When your dog’s gotta go, he’s gotta go. Part of being a dog owner is dealing with your furry friend’s poop. It’s not a pleasant job, but since healthy dogs poop at least once a day, it’s an absolute necessity.
Not only is poop on the ground unattractive, it is also a health hazard. Dog feces can contain all sorts of scary bacteria and parasites. Those contaminants are hazardous to your family and the water supply. Read on to discover the best way to dispose of dog poop.
Pick It Up
No matter what your final plan for the poop is, you’re first going to have to get it off of the ground. Some dog owners turn to a pooper scooper to keep their hands far away from the mess.
Before purchasing a scooper, test it out to make sure it feels comfortable in your hands. If your dogs do their business in your backyard, get one with teeth for tackling grass. Urban dwellers can purchase one intended for use on flat pavement. However, most people will benefit from a scooper that works on any surface.
If you don’t have a scooper, you may choose to collect waste with a broom and dustpan. You can also pick it up, first covering your hands with a baggie, newspaper or a paper towel.
Once the poop is up, what do you do with it? Some dog owners choose to bag the waste to contain both the mess and the smell. This is easiest if you own a pooper scooper with a built-in bagging system. Otherwise, you’ll have to transfer the poop to the bag yourself.
If you aren’t averse to using your hands to collect the waste, it’s pretty easy to get it into the bag. Just turn the bag inside out, cover your hand with it, grab it and pull the bag shut.
Pet owners concerned about the environmental effect of purchasing plastic bags for this task may want to reuse household bags, such as bread bags. Another option is to use biodegradable bags. However, these are pricey and may not break down all that well in the landfill.
The Best Way to Dispose of Dog Waste
Dispose in Your Home Waste
Once you’ve bagged the poop, what do you do with it? One of the easiest methods is to simply chuck it in the trash. Keep in mind, though, that the smell–even of bagged poop–may become quite strong before garbage day. Therefore, you might want to consider double-bagging the waste to help contain the stink.
You may even want to double-bag the can. Otherwise, the garbage bag could split open, letting little bags of poop spill everywhere.
If you use an indoor trash can for this waste, be sure to take it out regularly. Even an outdoor trash can that holds poop should be kept as far away as your living space as possible. Poop receptacles are known to attract flies and can become quite smelly in warm months.
Another disposal idea is to flush the dog poop. Neat and environmentally friendly, some people consider it the best way to dispose of dog poop. If you use a pooper scooper or the broom-and-dustpan method, just deposit the waste directly into the toilet.
If you use bags, be sure to dump just the poop in the toilet–not the whole bag. There is an exception: Some companies manufacture flushable bags made of water-soluble materials.
Waste Digester System
If you’re ready to get really serious about dog poop disposal, consider a waste digester system. This is a septic system designed especially for dog poop. It’s a larger initial investment than buying individual bags, but it will last you for a long time to come.
- To install the digester, first, dig a hole in an out-of-the-way spot in your yard. Make it two feet deep.
- Place the digester in the hole with the top sticking above the ground.
- Keep the lid on the digester unless you are filling it.
- Put poop, water and a special digester mix into the container whenever your dog does his business.
- The digester mix will break down the poop. The digester will release the liquified mixture into the ground.
Of course, as with flushing, you’ll have to get the poop to the digester in order for it to work its magic. A pooper scooper will come in handy.
Some pet owners, especially gardeners, may wonder if they can repurpose their dog’s poop. Can the compost pile turn this waste material into fertilizer? Technically, yes. But hold on! It’s not that simple.
Dog poop contains parasites and nasty germs that must be eradicated before going anywhere near your garden. To neutralize the threat you need:
- Plenty of carbon to break down the nitrogen in the poop.
- A compost pile temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- A minimum of five days at that temperature.
Honestly, it’s hard to achieve those conditions in a home compost pile. Besides, because dog waste is acidic, the compost made this way isn’t particularly good for plants.
If you are really set on composting your dog’s waste products, consider an alternative method of composting: a wormery. This worm home is a place where creepy-crawlies digest your pup’s poop and transform it into useable soil.
Although major changes to the poop take place in the wormery, it’s still best to err on the side of caution. Use the fertilizer material that is produced only around non-edible plants, such as trees and landscaping. Don’t place it on your vegetable garden or in spaces where children play.
Also, if your dog is on worm medication, take care. For the health of your composting worms, don’t add poop to the wormery while your dog is on such meds.
If You Are Out for a Walk
Some of these suggestions, such as flushing or waste digesting, are easiest to do when your dog poops at home. For that reason, you may want to train your pet to go before leaving the house. But what do you do when your dog poops while you’re out and about?
First of all, don’t just leave the poop! You must clean up after your pet. Bring along a few disposal bags on every walk. If you don’t want to use your hands, bring a compact pooper scooper too.
Deposit the bag in a designated receptacle or carry it home with you. Don’t toss it in your neighbor’s trash cans without permission.
In The End
Dealing with dog poop is a messy job, but someone has to do it! Whether you pick it up with a pooper scooper or use your hands, the first step is to get it off of the ground. Then, just get rid of it! Flushing is one of the easiest and best methods. Bagging is handy, however, especially when you’re on the go. But as long as you’re cleaning up after your pet, the best way to dispose of dog poop is a matter of personal preference.