Dear Daisy Dog
How do I get other people to pick up after their dogs?
Start by picking up after your own dog. You’ll set a good example, and your actions will remind other dog people that scooping poop is standard procedure in your community.
If you see someone who doesn’t pick up his dog’s excrement, assume the best. Smile and say, “I see you forgot your poop bag. Here, take one of mine.”
When Mom does that, the other person usually looks a bit sheepish but picks up the poop -– and probably remembers to carry a bag on the next outing.
If you have problems with excessive excrement in only one area near your home, erect a sign reminding people to pick up after their dogs. If you feel particularly bold, add a reference to the applicable regulation and the fine for violators.
Dog people should pick up their dogs’ leavings, even when the dog defecates well away from the grassy strip bordering the sidewalk. After all, children play in meadows, woods and canyons off the beaten path, and their adventures shouldn’t end with dog poop on their shoes.
Besides, we dogs can excrete parasites that may infect children. Examples are roundworms, hookworms and Giardia. In you humans, these parasites can cause blindness, seizures, organ damage, skin problems, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
If your dog doesn’t already take a monthly dewormer, ask your veterinarian to prescribe one.
And don’t forget the power of positive reinforcement: The next time you see someone scooping poop, say, “Thank you!”