Do you walk through those undeveloped sandy areas that lie in abundance in both residential and business parts of Dubai? If so, you’ve no doubt seen they’re a magnet for dog walkers.
I try never to go into those areas and the reason is that in all the years I’ve been here, I’ve yet to see ANYONE pick up after their dog.
I’m sure there are some responsible owners who like me are dab hands at whisking it up in a bag with no fuss or drama, but I’ve never seen them. Perhaps nobody has ever seen me either.
Whether it’s maids or the dog owners themselves, the people I see seem to make a beeline for the sandy areas, shuffle around a bit and toddle off back home. If it’s dark then sandy area not required, outside someone’s door will do.
It’s truly anti-social behaviour when you consider how tragic the consequences can be.
Here are 6 reasons to start picking up after your dog:
1) You’ll spoil it for everyone else
A complaint from the right person into the right ear potentially means knee-jerk policies such as dogs being banned from the entire apartment block or compound.
We all have to pay a year’s rent in advance so moving house is not an option for many people. The cost of kennels can be prohibitive too.
Do you really want families to have to put their healthy, loving, beautiful dog down all because you can’t be bothered to pick up your dog’s mess?
If you don’t care too much about making dogs homeless, think about the children…
2) Your child could get really sick or DIE
Dog faeces can contain worms, including the deadly roundworm which can cause blindness and a host of problems to major organs in humans. It can also harbour bacteria including salmonella, Giardia and some strains of Parvo virus are transferable to humans.
Here’s little toddler Amy, permanently blinded after she fell into some dog mess and touched her face afterwards. She is just one of the many people around the world whose lives have been damaged by thoughtless dog owners.
(Newsletter subscribers: click here for video)
Failing to be responsible dog owners has severe consequences. Dog poo doesn’t disappear on it’s own…
3) Dog poo stays infectious for years
Many people question the big deal. After all, it’s hot here – poo dries and crumbles quickly, in the summer months, it could be dust in just a week.
Unfortunately dog poo leaves a legacy. Parasites (like roundworms) lay around a million eggs a day and those eggs can stay infectious for years, long after visible signs of the faeces have gone. Dog walkers and children running barefoot in the sand pick up those parasites and bring them home.
Consider also that the sandstorms in this region spread the parasite eggs too. You know that layer of dust that covers everything in the house after a sandstorm, imagine if parasite eggs came in on that. And you touch the sandy remote control as you’re tucking into a shwarma… next day you’d be thinking the shwarma made you ill…
Air contains many particles it’s better not to know about. What a shame it also has to contain those that wouldn’t have to be there if the poo had been picked up.
4) Your dog could get really sick or DIE
To dogs, sniffing and licking urine and faeces is like reading the paper – it gives them news about the other dog.
But as dog poo is rife with bacteria, it can give them a lot more than just news. It can transfer heartworm, hookworm, roundworm, salmonellosis, Parvo virus and Giardia. Many diseases are fatal to dogs.
Don’t let pets suffer because picking up poo is “beneath you”.
5) You’re missing monitoring your dog’s health
As the French know, checking your stool is a great way of keep tabs on your health. Especially so with dogs because they can’t talk and they tend to close themselves off when they’re unwell.
Texture, smell, colour, content, frequency… it’s all in there. Being observant to changes gives you advance warning of any problems. Constipation and diarrhoea need vet attention if they last longer than a couple of days. Dark stools could indicate the presence of blood. If your dog has eaten something dangerous, you need to know it’s made its way out safely.
It’s not a glamorous task, but it’s an important one and your vet will thank you for all information if you need to take the dog in.
6) It makes you look good
There are few things that demonstrate dignity more than seeing someone show accountability. In a place where so much self-indulgence and arrogance is visible everyday, the person who shows consideration for fellow humans and the environment stands out. He/she is a leader.
Currently there are laws in the UAE about picking up dog mess, but they are rarely enforced as there is no task team assigned by the Municipality. However as we know, things change very quickly. Social conscience changes quickly and people who are not vocal today may rise up tomorrow fed up of having to potentially risk their children’s lives through unsanitary habits by lazy dog owners.
Start being a responsible dog owner today and get a head start on tomorrow. Teach your maids too.
PS: Whether you love dogs, love children or love your health, please tweet this post or share it on facebook. Or print it out and shove it under the door of your dog-loving neighbour!