Don’t Dump on Our Reef

The team at Tangaroa Blue Foundation have set out to educate the public about the harmful environmental effects of dog waste and propose methods of green disposal in order to further reduce the environmental impact associated with pet ownership.

Many dog owners see their pets’ waste as a natural product, which leads to a large number of dog owners leaving their dog waste to degrade in the environment. Despite this statement being of truth, dog waste does contain a large number of pathogens and nutrients. The environment is able to break down these pathogens and nutrients up to a certain load, however current statistics from the Australian census demonstrate that a large number of dogs are registered within suburban areas and that numbers are on the rise (with an increase just shy of 1 million from 2013 to 2019). This has led to an increased load of waste produced within a smaller area, surpassing the environmental threshold for natural waste management.

The pathogens found in dog waste can be toxic to humans, with many parasites and infections readily transferable to the human body (for example; Salmonella, Campylobacteriosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Toxocariasis, Hookworm infection, Echinococcosis (caused by tapeworms) and Giardia). Not to mention your beloved pets’ wandering nose could also readily pick up any of these harmful parasites and infections from any dog waste left behind by previous owners, or even worse your dog waste could infect somebody else’s beloved pet! In regards to an increased nutrient load within the environment, this can directly impact the quality of neighbouring water bodies within the catchment area leading to excessive weed or algae growth.

For those dog owners that do pick up their pets’ waste, many use plastic products to do so. This in turn creates another debris item, and often is not disposed of correctly. When considering green methods of disposable it is important to understand what the doggy bag is made of (for example avoid items containing petrochemicals and instead use items made of cornstarch).

The team at Tangaroa Blue Foundation not only wanted to highlight the negative environmental impacts that dog waste has, but also provide responsible pet owners with a green solution on how to dispose of it. For more information click here to view our double-sided factsheet.

In an attempt to make the conversation of dog poop a little more fun, an interactive personality quiz based on association was drafted to determine “What Kind of Dog Owner Are you?”. The personality types for the quiz were based according to a scientifically credited psychology paper, which states there are 5 types of dog owners in regards to how they approach the situation of their dog’s waste (Lowe, CN et al., 2014). A graphic design company, 55 Knots, generously donated their time to create caricatures depicting each of the 5 types of personalities based on the following descriptions. The team at Tangaroa Blue Foundation would like to thank the team at 55 knots for their generosity and excellent work.

Find out what type of dog owner you are by taking this short quiz:

For a breakdown of the types of dog owners follow this link:

What Kind of Dog Owner are you? – Tangaroa Blue

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