Dog Poop as Compost

Dog waste, Canine Poop can be used as fertile compost but some necessary precautions should be followed. Dumping raw dog waste in your compost pile is never a good idea.

Cross a tangerine and a grapefruit and you get a tangelo, cross a cabbage and a radish and you get a rabbage, cross a Shih-Tzu with a Bulldog and you get a Bull-Shitz. You also get Bull-shitz poop all over your yard. Those unsightly landmines that burn grass and garnish our heels can actually be useful as fertilizer. Any organic waste can be used as fertilizer, animal manure is a mainstay of organic gardening. Carnivore poop however is less frequently used and for good reason.

Dumping raw dog waste in your compost pile is not advisable. Pet waste contains parasites harmful to humans, which will not die off in standard composting. The parasites in dog poop such as ‘ascarids’ which are closely related to roundworms can cause blindness in humans, roundworms themselves will hatch in our intestines and migrate throughout our bodies causing multiple maladies.

Cat poop is even worse, it transmits toxoplasmosis, which is very dangerous especially for pregnant women, it can harm the central nervous system of an unborn child. Eggs of many harmful poop borne parasites can remain viable in the soil for a year to 18 months.

Maintaining a steady temperature of at least 165 F to kill off the parasitic bacteria in pet waste is quite problematic and certainly not at all cost effective. Dog poop and even cat waste can still be composted, but it should be composted separately from standard organic waste that is normally in the compost heap.

Septic starter, which is available in most hardware stores such as Ace or Home Depot is a combination of useful bacterium that can be put to work processing your dogs waste. If you’re a ‘do it yourself’ type person you can also put together an effective septic starter on your own from products normally found at home.

Instructions for Making Septic Starter

Active Yeast Granules [Dry Yeast] – at least two packs standard size sold in supermarkets
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
1 cup cornmeal
8-10 cups of lukewarm water

Mix the yeast, sugar and cornmeal together in roughly 8 cups of lukewarm water. Mix it together vigorously. Be sure there is no clumping and as minimal solid particles. Your mix should have the consistency of a milk shake – buit for heavens sake – don’t drink it.

Put the mixture in a warm place for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to allow the yeast and sugar to interact and ferment. You should see a bubbly frothy foam on top which is indicative of fermentation.

Building your Pet Poop Composter

Use a plastic container, a garbage can with the bottom removed is ideal. After you’ve removed the bottom drill liberally spaced holes around the circumference of the pail – don’t get carried away a dozen or so should suffice.

Place your modified garbage pail in a hole deep enough to accommodate roughly 90% of its height and all of its girth. Place a layer of pebbles and or gravel on the bottom for drainage purposes. If there is ant=y airspace between the can and the walls of the hole throwing some pebbles in there is also a good idea to aid drainage and prevent dirt from clogging the drain holes.

Place the lid on your new garbage can / dog waste composter. When you scoop the poop and toss it in, also toss a little septic starter in each time. If you are using powdered store bought septic starter throw some water in as well, or pre-mix it. If using the home made starter if should already be in a liquid form.

It takes about 2 days for the natural bacteria in septic starter to kick in and at least 10-12 days to be considered safe. The compost derived from dog waste is best mixed with standard vegetative compost and used around ornamental non-edible plants.