Impacts of Dogs on Wildlife

The spring melt down is revealing a large amount of dog poop on the Crazy Horse Trail and in the woods. We’re lucky to have this trail open for dog walkers.  Dogs are banned in many sensitive natural areas owned by the City and the National Capital Commission.

There are many justifications used by dog owners for not picking up dog poop.  But there are studies that show how dog poop has deleterious effects on wildlife and the environment:

  • It’s not just your dog leaving its waste; it’s many dogs a day doing so. This volume of waste with alien microbes from non-native animals is introduced into an ecosystem that is not set up to handle it.
  • Dogs can transmit diseases such as Canine Distemper Virus to wildlife.
  • Dog waste fouls the water.
  • It’s unsightly and smelly for trail users.
  • Your dog can get sick from eating other dogs’ poop or from lapping up fouled water.

For reference, we’ve loaded a two page summary of research on: Impacts of Dogs on Wildlife (PDF)

So if you’re out with your dog on the trail, please be a responsible owner:

  • Keep your dog under control by the trail at all times.
  • Pick up and carry out your dog’s poop.
  • Do not let your dog chase wildlife.