Can you use dog poop in your garden?

If you can get over the initial “ick” factor, composting your dog’s poop is absolutely worth considering. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it is a simple, natural, and inexpensive option for use as a nutrient-rich and surprisingly odor-free fertilizer that plants love.

Gardening is one of the oldest and most rewarding hobbies for many people, providing a fun and productive way to spend leisure time. As any experienced gardener knows, there are a variety of methods and materials that can be used to help plants thrive. While many people choose to use organic, store-bought materials, some are turning to a more natural and cost-effective alternative – dog poop. This may seem strange, but there is some evidence to suggest that using dog poop in your garden may be beneficial for your plants. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using dog poop in your garden and provide some tips on how to safely and effectively use it.

First, let’s highlight why cow manure works as a fertilizer.

The adage “you are what you eat” is a great way to explain why dog poop does not function as a fertilizer but cow manure does. Grain, hay, soy meal, cottonseed, corn silage, and other plant-based foods make up a cow’s diet. So, their poop mainly consists of undigested plant fibers. These fibers can enrich the soil in your garden with additional nutrients, promoting the growth of your plants.

Dog poop as fertilizer is a much different story. Due to their high-protein diets, dogs’ feces are much more acidic. The nutrients are not compatible with the needs of the plants as it decomposes.

Why dog poo can become a nutrient

Rather than becoming a pollutant, dog poo can become a nutrient for your garden, by being composted in your backyard.

If you have a garden you can make your own compost bin by adding the dog poo to grass clippings, plant or other organic waste, and even sawdust as a source of food for the microbes. The microbes then break down the organic material into humus. During this process the temperature in the compost mixture rises to 50-60℃. Over time, the heat will kill most canine bacteria, as they are adapted to live at lower temperatures in the dog’s gut.

Compost contains billions of microbes per gram of material and competition from these (as well as the environmental conditions of the compost that are very different from the dog digestive system) assist in promoting destruction of pathogenic canine microbes, if present.

To ensure even composing and oxygenation, the compost needs to be turned over once a week. The temperature in the compost decreases over a period of days or weeks, signaling the end of the decomposition process.

When that happens, it’s time to use your compost to make your garden better!

When Can Dog Poop Work as Fertilizer?

Once dog poop in your compost pile has fully decomposed, you can use it as fertilizer. The temperature during the composting process can reach 60 degrees Celsius. This is enough to eradicate the dangerous pathogens in dog poop.

You can use the compost to fertilize the flowering plants in your garden once it’s ready. However, watch out for your vegetable plants because it might still have dog poop residue in it. If the vegetables are consumed without being thoroughly cleaned, this could make you sick.


Is dog poop good for your garden?

There seems to be a widespread misconception that dog poop is an effective fertilizer for grass, but it’s not. If you leave dog poop outside for too long, it will kill the grass. Additionally, it disperses bacteria and parasites and has the potential to contaminate water supplies.

Why is dog poop not good fertilizer?

Giardia, parvovirus, hookworms, roundworms, and other parasites can all survive for days in dog feces. There is a possibility that parasites from dog poop will lay eggs on your crops if you use it as fertilizer for vegetables. If ingested, they will make you seriously ill.

Does dog poop contaminate soil?

Dog feces cannot be used untreated for composting like other animal waste because the bacteria could contaminate your plants and soil. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides a thorough guide on how to compost dog waste safely if you want to.

Can you put dog poop in a garden bed?

Utilizations of Dog Waste Compost Compost also contains plant nutrients. Compost can also be used as a mulch material. Compost made from dog waste can be added to soil to help with planting beds, lawn establishment, and revegetation. It shouldn’t be applied to crops that are intended for human consumption.