Is it possible to compost dog poop? Yes, it is, but you have to take into account some tips to safely compost dog poop at home, and then we will share them with you.
What is composting?
If this is the first time you hear about composting, or you have read something, but you have not a very clear idea about what it is, we will explain it to you in a simple way. Basically, composting is a controlled process of organic material degradation. This process is also known as "breakdown" and gives rise to compost or humus.
Dog waste is an organic element and, therefore, can be transformed into compost. In fact, this is a usual process in nature that takes place without human intervention, only that dog poop should not be left outdoors to let nature take care of it. Why? Because its amount of bacteria could be harmful to health. We will talk about this in the next point.
Now, if dog poop can be composted, why not compost it? Nothing is wasted but is transformed.
Why collect dog poop and compost it?
It may sound weird, we know, but dog poop should never be left outdoors for nature to take care of breaking it down. Although it is an organic material, and in the past, dog poop was degraded without human intervention, today studies indicate that dog poop contains different microorganisms, that are pathogenic to humans.
This means that leaving dog poop outdoors can become a public health problem. In fact, specialists assure that the bacteria in dog feces can even be resistant to the antibiotics that we currently have available. For this reason, the best option is to protect ourselves (and live in a cleaner world because: who likes to step on dog poop?) is to collect the dog poop and dispose of it properly.
How can we get rid of dog poop? The options are:
- to throw it away, either at home or in the dog poop containers authorized by your city,
- to take the dog poop to a facility with a special composter, or
- to compost the dog poop at home. Cheer up! It is easier than you think.
Why compost your puppy's poop? Main benefits
- The Natural Resources Conservation Service notes that composting can reduce the volume of dog waste by 50 percent. Considering that dogs generate tons of waste per year, the reduction is well worth it.
- You will get top-quality compost for your plants. Of course, keep in mind that compost made from dog poop cannot be used in the plants you are going to eat.
- You will save money by avoiding buying the festoon from the store.
- You help minimize the risk of dog poop contaminating groundwater and streams.
- It can be a good excuse for you to finally create that compost bin that you have had in mind for a long time.
How to safely compost dog poop at home
There are 6 things you need to know to safely compost dog poop at home. Do we discover them together?
1. Use protection
As we already told you, dog poop has pathogens that could harm your health. For this reason, it is essential that you handle it with great care.
First of all, you should use good gloves, to avoid touching the dog poop. Second, using compostable dog poop bags is a good way to avoid contact with your skin and also minimize unpleasant odor. Our bags are 100% compostable and the breakdown process starts at 90 days, faster than paper!
2. Pay special attention to the conditions of your composter
Organic materials must be subjected to certain conditions to degrade properly. This means that composting is a bit more complex than throwing all the organic waste from your home into a bin.
For the breakdown to start, you must prepare a suitable mixture of materials rich in carbon and rich in nitrogen. Adding sawdust to your composter bin is important to counteract the nitrogen present in dog feces. In addition, it helps to concentrate the heat in your pile.
3. Cover your composter
One of the main concerns for those new to composting at home is whether it will smell bad or attract insects. If this makes you unsafe, you can always opt for a closed composter bin or simply put a plastic cover on your compost bin.
4. Keep your composter warm
Heat is vital for the degradation process to start properly. Therefore, using a closed composter bin can be interesting, especially in cold climates.
In addition, high temperatures are responsible for eliminating the aforementioned dog poop pathogens. So maintaining temperature is vital!
5. Regularly wet your compost
Did you know that the mixture must be kept moist? This point is vital for degradation to occur. Make sure that it is always wet so that your dog's poop degrades properly.
6. Check that the compost is ready before using it
Composting takes time, and you shouldn't rush it. If you use the mix before the compost is ready, the pathogens in your dog's poop will not have been destroyed.
So how do you know if the compost is ready? Ideally, you should use a thermometer to check the temperature of your pile. You will see that the temperature increases during the first weeks, and then it remains constant until, after three or four months, the temperature drops: the compost is then ready.
You can corroborate it by the texture of the compost: it looks dark black, smells of wet earth after the rain, and it is damp. Also, it is not possible to notice pieces of food inside it.
Have you learned how to compost your dog's poop safely? Feel free to put these tips into practice and provide more nutrients to your plants with your own homemade compost.