Dog owners asked to clean up after their pets as spring blooms

·2 min read
The Natural Conservancy suggests owners always keep their dogs on leash to ensure they do their business in places where the owner can easily handle the waste. (Nicola MacLeod/CBC - image credit)
The Natural Conservancy suggests owners always keep their dogs on leash to ensure they do their business in places where the owner can easily handle the waste. (Nicola MacLeod/CBC - image credit)

Spring is here, and dog owners are once again reminded to clean up after their pets when going out for walkies.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is urging Islanders to pick up their dog's poop and keep their pets leashed. The organization says the waste is not only an eyesore to everyone, but also harms the environment.

"If you leave it there, it can contaminate nature because it has foreign bacteria, some diseases and unnatural nutrients. That could impact local plants," said Andrew Holland, the organization's national media relations director, in an interview with CBC Radio's Island Morning.

"And it's not good for the dogs either, because if the dogs go off leash in some areas, they can have ticks latch onto them."

Keep your pets safe from wildlife

Ticks can also spread to humans and transmit Lyme disease. The Nature Conservancy suggests owners always keep their dogs on leash to ensure they do their business in places where the owner can easily handle the waste — as well as to avoid other sorts of unpleasantness.

"Sometimes dogs veer off and they see birds and will chase them. So that impacts bird populations. But dogs can also have unwanted or other interactions with coyotes and porcupines and other critters you don't want," Holland said.

CBC/Cody MacKay
CBC/Cody MacKay

"My golden retriever has had an interaction with a porcupine, for example. He's a friendly golden retriever, but he doesn't know any better ... I was barbecuing and he got quills in his mouth, near his eyes, everywhere. And we had to go to the vet on-call emergency area and we had a bill of over $800."

Holland said cleaning up after one's pet is not only beneficial for the environment, but is also the considerate thing to do.

"It's one of the things that plagues walkers, children, unsuspecting homeowners," he said.

"All of a sudden, you have these things around in our lawns and, you know, trails and they're everywhere. It's hard to walk anywhere in terms of a green space, wherever, and not see an area where someone failed to check up after their pet."

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