DOG owners in the Borders are being urged to ‘Bag it and bin it’ following a warning about the health risks of dog fouling.

As part of the Scottish Borders Health and Social Care Partnership’s Healthy Lives Week, the Scottish Borders Council has highlighted the health risks of failing to pick up after your dog.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison (Ind, Galashiels & District), who is executive member for neighbourhoods and locality services, said: “The vast majority of dog owners are responsible, but a small minority cause misery for their neighbours and their local communities by refusing to pick up behind their dog.

“It is absolutely unacceptable and the health risks of dog faeces are well documented. By leaving it on the pavement, in parks and on sports pitches these people are putting the health of the public, particularly children at serious risk."

The health risk posed comes from roundworm eggs which may be deposited in dog faeces. These become infectious after about three weeks and can remain so for up to two years. Anyone, but particularly children, playing near to the ground run the risk of picking up and swallowing the eggs.

These roundworm parasites can cause toxocaral infection, symptoms of which range from aches, dizziness and nausea, to asthma and pneumonia. In rare cases, eye disease and loss of vision can be caused when the toxocara larva passes through the eye.

Cllr Aitchison added: “Our message is clear – play #yourpart and bag it and bin it. It is as simple as that.

“Our communities recognise this as a serious issue and it is also important to work with us to report problem areas and give us information which will help us tackle this real hazard to health and quality of life.”

The council’s Responsible Dog Ownership Strategy aims to change people’s behaviour to dog fouling and remind owners of their social and legal responsibilities.

As part of the strategy, posters and pavement stencils can be requested by members of the public to be placed in areas where dog fouling is an issue.

Communities can also sign up to SBC’s Green Dog Walker Scheme, which aims to change attitudes towards dog fouling.

The council has also reminded members of the public to report incidents of dog fouling and to provide as many details as possible such as the exact location, the time when the dog fouling takes place and a description of the owner and their dog.

Information can be provided anonymously and there is no need to provide further evidence at a later date.

For more information on the strategy visit or to report dog fouling phone 0300 100 1800.