Barking Blondes: ‘I haven’t seen white dog poop since the 80s’
It’s true. Forget the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia, in this instance the memory was blanche! One caller confessed that, as a child, she believed white poop came only from white dogs. Another believed, that, as the summers were warmer, the bleaching process had taken over, turning it chalky.
Whatever the reason, it’s certainly a struck a cord, so much so that there is actually a YouTube song lamenting the lack of white dog poop since the 70s. If that turns your stomach then what dogs are now leaving behind is even more worrying. Dog fouling is not only more pungent, it’s on the increase.
It’s a grim reality but 96 per cent of us have trodden in the stuff, so no surprise then that this nation of so-called animal lovers is getting in a stink about the problem. Over 1.5 tons of dog poo is deposited and abandoned in the UK every day. It costs taxpayers millions every year to clean it up. No wonder the 70 per cent of non-dog-owning homes get in a paddy about it. Responsible dog owners stand aghast at how the minority can jeopardise the future of dog ownership in this country.
It’s a given that it’s morally mandatory to pick up, bag it and bin it! But it’s also an offence to leave a steaming mound of dog mess for all to tread into. Local authorities spend thousands on campaigns to encourage owners to be responsible with penalties of up to £100. Islington Council launched their ‘Dog Squad’ to patrol parks in ‘plain clothes’ to catch offenders. But is this a fine enough?
It is shameful to let dogs down by not obeying the code of poo practice. Just as dealing with nappies is part of parenthood, the poo bag moments should be automatic and become a daily ritual out of respect for your dog.
Spanish authorities have taken the lengths to DNA test abandoned poop, track the owners down and posting the ‘little parcel’ back to name and shame the owner. Policing the issue hasn’t proved effective in Britain, so the Dogs Trust and Keep Britain Tidy this month launched the Big Scoop campaign. The aim is to promote the concept of ‘cradle to grave’ poop responsibility.
This might mean carrying a full bag to the nearest bin, which in our experience, often involves walking down Harley Street looking for a bin, whilst disguising the bag under a hand, ignoring the aroma. Maybe it’s because the number of bins in the city dropped during the Olympics, but there’s still no excuse for leaving doggy decorations in bushes or chucking it under a parked car.
There’s a raft of accessories on the market to help the picking up and bagging from scented bags, bio-degradable bags, cooler bum bags, sealed containers, even poop vacuums! According to holistic vets, poop should be dark and easy to pick up. Dogs fed a healthy, natural diet will poop less as their food is absorbed easily into their system, without much ‘waste’. Dogs fed on processed foods have to expel most of it leaving large soft mousse-like poop that’s very tricky to remove from a grassy border.
So maybe there lies the answer to the white deposits of yesteryear. We fed our dogs a healthier diet?
‘Barking Blondes’ by Anna Webb & Jo Good, published by Hamlyn, £12.99 www.octopusbooks.co.uk
The Barking Hour, every Thursday, BBC London 94.9FMDogs Trust, Keep Britain Tidy
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