Picking up dog poop is not a fun chore, but it must be done. Did you know there are many options for disposing of your dog waste? Each one has its benefits and downsides, with some being environmentally friendly too. Let’s take a look at five ways to dispose of dog poop at home.
This is presumably what most people do with dog waste — they place it in a trash bag and throw it away. This may be standard, but it isn’t always the best choice for the environment. It will go to a landfill and take upward of 500 years to disintegrate.
Even if you send a biodegradable bag to the landfill, it can’t properly decompose because it is buried underneath the soil, and biodegradable bags need oxygen and light to break down effectively. To complicate matters further, certain landfills won’t accept pet waste because of the possibility of spreading diseases.
If you don’t have any other option, try to use the smallest bag available and pick a bag that you would throw into the trash anyway. This will help reduce generated waste.
Flushing dog waste down the toilet may seem strange, but it is not a new concept. There are certain rules that should be followed, however. You cannot flush dog poop into a septic system, so if you live in a house with its own septic tank, this is not an option for you. If you don’t have a septic tank, you will still want to check with your local treatment plant to make certain it is okay to flush dog poop.
Dog poop can have parasites and bacteria in it, and you don’t want to expose yourself or your family to contracting a nasty bug or worm, which is why you might prefer to place it in a flushable bag.
Flushable bags are supposed to break down in the sewer system, but there is some debate about this because they may not degrade as claimed and might actually obstruct pipes and systems, wreaking havoc and costing you and your community time and money. Before using a bag that claims to be flushable, you need to get the go-ahead from your local treatment plant and water board.
3. In-ground disposal system
This is a great option if you have a yard, even if it’s on the smaller side. This is essentially like a miniature septic system for your dog’s waste. Don’t worry, you don’t have to teach your dog how to use it. Once your dog does its business, you scoop up the poop and toss it into the disposal system. The system will then break down the waste, turning it into a liquid form that will seep into the soil.
There are systems that you can purchase, or you can make your own. Keep in mind that this option requires planning, and there will be maintenance required to keep it functioning properly.
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This type of compost cannot be applied to areas where you will harvest food to eat, such as in your vegetable garden, but you can apply it to ornamentals, shrubs, or trees. It’s a challenging task, however, to kill the parasites that are in dog waste with composting, which is why few people choose this option.
There are procedures to compost dog waste safely and effectively, but it requires time and effort on your part. Follow recommended composting methods to achieve the best and safest results if you decide to go this route.
If you live on acreage with plenty of extra ground, then burying your dog’s waste is a great option. All you need to do is dig a hole at least six inches deep, shovel in the dog waste, and cover it up with soil. It will naturally decompose this way.
Do not bury it near water sources or areas where you grow food to be eaten. The waste will break down faster in warmer temperatures, but be aware it can take many months to fully break down and kill the parasites and bacteria.
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If you want to be eco-friendlier, either bury the waste, compost it, or set up a disposal waste system. Flushing can be an option in certain areas but may not work for everyone, and throwing it in the trash may be the easiest route but has a more negative impact on the environment.
We hope that these five options have given you ideas that you may not have previously thought of on how to dispose of your pets’ waste. It’s best to clean up after our dogs as soon as possible, so our family and other animals aren’t exposed to the parasites and pathogens in the waste. It takes planning, but once you have a system in place, it isn’t as intimidating as it seems.
Featured image credit: Matt Yarranton, Pexels