Dog owners know the joys of having a dog. But there is a price to be paid for those joys. The main one is that until someone learns to potty train dogs, you are going to have to take your dog outside to go to the bathroom. And if you are a responsible dog owner, you know you have to pick up after your dog.
This seems to be a responsibility that more and more dog owners are neglecting and it is very unsettling to me. As a professional dog walker, I spend a lot of time walking dogs in many different locations. I have clients that have a big back yard, and we just let the dogs out there to do their business. But I have many clients that don’t have real big yards, and their dogs have to be walked and therefore, go to the bathroom, in public places. I’ve seen more and more instances of dog owners not picking up after their pets. Many counties and states have laws that require you to clean up after your dog, but these are being ignored. I walk several dogs in townhome/condo/apartment complexes and these places usually have pretty strict rules about picking up after your dog. Most of these complexes and even some neighborhoods of houses have stations around that have pick up bags on them, so the owners don’t have an excuse about not having a bag handy. I will say that all of my clients either have a bag dispenser on their leash or have a bag of bags to use by the leashes for our sitters to use when they walk the dogs.
There are several reasons why it’s important for dog owners to pick up after their pets. The first and most obvious is the health reason. There are bugs, it can get washed into the water supply, it gets stepped in and tracked to other places, and other dogs are attracted to it. Those are just a few I rattled off the top of my head. Another one I think is important is that you should just do it because it’s the right thing to do. You don’t win any friends among your neighbors when they see your dog do its business and you don’t pick it up. It also causes a lot of friction among non-dog owners in the neighborhood. Associations may impose severe restrictions on pets and their owners, so a few bad apples may spoil things for the people who do take care of their pets. I have several friends who are pet owners in an apartment building. There are a lot of dogs in the building, and there used to be a lot of places they could walk their dogs. Now that area has been greatly reduced, and it’s caused some hardships for the pet owners, especially during inclement weather. They have talked about taking a DNA sample of all the dogs in the property and if any poop is found on the grounds it will be tested. The owner of the guilty dogs will be hit with a hefty fine and could even face expulsion from the complex. I think it’s absurd that the situation has come to where they are even thinking about doing that. If you have such a problem picking up after your dog, you should have never gotten one.
It’s easy to get bags to pick up after your dog. All pet stores sell them. Big Lots and the dollar stores have them pretty cheaply. If you don’t want to pay for them, recycle the plastic bags you come across during the day. Grocery bags will work, as will produce bags. Also bags newspapers come in. Many people tie bags to their leashes if they don’t have a bag dispenser. Like I said my clients seem to be responsible owners but (Spoiler Alert!) I’ve already decided that’s what I’m giving as my gift to clients this Christmas.
I don’t like to rant or sound preachy, and most of the violators probably don’t read my blog, but I got fed up about this and decided to vent. All you responsible dog owners, thanks for being that way and put some pressure on the people who you see who aren’t doing the right thing. Offer them a bag!
Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA. You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/fetchnwatlanta/.