Updated on November 28th, 2023
CHAPTER 1: Compost Dog PoopWhy should I compost dog poop?What is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of dog poop?Is dog poop okay for compost?How long does dog poop take to decompose in compost?Is dog poop good fertilizer?CHAPTER 2: Dog Poop Compost For BeginnersHow to compost dog poop?Best tips to safely compost dog fecesHow to create a dog poop compost bin?How to compost dog poop on a balcony?
CHAPTER 3: Choosing The Materials For Composting
Are biodegradable bags better than compostable bags?
Should I use a newspaper to scoop the poop?
How to choose compostable poop bags?
How long does it take a compostable bag to break down?
CHAPTER 1: Compost Dog Poop
The answer to why you should compost dog poop is simple: dog feces are a global problem that can affect human health and contaminate, despite being "natural".
We know it sounds weird, but it's true! In the U.S. alone, dogs produce 21.2 pounds of waste per year. Did you hear that? Can you picture how many tons are produced worldwide?
Even more: One gram of dog poop can contain as many as 23 million bacteria! That way Salmonella, giardia, and other bacteria and parasites can spread disease and impair water quality.
These bacteria would even be resistant to current antibiotics. Therefore, canine feces left in the open air could contribute to the transmission of microorganisms that damage human health.
Dog poop is an issue we need to take seriously. We need to work on a solution right now! Besides, nobody likes to step on it if on the sidewalk or the grass, right?
Composting is, without a doubt, the best way to get rid of dog poop.
Ok, we know: it is the most laborious way, but the best for the environment and, also, for human health.
Why do we say that it is the most arduous? Currently, there are very few facilities that compost dog poop. Therefore, almost everything depends on you.
Create your own compost bin to compost your dog's feces. But don't worry, because it's easier than you think. You don't need too much space, nor will you have unpleasant odors at home. Boy Scout Promise!
What If I Better Flush Dog Poop?
Of course, you could also flush dog poop, as recommended by The US The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Resources Defense Council.
However, other experts maintain that dog poop contains, among other parasites, one called cryptosporidium that cannot be removed by water purification treatment.
Would you like to drink water that has this parasite? Neither do we, which is why we believe that flushing dog poop is not the best option for disposing of dog waste.
Why Compost Dog Poop If Throwing It In The Trash Is Easier?
Throwing dog poop in the trash is the easiest way to dispose of dog poop. In this way, you will prevent people from being in direct contact with the dog waste parasites, but is it the best option?
Dog poop is left in outdoor dumpsters. The parasites can then be transmitted to groundwater.
Surely you are thinking that we exaggerated. After all, you usually throw your dog's poop in a well-sealed plastic bag and, in addition, most of the garbage burns.
Well, let's analyze this situation.
By using a plastic bag, you contribute to plastic pollution, even if it burns later. Different scientific investigations have concluded that the incineration of plastic is a major source of air pollution. When plastic burns, toxic gases are released into the atmosphere, such as Furans, Mercury, Polychlorinates Biphenyls and Dioxins.
Composting is the best option ever! And if you can't compost, use compostable bags to scoop your dog's poop. While it is true that they will not decompose in a landfill, at least they will not give off toxic gases when burned.
Dog poop is indeed OKAY for compost, according to specialists from USDA (Unites States Department of Agriculture)
Feces are organic materials and as such can be composted. But you shouldn't put your dog's waste in the green bin. Compost your dog's poop by preparing a compost bin exclusively for this purpose.
Dog waste must be treated with extreme care. At the moment, there are not many facilities worldwide that can remove bacteria from dog poop before adding it to the composter, or compost the poop separately.
So now you know: join the trend of creating your own poop composter.
💩 More doubts: Check out our article "Can You Put Dog Feces In Compost?"
Dog poop takes an average of 9 weeks to break down in warm weather. However, this depends on many factors, such as:
- Climate: heat accelerates decomposition processes. As we have already said, the process until total disintegration lasts approximately 9 weeks. In cold climates, the process can double its duration.
- Size of the poop: the larger the size, the longer it takes to break down.
- Dog's diet: this is related to the consistency of the poop and, therefore, the time it takes to decompose.
Dog poop compost is a great fertilizer for non-edible plants.
You should never use dog waste compost on your edible plants. Remember that dog poop has pathogens. While these should be completely destroyed during the composting process, experts recommend avoiding using dog poop compost in orchards.
For this reason, dog poop compost is a good fertilizer for grass, flowers and other plants in your garden that are not cared for human consumption.
CHAPTER 2: Dog Poop Compost For Beginners
The composting process requires certain essential elements. In between, you need nitrogen-rich elements and carbon-rich elements. Likewise, you will require a space prepared for composting (a composter or compost bin) and other materials that will allow you to compost at home safely.
Fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, tea or coffee grounds, eggshells, and dog poop fall into this category.
➡️ When preparing your dog poop compost, you will not need other nitrogen-rich elements because the dog's feces will suffice.
Compost the other nitrogen-rich items in your green bin.
When preparing your dog poop compost, you will need carbon-rich materials, such as sawdust, chopped straw or hay, newspaper, or fallen leaves.
- A thermometer to control the temperature of the compost. High temperatures kill pathogens present in dog poop.
- A stick to stir the compost
- A bin, made of wood or metal mesh. You can even recycle a plastic container.
- Water to keep the mix moist.
- Shove to add the different elements.
- A pair of gloves for protection against dog poop pathogens.
- Compostable poop bags to collect dog poop on the street or in your garden. Inside your yard, you can also use a shovel or newspaper.
Dog Poop Compost Process
- Choose a bin to compost the dog poop. Later we will tell you how to create one.
- Put your bin in a sunny, dry place.
- Pick up your dog's poop regularly and place it in your dog waste composter.
- For every two-waste shovels, add one shovel of some carbon-rich material.
- Keep your compost moist.
- Repeat steps 3 to 6 until the ingredients reach three feet deep.
- Cover your bin for the microbes to work their magic.
- Check the temperature.
- Stir the compost when the temperature goes down (about every two weeks).
- Repeat steps 9 and 10 until the temperature remains stable, without rising again.
- Your dog poop compost is ready to be used in your non-edible plants!
We will not tire of repeating it: dog poop contains thousands of pathogens that can harm human health.
For this reason, follow these tips to compost dog feces safely at home:
1. Use Gloves And Wash Your Hands
Handle dog feces with caution. To do this, use a barrier method such as gloves.
You can use gardening gloves or plastic gloves (the ones you use to clean the bathroom).
In any case, it is important that you avoid touching your face while handling the remains.
Once the manipulation is finished, wash your hands with hot water and soap.
2. Use The 2-1 Rule
The composting process will not start unless you maintain a proper distribution of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials.
The 2-1 rule of composting allows you to create the perfect mix: 2 shoves of nitrogen-rich components for every 1 shove of carbon-rich components.
3. Maintain The High Temperatures
Heat promotes the degradation of materials. For this reason, you must maintain the temperature of your compost at the appropriate levels.
On the other hand, pathogens in dog poop will be killed only through the heat of the composting process.
➡️ Use a closed compost bin or cover it to help keep the heat at proper levels.
➡️ Remember to check the temperature regularly and stir when the temperature drops.
4. Check Out Moisture
Moisture is essential in the decomposition process. Therefore, you should wet your compost when it looks very dry. But beware of soaking it!
Ideally, your compost should be moist and not wet.
❓ More questions? Read: 6 Things You Need To Know To Safely Compost Dog Poop At Home
Having a homemade compost bin doesn't have to be mission impossible.
There are many options beyond buying a professional composter. For example, you can reuse a large plastic pot. You should only make a few holes in the bottom to allow water to drain.
However, we present you an option without plastic and very economical.
- 10'x3' of hardwired mesh
- 5 twist ties
- Optional: a piece of wood
DIY Compost Bin Step By Step
- Use the hardwired mesh to form a stand-up circle.
- Overlap the edges of the and attach them with the twist ties.
- Put your handmade compost bin in a sunny place and start composting!
Discover A DIY For A Balcony Compost Bin
Of course, if you have a large breed dog, it is likely that this small compost bin will not be enough to recycle all its waste. Either way, it will be a good contribution to the environment.
Basically, you should follow the same guidelines we gave you earlier on how to compost dog poop.
🌱 For more information, visit our article: How To Compost Dog Poop In Your Balcony
CHAPTER 3: Choosing The Materials For Composting
Biodegradable bags aren't better than compostable bags!
First of all, it is necessary to clarify that compostable bags are ALWAYS biodegradable, while biodegradable ones are not always compostable.
Biodegradable bags should be 100% natural, but many times this is not the case.
Many biodegradable bags include among their components some petroleum derivatives and also chemical substances known as EPI.
EPI is an ingredient used to speed up the bag's degradation process. Basically, it is a component that allows the bag to break faster than it would under normal conditions.
The problem with biodegradable bags that contain plastic is that they break down but don't disappear. Instead, they break down into tiny particles, so tiny that they can't be seen by the human eye.
These microplastic-containing particles can penetrate into the soil and groundwater and are so small that collecting them is almost impossible, or at least much more difficult than picking up a bottle from the ground or from the river.
Instead, compostable dog poop bags are produced with 100% natural components, without any petroleum derivatives or EPI.
Give a Sh!t compostable dog poop bags are TÜV Austria Home Compostable Certified and their breakdown process begins at 90 days.
Sure you can use newspaper to scoop up your dog's poop.
This is your decision and no one else's. If you have the technique to avoid staining your hands, go ahead! Use newspaper and then place it directly into your compost bin.
Using newspaper can be an option to clean your yard of dog poop, although it may not be as comfortable to carry when you take your pup for a walk.
Specialists point out that newspaper is safe to compost, despite the fact that some inks may contain small amounts of toxic ingredients. The proportions are so small that they would not be significant.
In general, paper is considered to take around 6 weeks to degrade. However, the lignin substance found in the woody cell walls of plants can be highly resistant to decomposition and therefore the process can take a bit longer.
🛑 Do not use magazines to scoop your dog's poop. Magazines sometimes use inks that contain heavy metals to achieve those striking colors that we like so much.
The best way to choose compostable poop bags is to educate yourself. Information is power and therefore if you want to care for the environment and reduce your pup's pawprint, you must become an informed shopper.
- Don't blindly trust advertising.
- Don'tt think that all green packaging is "eco-friendly".
- Don't buy a brand because it's fashionable.
- Don't choose based on "best-selling product."
- Don't base your purchase on the brand that has the most followers or appears first in Google searches.
🔎 Find out.
🏷️ Look at the labels.
🤷🏻 If you don't understand, ask.
📜 Find information about the components.
🧐 Do you still have doubts about how to choose compostable poop bags? You may be interested in our article: "Doggie Poop Bags: All You Need To Know"
The time it takes for a compostable bag to degrade depends on each brand.
Give a Sh!t bags begin the breadkdown process at 90 days.
Of course, take note that the process can be delayed if the temperature and humidity conditions necessary for the compost to be produced are not respected.