How to Compost Dog Poop
Don’t toss those turds in the trash! Learn how to compost dog poop and you can turn your pup’s daily defecations into nutrient-rich soil for your garden.
Composting your dog’s waste is a great way to reduce its impact on the environment, but it requires a little more oversight than composting your kitchen scraps. While both are organic in nature, dog poop can contain dangerous and parasites like roundworms. To kill these parasites, it’s essential that your compost pile maintains a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for five full days. Even then, you’ll want to keep your dog waste compost separate from other compost and use it only around decorative shrubs, trees, and greenery—never around edible plants.
Step-by-Step Guide to Composting Dog Poop
- If you don’t have a preexisting compost pile, simply start with a mound of dirt from your garden. You can add a compost starter product if you want to speed up the process. While there are many types of compost containers to choose from, you want one that will retain heat well. An old garbage can is perfect; just drill a few holes in the bottom and sides. Place it in full sunlight if possible.
- Cover your pile to keep the temperature high. If you don’t have a lid, you can use black plastic (like a garbage bag).
- Every time you add poop to your compost pile, cover it with some carbon material such as sawdust, wood shavings, or grass clippings—about half the amount of the poop. Dog waste is rich in nitrogen and needs the proper amount of carbon to break it down. If your poop bag is compostable, you can just toss the whole thing onto the pile. Be sure to recover the compost securely.
- Once or twice each week, turn the mix thoroughly and check the temperature with a compost thermometer. It must reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit for five days in order to be used. You can also add a scoop of dirt or old compost to augment the bacteria count. If the mix isn’t moist, add a little water as well.
- Your compost should be ready in about four to six weeks. You can tell that it’s ready when it’s crumbly and looks like dirt. For best results, let your compost sit for about six months to reduce its salt content, and then mix it with vegetative compost before distributing around non-edible plants.
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