We love dogs. Their soft coats, their wet noses, their unconditional love, but what can we do with the dog poop? Is it possible to compost dog poop?
When we talk about dog poop (yes, although it is a rare topic, dog owners talk about it), there are many doubts especially concerning its elimination.
Therefore, we will analyze below whether it is possible to compost dog poop and what we should do with dog defecations.
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.
Composting dog waste: dream or reality?
Specialists from USDA (Unites States Department of Agriculture) argue that it is possible to do this, handling 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.
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.
First of all, you will need:
- Nitrogen-rich materials:
- dog poop
- grass clippings
- Carbon rich materials:
- chopped straw or hay
- fallen leaves
- A thermometer
- A stick (or similar, to be able to stir the compost)
- A bin
- Compostable poop bags
Step by Step:
Choose a sunny, dry place to put the bin.
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.
For every two two-waste shovels, add one shovel of some carbon-rich material.
Add small amounts of water to keep your compost moist.
Continue adding ingredients regularly (pet waste, green grass, sawdust, etc) until the compost is three feet deep. Then stop adding ingredients and cover it for the microbes to work their magic.
Use the thermometer to check the temperature. When you see that it goes down, stir the compost (about every two weeks).
Repeat this process. 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.
What do you think about it? Do you dare to create your dog poop composter? Join Give a Sh!t and let's fight together against the plastic pollution that is littering our oceans and lands.