Gloomy financial forecasts mean a boom in ‘stay-at-home’ holidays is expected. Caravanning is now officially cool, with the extra benefit in that you can bring your dog along with you!
Picking up after the dog can be a smelly business at the best of times, and isn’t the best addition to a summer holiday, a day at the beach picnic (or a traffic jam. Muksak’s MD, Alison Vaughan, has noticed a trend to buy specifically for keeping in the caravan, mobile home or car. She notes ”Sometimes this is a new purchaser whose home area is well supplied with dog bins, but wants to avoid whiffy journeys when out for the day with the dog somewhere new. Others are second purchases by customers who just want to make sure that they don’t forget to bring it with them when they’re away from home”.
Alison hopes that this can only help the drive behind the original invention – making picking up after your dog so smell-free and convenient that no one has a reason to discard those waste bags. “I really hope that it means owners can keep the poop bag with them, and not leave it by the side of the path! Even if they do intend to come back for it in time, it is still just litter for anyone else enjoying the countryside”.
Alison is well aware of this problem from her other role running a conservation charity owning land along the popular SW long distance paths, the Camel Trail and the Tarka Trail. “I really would make a plea to owners to think of others’ enjoyment and keep the bags with them. The muksak really will keep them smell-free and leak-proof”.
Over a third of visits to the UK countryside are made with a dog as a companion, and some of Britain’s most sensitive habitats are also the pleasantest for walking the dog – heathland and sand dunes for example. These often have special designations due to the plants that thrive there. Next time you visit, take a look at the vegetation around the car park. It is usually the best place to spot the effects of soil enrichment from dog waste!
You might assume that the field you are walking through already has its fair share of cow pats, so what difference does a bit of dog mess make? That depends on the reliability of your dog wormer, as cows are just as susceptible to eye infections from dog waste as children, and parasites in the poo can lead to abortions in sheep. I was recently talking to a Cornish farmer who has just identified the cause of repeated tape worm in his lambs – dog mess by the footpath that runs through the field.
So, as well as being aware of your impact on the countryside, what else can the environmentally aware owner do? Most of us bring our renewable bag to the supermarket or elsewhere for our weekly shopping, but how many of us think about the single use plastic dog waste bags we get through? There is an alternative in compostable bags made from corn starch. Muksak promotes the BioBag Dog compostable waste bags along with other items to make travel with a dog environmentally friendly as well convenient, including Dump It Onya pouches and ByoFresh products.
If you decide to stay at home in the garden, then Muksak is offering a novel solution – the Pet Poo Loo Wormery! Unlike the pet loos that you had to sink into the soil, with very mixed results, the wormery can sit neatly on a patio or lawn corner. Just like a standard wormery for kitchen scraps, the worms convert dog poo to compost (i.e. worm castings) and a liquid fertiliser. This is a real win-win result – you lose the smelly bin or garden corner, the environment gains from the diversion of waste from landfill, and you gain a useful free product.