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Can I Compost Dog waste?

(From the Pet bedding & other waste category | 5 comments - join the conversation)

cute-lilyNo, you can NOT compost dog waste.

As meat and random thing eaters, dogs’ faeces often contain dangerous organisms that might not be destroyed within the composting cycle of a basic compost heap. Using the resulting compost on your veg bed – or even just handling it – is a health risk.

However, some people have dedicated wormeries just for dog poo – the resulting compost should be handled with gloves and only be used on ornamental beds, not where any veg, fruit or herbs are going to grow for the foreseeable future. While this is restrictive, it at least means that the poo isn’t going to landfill in little plastic bags. Other people build dedicated poo bins – dug into the ground and treated regularly with proprietary product (some are harsh chemicals, some are kinder to the environment), they break down poo quickly and without stinking up the place. (Use compostable poo bags if you’re scooping away from home but want to add it to the bin.)

(Photo of our lovely dog, Lily – I thought that would be preferable to a picture of what we refer to as her “beans”. You do NOT want them on toast. Trust me.)

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  1. What if my dog is on a vegetarian diet I wonder? (it is possible for dogs to eat a vegetarian diet!)

    • Great question, John! Dogs can eat vegetarian diets – or at least, what they are intentionally given as food by their human servants can be 100% vegetarian ;)

      However, their intestinal tracts can still become home to bugs and parasites – they can be infected by, for example, some type of worm simply through contact with other infected animals. And anything they find while out and about (from poop upwards) could also introduce nasties into their system.

      So even if you do feed your dog a veggie diet, it’s still best to avoid composting their poo in normal compost bins.

  2. The place I obtain my horse manure has dogs in the stables ,in sure when they clean out the stables some dog mess gets included ,although they run free during the day , should I use this manure

  3. Dogs are NOT vegetarian, they are obligate carnivores. The cannot live healthily on a vegetarian diet, and in fact I read recently of owners being prosecuted who have done this.i have three dogs, a huge amount of grass cuttings, and hens. I would like to compost, but every alter ame site seems to have different answers! However as I don’t grow food I am going to try it

  4. You suggest using compostable dog waste bags, but these are pretty much useless if you throw them in the bin. Those bags are “oxo-degradable,” meaning they only degrade in the presence of oxygen. So if you put it in a public bin inside a regular plastic garbage bag, it’s not going to degrade. Composting is really the only way.

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