The Board of Health is seriously thinking over a ban on dogs at the town's athletic fields.

Dogs are relieving themselves of their solid waste on the athletic fields and players and spectators are stepping in it.

Dog excrement in public areas has been a complaint raised regularly with the board. If you checked out Facebook over the past two years, Folks were complaining online that there was the same problem along the Ashuwilliticook Rail Trail that people took notice of after the snow melted off. At that time town officials were urging residents to clean up after their pets.

The board tabled the discussion of the matter for now. Board member Peter Hoyt asked for the animal control officer to be present at the next meeting for clarification on enforcement of the possible regulation in the future.

Board members also held off on making any decisions on a neighbor dispute over trees until town counsel could weigh in.

Dog Walking Etiquette Tips

Scoop the poop  Picking up after your pet is another non-negotiable rule of dog walking etiquette. Dog feces is not only unsightly and can leave brown spots on the grass, it can leach into the groundwater and can spread diseases or parasites to other animals and people. Plus, failing to clean up after your pet gives all dog owners a bad name.

Be respectful The importance of respecting other people and other species cannot be understated. Don’t allow your dog to interact with other individuals or dogs without asking permission first.

No trespassing  Allowing your dog to walk through other people’s lawns or gardens, snack on their vegetation, or pee all over their lawn ornaments is a quick way to earn yourself and other dog walkers a bad reputation. For a harmonious relationship with your community, treat other people’s property the way you would like yours treated.

Pay attention  Ultimately, you are responsible for your dog’s behavior and actions. Your dog should stay by your side at all times, don’t allow them to wander off the trail or into the street, and make sure they aren’t approaching others or wrapping their leash around people or objects. Training your dog to stop and sit at crosswalks is a good way to keep them focused while on a walk and may save their life should they ever get loose.

Your care and attention to dog walking etiquette will pay off big time in the form of more enjoyable walks for you and your pup and a great relationship with the world around you.

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