5 Reasons Why Dog Poop Doesn’t Make Good Fertilizer
Sure, it’d be easier not to poop and scoop, but there are reasons why you just can’t leave your dog’s mess behind. Here’s why dog poop doesn’t make good fertilizer.
If you’ve ever fertilized your garden with manure, you may have noticed an unpleasant odor – it’s no surprise, considering that it is made from cow droppings. If manure is so good as a fertilizer, you may be wondering if your dog’s poop could be used for the same thing. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case – dog poop does not make good fertilizer. Keep reading to find out why.
5 Reason Dog Poop Can’t Be Used for Fertilizer
If you’re looking for a nutrient-rich fertilizer to use in your garden, think twice before you start eyeing up your dog’s latest “gift.” Here are five reasons why dog poop doesn’t make good fertilizer:
- It doesn’t contain the right nutrients. A dog’s diet is high in protein which, as it breaks down, becomes very acidic and that’s not good for your plants. Cow manure works well as fertilizer for vegetation because it starts out as vegetation. Get it?
- It might be riddled with bacteria. Your dog’s body is full of bacteria at any given moment, but it doesn’t tend to cause a problem unless his immune system becomes weakened. Though it may not make your dog sick, all of that bacteria can be passed in his stools and that’s not something you want to use in your garden. A single gram of dog feces can contain 23 million bacteria.
- You might get a fine. Even if the signs aren’t posted, your area probably imposes a fine on dog owners who don’t clean up after their dogs. In some metropolitan areas, those fines could be as high as $750. You might not think the rules apply on private property, but you could be wrong.
- It could contain harmful parasites. Not only does your dog’s feces contain millions of bacteria, but it could also contain parasites. Some of those parasites even have the potential to infect people – examples include parvo virus, hookworms, giardia, roundworms, and trichinosis.
- It takes a long time to break down. The final reason dog waste doesn’t make good fertilizer is that it takes a long time to fully break down. A single pile could be sitting in your yard for an entire year if it isn’t disturbed.
These five reasons alone should be enough to convince you that your dog’s poop probably isn’t your best option when it comes to fertilizer. So, what do you do with it then? Keep reading to find out.
Can You Use Dog Poop for Compost?
Just because dog poop doesn’t make good fertilizer, does that mean it can’t be composted either? Sadly, the answer to this question is “yes.” Composting a natural process through which organic waste products are broken down into a nutrient-rich substance that can be used to fertilize plants. As you’ll remember from the last section, dog poop is high in protein which produces a very acidic waste product.
The other problem with dog poop is all of the parasites and bacteria it contains – those pathogens need to be exposed to 165°F temperatures for five days to kill them and that is unlikely to happen in your backyard compost heap. There are ways to compost it safely, but you might want to start a separate compost heap to do it, just to be safe.
Whether you use your dog’s poop for compost is a choice you’ll have to make for yourself. If you choose not to use it, just make sure you dispose of it in a safe and clean way.