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Doggy doo on streets of Paris

OK, let me just say up front that I loathe, detest, abhor getting dog poop on my shoe. Yeah, I know no one is fond of it but it really sends me over the edge. I would almost rather toss shoes away and buy new than clean the mess off.
I read so much about the oodles of piles on streets in Paris. "Always keep eyes on ground!" "Don't be a tourist and walk around gawking or you will step in it! Be like the locals and watch your step!""The Paris government spends millions a year cleaning it up!"
But some friends who have visited said they did not notice at all.
Are they just blind?
I know this is petty topic but it would really ruin my day to have s*** encrusted shoe while trying to enjoy a nice lunch in sidewalk cafe.

Posted by
8293 posts

I am in Paris every year, for at least 4 days and often longer and I have never had a dog-poo problem. I find Paris very clean. So how do you feel about doggies being in restaurants? I have often seen them actually sitting on a chair at the table with their doting "parents". I find it amusing and have taken many a photo of this.

Posted by
12040 posts

I heard about the dreaded Parisian dog poop, but never actually saw any. I've seen far more animal waste in some US cities. I think this is probably one of those old stereotypes that will never die amongst people who will never travel to Europe. You know these, "English food is bad", "European women don't shave their armpits", "French people don't bathe", etc.

Posted by
23351 posts

I think it was more of a problem 10, 15 years ago. They have cute little sidewalk cleaning machine that run around cleaning up what mess there is. Maybe you friends are not blind because there was nothing to notice. BUT if that bothers you that much, I can think of a couple things that will be worse. Got to remember you are not visiting downtown Portland.

Posted by
242 posts

The Netherlands needs some of the those machines! It is the number one thing I won't miss when we move back. I don't understand why the citizens of the cities don't put a stop to the problem.

Posted by
20 posts

I was walking back to my hotel one evening and stepped in it. I was wearing shoes with really thick treads, so it was really "embedded." When I got to my hotel door, I used their door mat to help scrape off as much as I could. I then rinsed off the rest in my bathroom sink. It was really disgusting. Only later did I realize that, because they had to buzz me in, they were probably watching me on a closed-circuit camera and probably saw me mess up their door mat. Very embarrassing! C'est la vie a Paris, I guess.

Posted by
2141 posts

Donna โ€“ I was in Paris about 18 months ago and I think itโ€™s still a problem. I was ready to throw my shoes away at one point. I got over it but would advise you to watch your step!

Posted by
525 posts

I was there a year and a half ago and there was definitely an abundance of poo on the sidewalks. I never stepped in it and quite frankly forgot all about it until you posted this. Watch where you step.

Posted by
10261 posts

I didn't notice it to be any more of a problem than anywhere else.

Posted by
1806 posts

I think it's a complete crock of s*** that Paris has a problem. I was in Paris for half a month and never stepped in or even saw any on the streets, the sidewalks, the grass or the flowerbeds in the parks.

I've seen more on the streets here and in front of my own building where there are lots of residents who never bother cleaning up after their animals.

Posted by
15297 posts

What happened to the old days when the little carts with vacuum hoses would ride around picking up the dog stuff and then every street in Paris was washed overnight? No more?

Posted by
365 posts

Donna, you don't really state your interest in this topic. Are you implying that you plan a trip to Paris? If so, I suppose watching where you walk is a good policy regardless.

Yes, there's some pet poop around. Not too much. They do a pretty good job of routine cleaning...it goes right into the Seine.

But speaking of the Seine, don't go anywhere near it. Evidently lots of people pee and poop in the walking areas bordering the river. You can smell it and everything. Gross. Worse than Burnside even. Word.

Posted by
11507 posts

I see the same amount of dog poo in Paris that I see here.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks to you all for funny and informative advice.
I think I'll just encase my feet in white plastic bags. Then I can really be the 'ugly American"! Ha.

And no, I don't mind pups in eaterys. Better a well behaved canine than unruly child.

Good point about nasty streets of downtown Portland. It's getting worse and worse too.

We leave April 8th for Marseille. 3 nights there. Train to Avignon where we board Viking river cruise ship to sail to Rhone for 8 days. Train to Paris with few hours to kill in Dijon. 4 nights in Paris. Our first trip to France. Can't wait!

Posted by
1589 posts

Just guessing here, Donna- no kids, right? Have a great trip and keep one eye looking down!

Posted by
1158 posts

Last time when I was in Paris was in 2002 and didn't see any dog poop.
Just curious where did you get that statement from?

Posted by
152 posts

The areas around the Seine are some of the cleanest streets in any city in the world. I could swear that half the population of Paris works for the city cleaning things up. Having said that, the honest answer is it partly depends upon where you are. The further you venture away from the Seine, the less regular the street cleaning services. But truly, all those that suggest this is a big problem are exaggerating in the extreme. Venice was much, much worse. Chill and enjoy...Of course don't be surprised by the dog standing next to you inside a boulangerie as you wait for your morning pain au chocolate. Four legged freinds (dogs at least) are welcome in most venues...

Posted by
2030 posts

On my first trip to Paris in 2001, I noticed a lot of doo, but in 6 subsequent trips I've hardly noticed any, and have never stepped in it. I pay attention to where I'm walking but I'm not overly vigilant. Perhaps it depends on where you are.

Posted by
194 posts

We've seen a lot in the past, but none in September and we walked EVERYWHERE. Our rule of thumb previously was "watch where you step and if you want to look at a building, STOP and admire." That way we didn't step in piles of things we didn't want to.
The worst was in Arles along the river!

Posted by
290 posts

Donna, How many times have you actually been to Paris and when? So go to the WC at the sidewalk cafe and wash it off! Too many folks going there on vacation with doo-doo fears looking at the ground obsessed and not at the beauty of the city. Life is way too short for petty issues like this. The first time we went to Paris my husband was on a constant look out for it the whole time we were there, which was way more annoying to me than a momentary actual poop misstep. That in itself was almost enough for me to bar the futher trips to that wonderful city. If by the fairly odd chance you step in it, wipe it off, get over it, & move on. Been all over Paris & not much in the way of doggy poop since they did pass some laws there quite a few years back which are actually being enforced with on the spot fines. A few of our worst poop perils in all of our extensive world travels were right here in the good old USA, which is funny because you don't see folks in a poop panic when they visit here.

Posted by
73 posts

I was there first week of March--there was plenty--keep your eyes open

Posted by
365 posts

Apparently the poop level rises and falls on Paris streets. If only this parameter was tracked like a weather report. It'd be helpful to know whether or not Paris was safe to visit at any given time.

Posted by
2026 posts

We spent a doo free week in Paris in May 2008. I am beginning to feel like we might have missed something!

Posted by
11507 posts

Thank you Debbie for keeping it in perspective.

Posted by
2349 posts

Kent, is this the first official dog poop question on the helpline?

Posted by
10344 posts

Answering Karen's question: No, unfortunately this topic thread is not even close to a first topic of this subject. Although I wasn't sure exactly what search words to use, I got about 225 hits on Helpline prior discussions for dog poop and words closely related to that substance. Apparently, on this forum there's more interest in dog poop in Paris than there is in art in Paris.

Posted by
101 posts

How about "dog poop as art".

A French dogs perspective on the world around it deposited chicly on the pavement

Posted by
1806 posts

Wow, Pete! I would totally pay money to see that exhibition. Maybe it'll show at The Pompidou (or is that Pompi"doo") Center and will be covered under the Paris Museum Pass.

I'd be particularly interested to see which breed of dog can poo in the style of Jackson Pollack.

Posted by
345 posts

We were in Paris for 4 days and I only saw evidence of poop once - and that had been stepped in. Now, whether it had been stepped in by a native or a tourist, I don't know. From the tone of some of the posts here, I suppose if it were a native Parisian, he/she should immediately start looking for a place to live outside Paris. After all, we know that dogs don't poop on the sidewalks outside of Paris city limits.

Posted by
448 posts

Oh well, i guess i'll respond now...as someone who lives outside the "city limits"...Dogs DO poop on the village sidewalks, but most of the walkers take a pick-up bag or at least a scoop to scrape it in the gutter. My dog made the decison early in life to do all her "pooping" in our garden, which i pick up when i feel there's enough to make it worth the effort.
And dogs are Not allowed in boulangeries anywhere. The BEST bakeries have a little tie -up anchor at the door for the pet...others hope that the pet will wait outside. After several/many years in France the only dogs i saw in a bakery were guide dogs. And i go to the city several times a month..shoes still clean.