3.1 min readBy Published On: May 19th, 2024Categories: Features2 Comments on Tips for being a better dog owner

If you live in Southie, then you know that our neighborhood is dog central.  Seems like everyone has a dog. Sometimes, there are more dogs up at M Street Park than people in line at Lincoln. In other words, there are a lot of dogs in the neighborhood.  As a dog owner, we all like to think we are responsible, but judging by the amount of poop bags left on the sidewalk, we are not.  So, we thought we’d offer some tips to help us all become better dog owners.

Pick up your poop

Peter Gailunas has written several blogs about the importance of picking up poop.  Bottom line – just pick up your dog’s poop.

Throw the poop bag away

You’ve done the hard part.  You’ve picked up a steaming pile of dog shit with a bag.  Now throw the bag in the trash (and your own trash barrel not a neighbor’s trash barrel). Don’t place it next to a tree or on the sidewalk or in the gutter.  Put it in the garbage.  The bags of poop aren’t going to miraculously disappear.  They will sit where you left them until a concerned and upstanding citizen picks them up and puts them in the trash.  Don’t be a jerk.  Throw your poop bags away.

Don’t let your dog “go” on people’s property

Don’t let your dog pee or poop on people’s stoops.  There’s dog in my neighborhood that pees on my pots of flowers on my stoop at least twice a week. Who is letting their dog do that?  How rude.  One CIS reader shared a photo with us of a giant pile of dog shit on their stoop.  Honestly?  Who lets their dog do this and then just leaves it?  Come on! 

Stay off of fields where kids play

There are plenty of parks and green space to let your dogs go. No reason to let your dogs go on baseball, soccer and football fields where kids are rolling around.  Common sense.  This has become an issue in Swampscott that people refer to irresponsible dog owners as the “dog mafia.”  True Story Alert: In Southie, during a Little League game, a woman was walking her dog in the field…..the outfield.  She complained to the coach when a ball landed near her dog.  “Lady, this is a baseball field,” said the coach.  “Well, this is where my dog likes to go,” responded the lady.  SMH. 

Keep your dog on a leash

We know dogs love to run around off-leash but if you’re at a park with people around keep them on a leash.  Not everyone loves dogs.  Especially ones running around with no owner in sight.  Southie has a few dog parks. Dog parks are perfect parks to let them off-leash.  

Don’t leave your dog in a car

Drop your dog at home before you go to the supermarket.  They don’t want to wait in a car while you do your food shopping.  

Don’t bring your dog with you

Dogs don’t belong in Starbucks or the supermarket.  Unless your dog is a service dog, leave your dog at home.  “The City of Boston enforces the State Sanitary Code 105 CMR 590.00 and the 2013 Federal Food Code. Only service dogs that are trained to assist people with disabilities are permitted in/on licensed establishments which include outdoor patios. Please note emotional support animals and pets do not qualify as service dogs. Please note this is not a new policy.” 

We all live in this neighborhood together.  Be respectful of your neighbors and use common sense.  That is all!


  1. Susan Gailunas February 10, 2022 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    Why do people think it’s okay to leave a load of dog poop in a snow bank? When that snow melts, the poop doesn’t melt with it. It’s disgusting and a health hazard. Don’t have a dog if you’re not willing to pick up their poop. PLEASE.

  2. Lisa December 7, 2023 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Just an FYI, tons and tons of dog poop all over the Comm Ave Mall in the Back Bay. Many of the dog-owning residents don’t even bother to pick up their dog’s poop at all. They simply stroll out of their wildly-overpriced condo or brownstone and let their dogs poop anywhere and everywhere and then they walk away. Disgusting! Bad neighbors!

Leave A Comment