We all have our favourite places to stroll here in beautiful Sussex, be it with or without the company of a four-legged friend. And as for choosing between beach and downs, city or woodland – we are so lucky and should all be very proud of our stunning, well-kept outdoor options.
It’s obvious that taking your dog for a relaxing walk can be hugely beneficial in terms of your overall health and well-being, but dog owners also have a responsibility for the health of their pets and indeed, our local community.
One very easy step to help keeping both your pet healthy and our environment safe is to always remove your dog’s faeces from public places, including parks, grass verges, amenity areas, sports fields, pavements, roads and beaches. If not disposed of properly you’ll actually be breaking the law and liable to pay a maximum fine of £1000.
Dog faeces carry the risk of toxocariasis, a disease transmitted through the eggs of dog roundworms and which can survive in the soil for years. Your local park, for example, could act as a reservoir of infection for dogs and children if they inadvertently pick up faeces on their paws and hands and then put them in their mouths. Indeed, human contact with the Toxocara canis worms can result in serious infections, even blindness.
However, by clearing up your dog’s mess and by making sure your pet is wormed every three months – you will vastly help reduce this public risk.
So after the festivities of Flea Week and the pleasures of Pet Month, this week I bring you… National Poop Scoop Week!
Now every dog owner has a responsibility to pick up after their dog, and though there are over 6 million dogs in the UK, it is just a small minority of owners who let the rest down and end up giving dogs a bad name. National Poop Scoop Week, now in its ninth year, promotes responsible dog ownership with the message that it is every dog owner’s duty to clean up after their dog highlighting the simple ‘grab it, bag it and bin it’ plan to show how easy it is for dog owners to scoop that poop; making our public spaces cleaner and more pleasant for everyone to share and enjoy.
So if you don’t already, please always keep a supply of plastic bags near your dog’s lead so you don’t forget to take a poop scoop bag with you on every walk; and contrary to popular belief, dog waste can also be put into a public litterbin if specific dog waste bins are not provided.
This year’s National Poop Scoop Week runs from 23 – 29 June, for more information visit www.poopscoopweek.co.uk