It is important to always pick up after your dog. Dog poo is unsightly and unpleasant, and has negative impacts on our community and environment.
It is also a legal requirement under the Dog Control Act 2000 (external link) that a person in charge of a dog must immediately remove and dispose of any dog faeces left by the dog in a public place or in a place not owned by the person. If you don’t pick up after your dog you could receive an on-the-spot to a fine of up to $300.
Dog faeces in public places can also have the following adverse health, environmental and amenity impacts.
Health impacts for other dogs
Dog faeces can transmit various diseases and parasites, including:
- Parvovirus – a highly contagious viral gastroenteritis. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, severe vomiting and diarrhea containing blood. Death can occur very quickly.
- Distemper – a highly contagious disease producing symptoms such as conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, convulsive seizures and spinal cord damage. Treatment is often ineffective.
- Canine hepatitis – in puppies can cause sudden death, whilst adult dogs can experience, weakness, fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite and bleeding.
- Hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm and whipworm.
- Canine cough – a complex disease caused by bacterium and a virus. Affected dogs will have a hacking cough persisting for weeks. In puppies and old dogs the disease can be devastating.
At 6–8 weeks of age, puppies should receive their first vaccination; this is temporary and needs to be followed up with another one at 10 weeks. 10 days after their 10 week vaccination you can then take your puppy out in public areas.
Some canine diseases are very serious and can be fatal even with treatment. To prevent your dog from getting these diseases we recommend regular vaccination. The vaccinations we recommend are highly effective and have a very low rate of side effects.
Health impacts on people
Dog faeces can transmit various infections and parasites, including:
- hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm and whipworm
- eye and throat infections and gastroenteritis from swimming in polluted waterways.
Impacts on the environment
Dog faeces washed into stormwater drains pollutes fresh waterways, which can end up in our oceans. This can negatively affect marine life, and may contribute to beach closures due to unsafe water quality.
Impacts on the community
Dog faeces affects the community we live in.
- It is unsightly.
- It leads to more flies and insect breeding.
- You may smell it, step in it, ride through it and have your front gardens and nature strip left with ‘deposits’ if you don’t have a front fence!
What you can do
As well as always cleaning up after your dog, you can make a complaint to Council if you see or are affected by dog owners who do not clean up after their dog.
You will need to tell us the address of the dog, or some other information to help us identify the dog and dog owner in order to investigate and action your complaint (for example, the breed of dog, or the owner’s name).
We will investigate complaints and may take action if this is determined to be appropriate. We will not respond to anonymous complaints, as we need to be able to verify that the complaint is genuine.