Is dog excrement allowed on the compost?
This is a controversial question. Some reasons speak in favor of throwing Bello’s droppings on the composter, other reasons speak rather against it. In this guide, you will learn how best to deal with the problem.
What are the reasons for composting dog excrement?
In principle, the feces of dogs and cats is organic material that is turned into finished compost when it rots in the compost pile. Compared to other organic matter, dog feces contains a lot of nitrogen.
This means it is an excellent fertilizer because plants love nitrogen. The microorganisms that break down waste in the compost pile are no different.
They need a lot of nitrogen. Nitrogen-containing material such as dog feces speeds up composting. Interestingly, industrially produced compost accelerators, for example, also contain poultry manure as a source of nitrogen.
In addition, environmentalists advocate composting dog waste because it is a major problem in public spaces. In parks and green spaces, removing the droppings is tedious, disgusting and causes high costs for municipalities.
It is better to put the excrement on the compost in an environmentally friendly way at home in the garden. There, dog excrement serves a useful purpose as fertilizer and does not end up in the landfill, which is the case when deposited in public trash cans.
Nevertheless, for hygienic reasons, you’d better not put the feces on the compost pile. If you are already going to compost it, you should not use the compost formed from it as fertilizer for vegetables.
What are the reasons against composting the dog excrement?
Feces is a special organic material that cannot be compared to other organic waste. Humans do not have an instinctive aversion to feces without reason.
It comes from the fact that feces, especially the feces of carnivores, are particularly contaminated with germs and pathogens. It contains eggs of parasites, which are very resistant.
The following diseases can be transmitted through the feces of animals:
- Fox tapeworm
- Dog tapeworm
- Dog pulworm
The fox tapeworm and the dog tapeworm can be particularly dangerous for humans. Diseases with these parasites are reportable.
The eggs of the parasites are excreted with the feces. A peculiarity of dog excrement is that its decomposition does not produce very high temperatures.
At most, they do not even reach +60°C. This is not high enough to kill the eggs. Transmission to humans can occur in several ways.
Working with compost containing feces can result in direct human contact with the eggs of the parasites. Once they are on the hands, they have easy access.
Indirectly, infection with the most common internal parasites of dogs is also possible. This possibility exists when compost that receives feces is used to fertilize vegetables or fruits such as strawberries.
If the vegetables are eaten raw without washing them thoroughly, the eggs of worms can enter the human body.
What can you do to minimize the risk?
The easiest and most effective way is to follow simple hygienic measures. First and foremost, this includes washing your hands.
Always wash your hands thoroughly after gardening. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands in between eating something at work.
Use soap and/or disinfectant. Wash raw vegetables thoroughly under running water before eating them or peel them as an alternative.
Take your four-legged friend to the vet regularly and have the dog dewormed. This is especially important if children live in your household or visit regularly.
Environmentally friendly recycling of the dog excrement
For dog owners who don’t have a yard, it’s not easy to dispose of dog waste in an environmentally friendly way. Usually, the leftovers of their pet are put in a plastic bag and then thrown into the nearest garbage can or one of the buckets for the dog’s litter box.
From there they go to the landfill and end up being incinerated. This contributes to the increase of the garbage piles and the increase of CO² emissions.
However, there are environmentally friendly methods of disposing of dog feces.
Off to the compost heap!
This option does not contradict the statements made above. From a purely biological-technical point of view, it is relatively easy to compost the dog excrement, provided you keep a few special things in mind.
The proportion of dog feces should not be too high. Mix it well with other organic matter such as lawn clippings, kitchen scraps and shrubbery trimmings.
Dig up the compost pile at least once a week so that the substrate is well aerated. This will allow the compost to run intensively and kill most pathogens due to the high temperatures.
Use the compost to fertilize the lawn, for woody plants and shrubs or for the flower beds, but not for vegetables.
However, this method has the disadvantage that parasites are not killed one hundred percent.
Bury in the garden
This is probably the best and most convenient method of environmentally friendly disposal of dog feces. Collect the poop in degradable poop bags and simply bury them in the lawn, under trees or bushes.
There they will rot quickly and you won’t have to worry about the stench or flies. There is very little chance of infection.
The worm composter
Did you know that compost worms love to eat dog feces? The worms have no teeth and therefore prefer soft material, such as feces.
The excrement contains many nutrients. The worms grow faster and get bigger than when they are fed with kitchen waste.
The worm composter does not stink and produces fertile worm humus. You can use it to fertilize trees, shrubs, hedges, perennials and flower beds.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.