Doggy Dos and Don’ts

Doggy dos and donts

At some point we’ve all found ourselves cleaning doggy dirt off our shoes. While most dog owners are responsible and make the effort to clean up after man’s best friend, the minority who don’t can foul things up for the rest of us.

A recent survey by Dublin City Council asked dog owners if they cleaned up after their pet in public and as many as 40% of those questioned admitted to ignoring the mess created by their animals.
In an attempt to crack down on this messy menace, Dublin’s four councils have united to set up a new hotline number to register complaints of dog fouling. Actress, writer and dog owner Tara Flynn is acting as the campaign’s ambassador (“The public face of dog pooh,” she jokingly labels herself) and told NewsFour why it’s an issue she’s particularly passionate about. “I saw the survey and it outraged me as a dog owner. I pick up all the time and even pick up the odd mess that my own dog hasn’t done because I think it’s such a problem.”

Flynn believes there’s no excuse for not cleaning up after your pet. “When you get a puppy you have to factor in the amount of time you’ll spend putting poop in a bag,” she says. “It’s a small trade-off for the lovely stuff about having a dog.”

Dog fouling can lead to serious health issues, as spokesperson Therese Langan points out. “If not cleaned up and disposed of appropriately, dog faeces can cause serious medical problems such as toxocariasis, leading to sight loss in children.”

Nobody enjoys picking up dog dirt (and if you do, keep your feedback to yourself) but Flynn gives the following advice: “do it quickly and don’t think about it. Put that bag over your hand, turn it inside out, put a knot in it and move on.”

The new hotline number for dog fouling complaints is 1800 251 500.

Pictured above: Tara Flynn with her dog Oscar.