Can You Compost Dog Poop? Is It Possible?

How to compost dog poop? Step by step

Updated on November 30, 2023

Ah, our furry four-legged friends. We adore them for their fluffy coats, moist noses, and never-ending affection. But, let's face it, what do we do with their number twos? Can You Compost Dog Poop? It's a question that tickles the curiosity of many dog owners, and for good reason. We're here to sniff out the answer and offer tips on how to handle the smelly situation.

Composting Dog Waste: Dream Or Reality?

Specialists from USDA (Unites States Department of Agriculture) argue that you can compost dog poop. But you need to handle dog feces with great care and composting it separately from other organic waste.

However, there are not many facilities worldwide that have the technology and capacity necessary to perform the necessary treatment to:

1. Eliminate bacteria from dog poop before adding it to the composter

or

2. Compost the dog poop separately.

For this reason, some people who live in houses and have the necessary space and time choose to make their composters for dog poop.

How To Compost Dog Poop At Home

Composting your dog's poop helps reduce the pollution generated by dog waste and also allows you to obtain a first-class compost for your plants.

Clarification: this compost cannot be used in orchards.

Of course, you should take the necessary precautions when handling dog poop (which is why it is recommended that you use compostable dog poop bags). If you carry out the process correctly, you will destroy all the pathogens present in dog waste.

Ingredients

1. Nitrogen-rich materials:

2. Carbon rich materials:

  • sawdust
  • chopped straw or hay
  • newspaper
  • fallen leaves

Materials

  • A thermometer
  • A stick (or similar, to be able to stir the compost)
  • A bin
  • Water
  • Shove
  • Gloves
  • Compostable poop bags

    Step By Step:

    1. Pick a sunny, dry place to put the bin.

    2. Collect dog poop with compostable bags. Give a Sh! T dog poop bags begin to break down within 90 days and are certified by TÜV AUSTRIA Home Compost to ASTM D6400 and EN 13432.

    3. For every two waste shovels, add one shovel of some carbon-rich material.

    4. Mix.

    5. Add small amounts of water to keep your compost moist.

    6. Continue adding ingredients regularly (pet waste, green grass, sawdust, etc.).

    7. When the compost is three feet deep, stop adding ingredients.

    8. Cover it for the microbes to work their magic.

    9. Use the thermometer to check the temperature.

    10. Stir the compost, when the temperature goes down (about every two weeks).

    11. Repeat this process.

    12. When the temperature is stable (without rising again), your compost is ready to feed your plants.

    Remember that you should not use it on vegetables that you are going to eat.

    Dog poop: A Global Problem

    It sounds weird, but it's like this: tons of dog poop are a global problem, despite being "natural." Did you know that in 2018 a population of approximately 471 million dogs was estimated worldwide? Imagine how many tons of waste this means per year.

    For this reason, dog poop has become an important issue for which it is necessary to find a solution. Besides,  nobody likes to step on it if on the sidewalk or the grass, right?

    According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the main problem of concern is that dog poop may contain microorganisms that are pathogenic to humans.

    These bacteria would even be resistant to current antibiotics. Therefore, canine feces left in the open air, whether in the forest, a park, or in the middle of the city, could contribute to the transmission of microorganisms that damage human health. In summary, it is necessary to properly get rid of dog poop to avoid getting sick.

    In conclusion, the answer to the question "Can You Compost Dog Poop?" is a resounding yes. With a little effort and the right tools, creating your dog poop composter can be an excellent way to reduce waste and give back to the environment.

    Join Give a Sh!t, and take a stand against plastic pollution, which is threatening our oceans and lands. Let's work together to create a cleaner, greener planet for ourselves and our furry friends.

    FAQ

    How to compost dog poop at home

    Why Can't Dog Poop Be Composted?

    You CAN compost dog poop. However, it's important to take the proper precautions when doing so. Dog poop can contain bacteria and parasites that can be harmful to humans if not treated properly. So before you start composting Fido's poopsicles, make sure you understand the risks and how to mitigate them. A bit of research can go a long way in helping you ensure your compost pile remains safe and healthy! 

    What Is The Best Way To Compost Dog Poop?

    There are a few methods for composting dog poop safely and responsibly. The most important thing to remember is that the compost pile needs to reach temperatures of at least 55 °C (131 °F) for at least 10 days in order to kill any potential pathogens.

    Additionally, it can help if you mix the dog poop with other materials like leaves or garden clippings, which can provide some organic matter to add bulk and speed up the process.

    Finally, be sure to keep your pile covered - this will help keep out pests as well as retain heat better than an uncovered pile would. 

    How Long Does It Take To Compost Dog Poop?

    It can take anywhere from two to six months for your compost pile to fully decompose. The exact timeline depends on the type of material you use to create the pile, as well as the heat and moisture content of the environment. It can also be helpful to turn it over every few weeks or so to help encourage decomposition and aeration. 

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    2 comments

    • Antonella - Give a Sh!t

      Hi Mary! I understand your concern. That’s why we are trying to let people know how to handle dog waste. It is true that biodegradable bags do not decompose if certain characteristics are not taken into account (temperature and mixture of elements). However, it is always preferable to use compostable bags over plastic, even if they go to a normal landfill. Why? Simply because if you use plastic bags and then the garbage is burned, the plastic will release hundreds of toxic fumes into the air. You can read more about in this post: https://give-a-shit-eco-products.myshopify.com/blogs/news/can-you-put-dog-feces-in-compost On the other hand, we are doing an awareness work on the handling of dog poop and the proper use of compostable bags through our blog and our social networks. Unfortunately, it is not usually a topic of great interest to the mass media and, for this reason, it is difficult to reach the great mass. In conclusion, you are right that not everyone has the necessary place, time or desire to make a dog poop compost bin. For this reason, we must unite our voices and demand that local governments create specific facilities for the treatment of dog waste. Thank you for your comment!

    • Mary McCulley

      I did not know until recently that compostable poop bags don’t break down in regular landfills. Not many people, especially in urban areas, are going to create their own compost pile. What’s the answer? And don’t you think your advertising should be more transparent to let consumers know this?


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