According to the EPA, flushing your dog poop down the toilet is the most ecologically friendly removal method. In fact, this is the most sanitary, eco-friendly, and convenient method to dispose of dog poop.
Before you do this, you have to ask your sewage or drainage control center if you can do this. Some systems may not support this method. If you discover that you cannot, it means your sanitation system is not well equipped to fight off bacteria and pathogens.
Pooping is a natural part of your dog’s life. At one point or the other, you will have to take care of it. Keep reading to know whether flushing is safe and some alternative ways to dispose of dog poop.
Is Flushing Safe?
The answer depends on what you use to flush your dog’s poop. If you are using newspaper or bags to scoop it up first and then flush it then it will block your plumbing and drainage systems. Dog poop comes packed with rawhide, grasses, and hair which can clog the toilet’s drain.
Therefore, you will end up paying a lot of money to get the plumbing fixed.
On the other hand, if you use a pooper scooper to simply scoop it up and flush it down the toilet, it will go as easy as human poop does. Moreover, it helps prevent extra waste and is easy to clean with a garden hose.
Tip: You can wear rubber gloves to naturally pick up the poop or you can also use soluble bags when you flush it down the toilet.
Make sure the poop does not contain other substances like grass, hair, or small rocks. It could also clog your toilet.
Your toilet should be connected to the sewage system as it removes all the pollutants in your dog’s poop. The waste is then, emptied into the river. Dog poop is smaller than human poop so it will go down quite easily.
This method is really safe because it prevents you from using plastic bags that eventually end up in landfills. By doing this, you are helping save the environment.
Some have qualms about using the toilet after you flush down the dog poop. However, as long as you keep your toilet clean and bacteria-free, there is nothing to worry about.
Warning: If your toilet is not clean then it must be done immediately as the bacteria is quite harmful to humans.
Can you flush dog poop in septic?
If you have a septic system connected to your toilet then do not flush dog poop. Animal poop waste processing may be more than what the design capacity of the septic system can handle.
Doggy septic tanks are a lot of work and an expensive choice. You have to dig a hole in the ground and have a receptacle. The septic will break the poop over time. This type of system is best for permanent homes.
They are buried in a convenient spot in the garden or your backyard. They have a foot-operated lid that stands out on the ground. They are hygienic and easy to use and are available in various sizes to suit various numbers of dogs of different sizes.
Once you drop the feces, the enzymes will break down the poop, and then it will turn into an absorbing liquid.
8 Ways to dispose of Dog Poop
There are 8 ways you can dispose of dog poop efficiently. Which way you choose can be based on how much money and time you can invest.
1. Bury it
This is another way to get rid of dog poop, especially when you are out for a walk. All you have to do is dig at least an inch or two below the ground, bury the dog poop and it will break down and decompose over time.
Some say it’s not a good idea to bury dog waste.
It becomes a source of pollution that can potentially cause big trouble for soil and water quality, and even human health if it’s buried next to vegetable gardens or waterways.
2. Use Regular Trash
Using waste bags or plastic waste bags to scoop up and throw it with the regular trash is another easy way to dispose of dog poop.
If you are conscious about using bags, you can use a pooper scooper to scoop it up and throw it in the trash.
Even if you use biodegradable bags, you cannot be too sure whether they will fully decompose or not. Some of these bags act as micro-plastic so they won’t completely break down or decompose. But if you use plastic bags, they will not break down whatsoever. Even the ones marked as compostable might not live up to the promise.
All these bags and poop travel to landfills. Tons of dog waste is wrapped in plastic bags, rotting there. So, you should consider other options but if there is no other way, then this is better than leaving it on the ground.
3. Biodegradable poop bag
Grocery store bags or just plastic bags and non-biodegradable are unsafe for the environment.
Get a high-quality biodegradable poop bag to bag your dog’s poop.
It not only costs reasonably, but it is also plastic-free and leakproof. Some are unscented and even vegetable-based.
So even if you throw it in the litter bin and it ends up in the landfill, it will decompose over time.
4. Flushable poop bag
If your preferred method is to flush dog poop down the toilet then flushable poop bags will be very useful for you. It will allow you to pick up and move dog poops to the toilet in an efficient way. The poop will decompose once it lands in the sewer, so there is no reason to be afraid when you flush it down.
They won’t clog the drain and prevent your trash from stinking from decomposing dog poop. Moreover, they are made of a substance called polyvinyl-alcohol which is known for its water-soluble property.
5. Outdoor flushing tech
This is one of the greener ways to dispose of dog poop. It is fast and easy.
Here, flushing is done outdoors. It is an outdoor toilet constructed specially for pets. Of course, it is not for all the owners since it is expensive. However, once you connect it to your sewer system, you have a toilet that is very eco-friendly and convenient.
You will no longer need to use bags to store the poop before you flush. All you have to do is scoop and empty poop in the outdoor toilet and flush it.
This is an innovative and effective way to dispose of your dog’s poop and avoid using the same household toilet for everyone.
6. Using Waste Digester
This is an easy and eco-friendly way of disposing of dog poop. It works on other pet poops as well.
A waste digester is a bucket-sized container, buried in the ground. You open the lid and pour the pet poop. After you add some water and enzyme to liquefy the poop.
You can add water and enzyme once every week to liquefy the poop and make it safe to come back to earth.
This is very similar to the Waste digester. A compost pit is a simple process to compost organic materials. However, it is not an effortless task. It requires a specif temperature in order to break down the waste. The organic material needs the right levels of oxygen, water, and heat so that it can fully decompose. Therefore, it is important you keep the compost pile warm and moist.
There is a great danger of parasites in your dog’s poop so you have to maintain all the specific conditions to yield a natural and better soil additive. Sawdust is a great additive to battle the high levels of nitrogen in your dog’s poop.
If making your own is too much work then you can make a composting bin specifically for dog poops. It will help eliminate germs and pollutants and break down the waste easily.
8. Make a wormery
An easy and eco-friendly way, a worm farm can not only help dispose of your dog’s poop but also act as a natural fertilizer. Instead of throwing poop in the trash which will just end up in landfills, you can set up a worm farm.
You can use compost worms or earthworms to convert your dog’s poop into richer nutrient worm casting. Worms love to feed on dog excrement and prefer consuming decomposed material.
A bonus is that they are not smelly.
Once you have everything set up, you will receive steady production of worms required to decompose organic matter.
As we mentioned earlier, it can be used as fertilizers for flowers and non-edible plants. You can also sell the worms to gain extra income.
Make sure you limit the amount of poop you put in the worm farm. Keep the droppings to less than 5 % of the total volume of added material. Since this is a very fast process, you will get a steady and quick production of fertilizer juice.
Warning: Do not use excrement from dogs that were just dewormed as it can kill the necessary worms needed for decomposition. Wait for a week after deworming.
Do not use the final product for growing consumption-related plants.
Flushing down dog poop is one of the easiest and eco-friendliest ways to dispose of dog poop. However, the other methods we mentioned above such as using biodegradable or flushable poop bags, composting, or making a worm farm, may be better alternatives.
Using a trash can or burying the poop is a convenient method but it is less beneficial to the environment.
No matter what method you chose, you will be investing either your time or your money. If the alternatives don’t work for you, then you make sure your toilet is connected to the sewer system to eradicate all the bacteria once you flush them down the toilet.
We make it a point to keep our articles informative. If you come across any new and alternative methods, let us know in the comments.
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.