Why leaving dog poo lying around is a bad idea

Responsible woman cleaning the grass in the park after her dog, picking up dog poop in plastic bag

We live on a corner block and there seem to be particular sections of our grass next to the path that are regularly littered with dog poo. It drives us absolutely mad. It’s rude, aside from anything else, but also disgusting.

A couple of recent articles have talked about why it’s also a hazard for native animals and the environment more broadly.

Dog poo is linked to illness, pollution and antibiotic resistance

  • Dog poo can be a potential reservoir for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, meaning humans could develop bacterial infections that are difficult to treat through contact with dog faeces.
  • A recent Sydney study also identified dog faeces washed into storm water as a significant contributor to water pollution. Dog (and cat) poo is very nutrient dense and act as a fertiliser. Researchers in Berlin estimated that if nobody picked up after their dogs, more than 11kg of nitrogen and 4kg of phosphorous per hectare would be added to urban nature reserves each year – levels that would be illegal for most farms.
  • Dog poo might signal to wildlife that predators are about and they should stay away. This can be an issue for native wildlife, as safe places for wildlife become even rarer in our cities.

Just clean it up!

All these things can be easily addressed by just picking up after your dog.

It also makes you a better neighbour.

I talked about this with Danny Hoyland on West Bremer Radio on 5 August 2023. Listen live each week: Saturday 7.40 am, West Bremer Radio.

Source: Leaving dog and cat poo lying around isn’t just gross. It’s a problem for native plants and animals, too and Is leaving dog poo in the street really so bad? The science says it’s even worse than you think