How to get neighbors to pick up their dog’s poop


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How to get neighbors to pick up their dog’s poop

Dear Cathy,

At our condo complex, we have a problem with dog owners who violate the rules relative to walking their pets. Some, very few, allow their pets to defecate or urinate on lawns without picking it up. While our condo is pet-friendly, there are rules about dog walking. Is there an effective and humane deterrent that will prevent a dog from this offensive action? Someone suggested that the grass areas be “sprinkled” with red pepper.

– Mike, Amityville, New York

Dear Mike,

I have never heard of red pepper thwarting dogs from peeing outside, but why would you want to do that? The problem is not dogs peeing and pooping outside, which is a perfectly natural thing for animals to do. The problem is, their owners not picking up after them when they do.

It’s sad people need to be reminded about this, but they do. It’s not a trivial issue either since neighbors can get very confrontational with each other over this matter.

Ideas for getting Dog Owners to pick up their dog’s poop

  1. Talk to your Home Owners Association (HOA) about posting information in your community newsletter or email.
  2. Maybe get a group of people to pick up poop one day, tally it, and offer it as “news” in the next newsletter.
  3. In our neighborhood, our HOA set poop bag waste stations every ½ mile. It serves as both a reminder and resource for dog owners.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

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2 thoughts on “How to get neighbors to pick up their dog’s poop”

  1. Dear Cathy , I have a Black Lab that has allergies . We had blood tests done to narrow down what they are . While there are grasses , trees , weeds , the biggest problems are foods . corn , wheat , fish mix , ? , Beef , pork , & milk . I am thinking about making her food in my crockpot ,using turkey as the main protein . Do you have any info about what I can add to this ? We already put green beans , carrots , pumpkin on her dry food . I am suspicious about dry food ingredients . My daughter makes her own food & says it` made a big difference in her dog regarding energy & itching . If you have no info on this can you recommend a website that does ? My vet wasn`t much help when I asked what to include regarding the vitamins & minerals she will need . I would appreciate any help you could give .

    1. Cathy Rosenthal

      Hi Darleen, I don’t have any personal recipes for dog food, but the MSPCA (Massachusetts SPCA) has some basic recipes for homemade dog and cat food on their website that you can try. Check it out. You also can look for any videos by vets that show you how to make your own dog food. I would trust a vet to develop the right recipe for my dog’s health. If you don’t want to make your own food though (it can be very time-consuming), there are “limited ingredient” dog foods that are made with alternate proteins for dogs with food allergies. For example, my dog has issues with chicken, so I feed him Natural Balance Salmon and Sweet Potato Limited Ingredient Diet. If you search for “limited ingredient dog foods,” you can probably find several brands to choose from. Just something to think about if you don’t have the time to make homemade food every day.

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Cathy Rosenthal (aka The Pet Pundit), CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 35 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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