Did you know dog poop is not safe for nature? It contains germs and can bypass that in the environment; therefore, you must know how to compost it adequately.
While throwing your dog’s poop bag in the bin, have you also wondered is it compostable?
Have you thought of making dog compost and using that as fertilizer?
To get all answers related to the above question, read our article. In this, we have explained to you whether dog poop is compostable or and do’s and don’t of using dog compost.
So, if you want to learn the correct way of composting waste, scroll down now!
Is Dog Poop Compostable?
The short answer is yes, dog poop can compost easily, but it requires proper care. It is a challenging task to do so.
When you do not compost dog poop properly, it can become toxic as it can spread from waterways, laneways, and airways. So, you and your pet can get sick due to parasites and infections.
The United States department of agriculture says a canine can produce ⅓ of waste in a single day. That means it can produce 275 pounds of waste annually.
So, if you adequately decompose your dog poo, it reduces environmental risks and becomes economical and feasible for you.
The majority of people think dog poop can not decompose, but actually, it is not the case.
But, there are many reasons why you should prevent decomposing dogs’ waste which you can learn in the next section.
Why should you avoid composting dog waste?
Dogs’ intestines produce bacteria that they bypass in their poop, and it can infect the soil where you compost the poop; therefore, it is better to prevent decomposing dogs’ poop.
Dog’s poop carries worms and many parasites capable of destroying you and your pet’s immune system.
The most prevalent parasite found in dogs is roundworms. These worms can emerge in dogs’ compost. If eggs hatch and infect humans, it can lead to Visceral Larval Migrans.
The eggs will travel in the bloodstream and infect the lungs, liver, and many other organs. Then you will get the following symptoms
- Abdominal pain.
- Shortness of breath
If eggs travel to the retina by any chance, it can make you blind too.
Scary right? Well, it is not limited to this.
According to the NCBI studies, dog poop can spread the following microorganisms.
Why is dog poop such a problem environmentally?
Like oil spills, herbicides, pesticides, and salt from irrigation methods are classified as pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency has also considered dog poop as a pollutant.
The reason is poop contains pathogens, viruses, and bacteria and it seeps into soil and water. It affected the wildlife, natural vegetation, and human lives.
Dog poo contains nitrogen and phosphorus, which helps algae and weeds to grow. As a result, it can strangle marine life and make swimming and boating activities impossible.
What is the right method to compost dog poop?
You can make a dog compost pile in 2 different ways. In the first method, you have to collect all the waste and then mix them in one go.
The positive side of using this method is that it can decompose quickly and get a high temperature when poop, water, air, and water function well together.
Let’s start with the first one. You will need the following things to make a dog compost bin.
- Two shovels filled with poop
- Two shovels full of carbon compound (shred of newspapers, sawdust)
Step 1: Build the hole in the ground
Step 2: Add poop, water, and sawdust and mix them together.
Step 3: Cover the hole and let the microorganisms do their function.
Step 4: When the temperature starts dropping, turn the pile.
Step 5: You have to keep repeating this till the temperature drops after each spin. (it takes 6 to 8 weeks to decompose waste completely)
The second method involves mixing the carbon source into the dog feces as it is collected from the dog yard and then placing it in the bin.
It is easy until the pile is dry because when you turn the pile and add water, the pile will have an awful smell.
Things you will need
- Two bins (one for keeping composting material and another to conduct the decomposing process)
- A shovel
- Long-stemmed therometter
Step 1: Make holes inside the bin so that it can hold the compost. Choose a sunny spot to keep the bin as it will accelerate the process of decomposition.
Step 2: Fill the bin with dog poop and a shovel full of carbon materials.
Tip: Include at least one bucket of sawdust or other carbon compounds for every two buckets of dog stool.
Step 3: Mix the mixture whenever you add the carbon compound.
Step 4: To help the pile break down faster, add a bucket full of old compost in a few days.
It is vital to keep the pile wet so keep adding water in small amounts. Make the texture of the compost like a wet sponge.
Step 5: After the bucket is full, conceal it and let the organism do its work.
Step 6: Now start checking the temperature, and whenever the temperature starts dropping (which is generally after two weeks), start turning up the pile.
Make sure to turn the inside-out pile thoroughly. It will help keep the pile’s temperature at its peak and kill pathogens present inside.
Step 7: Keep doing this step whenever the temperature decreases. After some time the temperature will stop dropping.
And, it’s a sign that you have reached the final level and decomposition is complete.
Important: Before utilizing your final compost, let it sit for many months or even a year to balance the Ph level. And it also indicates that the breakdown process is complete.
REMEMBER: You will require at least ten dogs to poop, preferably twenty, to fill the bin entirely and produce enough waste.
How to use dog poop after composting?
If you have appropriately decomposed dog waste, it will become a great source of organic matter. You can utilize that in your garden and plant pots.
It adds to improved aeration and increases soil moisture-holding capacity because it enhances soil life. Plant nutrients are also found in compost.
Therefore, you can utilize compost dog waste for revegetation purposes, making plant beds, and preparing the soil for planting.
Ensure that you do not use the compost waste for edible plant vegetation. Compost contains a high salt level, making it unsuitable for seedling germination.
However, you can put 25 percent of it in flower beds, shrubs, and plant pots.
Do’s and don’ts for using compost containing animal waste.
After the composition is complete, you have to keep little things in mind. It is because you may not be able to use the compost in everything.
That is why we have listed out things you can do and which things you have to avoid in this section.
The thing you can do with animal waste compost is added compost in landscapes beds, in your flower pot, and around trees. And, make sure to take necessary precautions like wearing gloves and washing hands after using dog waste.
Do not use animal waste compost in your edible plants. For instance, if you are planting spinach, peas, herbs, fruits, or even edible flowers, do not add this compost as there is still a risk of germs.
Make sure to avoid using waste compost near your kid’s playing area.
Well, that is a wrap
Dog poop is compostable, and it may take up to 6-7 weeks to compost waste properly.
Dog stool contains parasites that can actually make you and your dog fall sick. It is vital to decompose dog poop appropriately.
When you go through this article, you can find out how to decompose dog waste and how you can use that waste in your gardening.
If you find this article fruitful, make a comment below and share this with other dog owners.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.