News

No Harm, No Foul: Lockdown Puppies and Dog Waste.

The pandemic brings a surge in dog ownership.*

Puppy being carried by his owner - in 2020-21 12 million dogs in UK homes - increase in dog ownership since lockdown

As social isolation took hold in 2020, many of us turned to our pets for companionship. Restricted to necessary travel only and reverting to social interaction via digital screens, we sought out our dogs to provide exercise, fresh air and a much-needed friendly face. But the dramatic increase in pets has a potential issue: dog fouling.*

Regarded as a sign of responsible dog ownership, collecting and correctly disposing of dog foul is not merely a kind community gesture but a legal requirement, punishable by on-the-spot fines of up to €150 if the owner fails to do so.* Yet, the unsightly issue remains an increasingly reported problem to local authorities.* With areas logging a 44% increase in dog fouling since last year, we explore the steps councils, communities, and organisations are taking to tackle it and how, together, we can better equip ourselves moving forward.*

Health Issues


It is unsightly, and it smells, but is that the only causality of dog foul? In short, no. Dog waste can have adverse effects on our health and the health of other animals. Carrying E-coli and parasites, dog foul has the capability of causing sickness, toxocariasis and even blindness and, for babies and toddlers exploring their newly found terrain blissfully unaware of danger and hazards, this possibility increases.

child playing with their pet dog

So, how do we raise awareness as to the potential for harmful health issues?

Inclusion in Advertising Material and Campaigns

Including the harmful effects of dog foul in campaigns is a helpful way to begin. Many organisations, including Dogs Trust, regularly run campaigns and advertisements to highlight the harmful health effects of dog waste along with its environmental impacts. Through such, they educate dog owners on the reasons why they should and how to clean up after their dog, offering toolkits to encourage schools and communities to take part.

Inclusion in Manufacturer Designs

As a manufacturer, Glasdon builds opportunities to support campaign messages into a variety of products.

Featuring personalised graphics or campaign posters, litter bins, and dog bins can promote the harmful effects of dog fouling. By adopting personalised poster frames, the bins can showcase content about the hazardous potential of dog waste. A principle already used to promote campaign slogans, such as the government's 'Love This Place, Leave No Trace', these personalised graphics can be adapted to reinforce the public health message attached to dog foul.

Dog Owner's Responsibilities


Walkies, food and love; the only essential responsibilities of dog ownership, right? Wrong. Frequently under-advertised, the responsibilities of dog ownership extend far beyond our average understanding of such and, when not known, can have harmful consequences for our dogs, the environment and ourselves. But, organisations and councils are attempting to correct the knowledge gap.

Dog walking couple in woodland area

Penning the dog licences and ownership guide Citizens Information strives to assist Irish citizens wherever it can. Providing comprehensive information and guidance to citizens in Ireland, their guide details everything from dog owners responsibilities to legal requirements.

Several councils, such as Waterford City and County Council, also have similar documents listing the legal duties of dog owners.

Visibility and Accessibility of Dog Waste Facilities


Education and understanding are vital components to become responsible dog owners but, without visible and accessible litter and dog waste bins, it will only solve part of the issue. The type of bin, its placement, and clear signage are vital in helping responsible dog owners solve this issue.

Dog waste bin in Stannah, Lancashire

Type of Waste Bin

Due to the harmful effects of dog excrement, a litter or dog waste bin must have the capability to hold waste efficiently and hygienically.

For dog waste bins, metal chute systems and detachable bodies are the easiest methods to achieve this. Easily maintainable and cleaned, these ensure efficient upkeep while also trapping unwanted odours inside.

An adapted litter bin can also function as a dog waste bin. Highlighting its dual purpose by adding clear signage and exploring the optional alternative of a closed aperture flap, litter bins can also fulfil the requirements of dog waste disposal.

Glasdon waste bin split graphic and aperture flap

Due to their usual location in parks, coastal footpaths, bridleways and other outdoor areas with high footfalls and hardened weather, fitting a durable and vandal-resistant bin is an ideal solution. Available in various capacities and with or without post-mounting, the product you choose may feature a self-returning lid, protecting the community by ensuring all contents remain inside. Our guide on How to Choose a Dog Waste Bin is available to aid in selecting a bin.

Placement and Signage

Being able to actively find a dog bin is perhaps the most vital element of effectively disposing of dog waste. Mounting the waste bins and adding easily identifiable graphics and colour schemes to display their function will enhance visibility, and positioning them on busy pathways frequented by dog walkers will increase accessibility.

Post and Wall Mounting Fixings for Dog Waste Bins

Alternative solutions for areas with less space to house multiple assortments of bins would be to explore the options of standard graphics available for litter bins. With options for split dog waste and general litter graphics, these images create a dual functioning litter bin without demanding extra room. If required, these graphics can be personalised to highlight their function and make disposing of dog waste and litter clearer.

Glasdon waste bin with 'bin it' graphics

Moving Forward


From Zoom adeptness and mental health prioritisation to the reaffirmation that dogs are a man’s best friend, the lockdown has taught us a lot. But perhaps no lesson has been more important than the realisation that teamwork and collective thinking are the way forward and applicable to every situation, even dog foul.

With the issue of dog foul persisting, this communal approach is as important as ever. Moving forward, and in conjunction with organisations and councils, we can work together to educate dog owners about the possible harm irresponsible ownership can cause while providing visible and accessible dog waste facilities.

Resources

Organisations -

Dogs Trust


Dog Waste Bin Help -

How to Choose a Dog Waste Bin Guide


Campaigns -

Love This Place, Leave No Trace

Remember if They Poop, You Scoop

The Big Scoop


Responsibilities of a Dog Owner -

Responsible Dog Ownership

Dog Licences and Ownership

Dog Control



References

*https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/dog-days-the-pandemic-pooch-boom-takes-its-toll-1.4551242
*https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/1e785c-dog-control/
*https://www.rte.ie/news/2021/0223/1198828-dog-fouling-latest/
*https://www.classichits.ie/clare/news/galway-news/galway-county-council-campaigns-against-dog-fouling/
*https://waterford-news.ie/2021/04/22/very-few-dogs-euthanised/
*https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/about_citizens_information.html

18 August 2021