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My Pet World: Resident upset when people don't pick up after their dogs

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

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, NY

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.

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

Dear Cathy,

We have a 17-year-old cat who over the past few months sometimes neglects to use the litter box. Sometimes, he'll leave a surprise right next to the litter box and sometimes elsewhere. It seems to happen whether the litter box is completely clean or not. What's the reason? -- Rich, Rockville Centre, NY

Dear Rich,

If you haven't moved the litter box, changed the substrate or had any changes in your household (new baby, mother moved in, etc.), I am inclined to believe that your senior feline may have a health problem. She could be constipated or have an intestinal problem that is making it difficult for her "to go."

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