Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Where there are pets, there is poo.

No one likes doing it but it's got to be dealt with; if you have a caged pet, you are going to have to clean it out regularly, cats use litter boxes that need emptying and dogs need to be picked up after.

It's important to clean up after our pets as their faeces can carry nasty diseases that can affect humans, such as salmonella, toxoplasmosis and giardiasis. Other parasites such as dog roundworms eggs, and sometimes cat roundworms, can get into the human body and can cause stomach upsets, sore throats, asthma and in rare cases blindness. The eggs can remain active in the soil for many years, long after the dog mess has disappeared. This is why it's recommended that you treat your dogs and cats against worms every 3 months.

Everyone knows they need to pick up their dog's poo.Dogs in the UK will produce about 1000 tonnes of faeces every day, so it can't just be left lying around pavements and parks for people to step on or buggy wheels to go through. It's not hard to carry some plastic bags around with you and scoop as necessary. If you  get caught short, beg a bag off another dog walker or poke it into the gutter so no one steps in it and come back and deal with it later .
People who do not clean up after their dog can be given a £50 on-the-spot fine. If they refuse to pay the fine, they can be prosecuted and may face a court appearance with a maximum penalty of £1,000

Photo by Flickr user timparkinson

 Old cat faeces are especially dangerous to pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems as they can transmit toxoplasmosis, a parasite that rarely causes problems in healthy adults.
Cat owners should make an effort to encourage their pets not to use the neighbours garden as a toilet. If your cats won't use an indoor tray, or you don't want one inside, provide an outside tray for them to use, or set aside a part of the garden filled with sand to use as a toilet. The soiled sand will need to be changed regularly and you'll need to make sure children don't use it as a sand pit, but your non cat-owning neighbours will appreciate you providing your pets with a specific toileting spot.

Waste from any household pet can be put in general waste bin and put out with household rubbish for collection but don't put it out with your garden waste or recycling.

This is a good place to point out that what goes in one end, comes out the other. 
If you feed your pet a poor quality, cheap pet food, the end product will be large quantities of soft, badly formed and hard to pick up faecal matter. One of the many advantages to feeding a good quality pet food is that you have far less waste to deal with, and what there is, has less smell so is less unpleasant to scoop.

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