I will admit that I am not much of a gardener, but when I heard
about this idea I had to explore it further. While watching a
design show on TV, a doggie daycare makeover was featured.
The space was amazing and being green was a priority. When
they toured the outdoors the space was complete with a dog poop
composting area. What a great idea!
Why compost dog poop?
Like all forms of animal waste, dog poop contains large amount
of nutrients, including nitrates. While these nutrients are
excellent fertilizer for plants when properly rendered and
utilized, they wreak havoc on natural ecosystems. The saying
that poop rolls down hill is appropriate because ultimately, the
nitrates from dog poop find themselves travelling into streams,
lakes and rivers. Dog poop is responsible for cultural
eutrophication, a pollution epidemic caused by excessive nitrate
levels, known to cause the collapse of entire river systems.
However, the composting process reduces the nitrate levels so that
dog poop can be turned into something useful instead of
harmful. Composted dog poop adds a healthy nitrate balance to
the soil naturally.
All healthy topsoil is the result of something's decomposition,
be it fall leaves, dead grass or animal waste. All the soil
you see, touch and feel is a result of Mother Nature's recycling
program. The process of composing dog poop works with Mother
Dog owner's have found that their pet's composted poop is
capable of creating a sustainable, healthy and earth-friendly
fertilizer for their lawns, ornamental gardens and trees.
Here is how:
- Buy or build a compost bin
You need something that will contain the waste, something that
allows for aeration and a structure that will keep critters
- Select composting materials
Improper materials for compost can spell total failure for any
compost project, much less when you are dealing with dog
poop. Dog feces requires a proper carbon source to
effectively break down into healthy nutrients without compromising
its structural integrity. Apparently plain sawdust is an
ideal material to use in dog poop composting. The sawdust
gives structure to the waste and adds effective odor control.
Alternatively, compostable cat litter can be used.
Start by layering about an inch of your sawdust or litter on the
bottom of the compost bin. Each time you add raw poop to the
bin, sprinkle another half-inch or inch-thick layer on top of the
feces. This neutralizes the odor and begins the process of
When dog poop is composting properly, there should be no
odor. If there is a noticeable odor from more than 3 feet
away, it is a sign that there is an improper nutrient
balance. Should this occur, the advice is to add small
amounts of soil to the mix, add more sawdust or add earthworms to
your compost environment.
When you are close to filling your compost bin, add a thicker
layer of sawdust and begin the process of aerating. If you
have built your own bin, get in there with a pitchfork and move it
all around. If you have purchased a bin, you may just simply
have to spin a lever.
Ten to eighteen months after any fecal material has been added
to your bin, it is safe to say there are no parasites or their eggs
alive in the compost. According to the plan, at this point
the contents of your bin should smell like fresh, loamy soil
without any ammonia or fecal odor. That means it is ready to
The act of composting your dog's yard deposits is something that
can keep your own garden green as well as maintaining a healthy
environment. I have wanted to try this for a few summers so
hopefully I can find some time this summer to go