A First-Of-Its-Kind Magazine On Environment Which Is For Nature, Of Nature, By Us (RNI No.: UPBIL/2016/66220)

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…& she picked up the poop!

TreeTake is a monthly bilingual colour magazine on environment that is fully committed to serving Mother Nature with well researched, interactive and engaging articles and lots of interesting info.

…& she picked up the poop!

Dog poop contains millions of bacteria. According to the bacteriologists, one gram of dog poop contains around 23 million bacteria. Imagine what a potent source of infection it is. It is a common sight to see the lumps of poop on the roads, sidewalks, and even our gardens...

…& she picked up the poop!

Know Your Pooch

VK Joshi

The writer is former director, GSI, and an avid animal lover. His understanding of man's best friend comes from over six decades of dedicated association with it

Please don’t get upset with the heading. This is what I saw on a footpath in Bangkok, during an evening walk and I wanted to share it with you. I noticed a lady walking on the sidewalk with a toy poodle on a leash. Her pet was walking perfectly with the owner, neither pulling her nor lagging behind. All of a sudden, he stopped and began to sniff around hurriedly. I knew that he was searching for a spot to do his ‘job’. And lo, in the next moment, he had already done it. I was ready with my camera to take a picture to share with you all, that in Thailand too people allow their pooches to poop on the sidewalk/road. No, I was wrong, the lady swiftly put on a plastic bag upside down over her right palm and scooped per pet’s poop, and rolled back the bag so that the contents were inside. All through she did not let go of her hold on the leash. It all happened so suddenly that I couldn’t take a picture.

After seeing that, I got the answer to my query, ‘why is there no dog poop on the streets of Bangkok?’ As a rule, they don’t have stray dogs on the streets, wonder what the animal rights activists do there! And when all the pet owners pick up their pet’s misdeed, it is natural that their roads are poop free! Such roads are not only aesthetically clean but also safe from a health point of view. It is well known that the excreta of an animal contains bacteria, parasites, and worms which are injurious to the health of other animals, including us. In our households, toddlers and pooches playing together is quite common. No harm in that at all. Provided the compound/floors of the house are poop free.

Children have a habit of mouthing things and in the process, it is not uncommon for an infection to reach their gastrointestinal tract.   Likewise, if the infants too are allowed to poo anywhere in the house, the risk of your pet consuming that cannot be ruled out. Roundworms and tapeworms are parasites that are very harmful to dogs and humans both. Thus, teaching your dogs to poo in a particular area of the compound or the house and thereafter your habit of cleaning the mess immediately saves your toddler from infections and the consequences thereof.

Dog poop contains millions of bacteria. According to the bacteriologists, one gram of dog poop contains around 23 million bacteria. Imagine what a potent source of infection it is. It is a common sight to see the lumps of poop on the roads, sidewalks, and even our gardens. All this shit gets dissolved in rainwater and percolates down to the subsurface to pollute our groundwater or reach the river to pollute the surface water. Some dog owners teach their dogs to poo in their garden, presuming that it all makes a fertilizer! Alas, they don’t know how dangerous it could be. Dried poop mixed with dust gets blown inside their homes. I need not elaborate further on the consequences.

Normally I discuss, how to train your dog to act on command and other manners etc. But today I wish to share with you the technique of disposing dog’s poop. If it is solid and well-formed then there is no problem you can use the technique I described earlier or you can use a plastic scoop and put the scooped-up matter in a plastic bag for disposal. The real problem comes when either your pooch has a tummy upset or he is vomiting. In other words, the excreted matter is not well-formed or is semi-solid to almost liquid. In such situations always keep a bagful of dry sand handy. Spread sand over his misdeed and in a moment, it will be convenient for you to pick it up.

Always remember that a dog’s digestive system contains a concentrated amount of acid. Thus, if he vomits on a marble or mosaic floor, a risk of corrosion of that portion of the floor is always there. Therefore, at such times immediate use of sand and scooping up the vomitus is vital. Unfortunately, such accidents often take place in the dead of night. Dog is a living being and such accidents cannot be ruled out. It is therefore important to train him to sleep in his pen or bed, preferably away from your bedroom. I know many readers will disagree with me, saying ‘How preposterous, my dog is my baby and he can't sleep away from me’. Okay, but then don’t complain about the mess or about cleaning his poo in your room. Some people say they tried that but he howls all night and has to be brought in. The moment you bring him back from his pen after he howls, you inadvertently reward him for howling!

The training for living in the pen starts from day one. I have already described it in earlier issues; hence I won’t repeat it here. If the bed in the pen is cozy and cuddly and if there are enough toys to keep him engaged till he drops off to sleep, he will be at peace. Remember, that a puppy wants to do his ‘job’ every two hours, so be prepared for that. Take him out to the designated spot. Decide a command for his  ‘job’. As you leave the pup at the spot, softly repeat the command preceded by his name. The moment he does it, praise him a lot, make a fuss, and bring him back to put him in his pen. You will be surprised that he will accept the routine and easily get trained for doing his  ‘job’ on command, at a designated spot and again go back to sleep.             Also train yourself to clean the mess, each time he does it. That will help you later on too to clean his poop from the road or park. No harm in picking good habits.



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