should evaluate these offerings in the context of their own situations; they are suggestions, *not* recommendations. Any responsibility for their implementation rests *solely* with the reader.

Return to List........Return to Street Gardening
Rough Guide to Site.......Site Map

Australia - This is an Australian website - Contact Margaret RainbowWeb