Generally, Western societies maintain high standards of everyday hygiene. When it comes to man's best friend, however, it seems we turn a blind eye! New research published in Environmental Sociology this month explores the reasons behind this relaxed attitude to canine excrement and the strategies employed by dog-owners to deal with it.
The author of the research, Matthias Gross, began his study by observing the habits of dog-walkers at various times of the day, including the techniques employed to remove the excrement. He found that dog-owners were more relaxed about cleaning up after their dogs in the morning, when there were less people around.
In the afternoons when parks and public spaces were more crowded, he observed that 'most dogs were leashed and dog owners appeared much more attentive to excrement removal than in the morning hour'. More interesting is his observation that the dog-owners that did not clear up in the morning did so in the afternoon.
Gross also explores the means of removing the waste, revealing that even when action has been taken to clear up, in some cases the plastic bag has been 'simply thrown onto the ground in some random spot', remarking on the potential health implications of such actions.
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