Dog Poop

General Discussion

Does anyone use or know if using dog poo in your compost is ok?

7 comments

Don't go there if you can't compost it properly. Dogs are carnivores and the risks of getting it wrong are not pleasant to contemplate

Phil is absolutely right. It was the diseases (especially in kids), not the nastiness, that drove the pressure for poop bins and laws.

As you may know, dogs get worms - not the nice sort in the soil - and not even perfect hot composting is guaranteed to kill the eggs. The only method reported to have done so is lacto-fermentation (aka bokashi). Even then I'd want more research on this, and even then again I'd only apply the results to food trees and bushes, not ground crops, until proven otherwise.

That said, cracking the issue of safely processing human and animal excrement for application to soil, especially a quick, cheap and waterless method like fermentation, could transform a lot of things: soil regeneration, availability of organic nutrients, water and power usage, etc.

Don't do it!!

Definitely do not put dog poo in an ordinary compost heap, and especially not compost which is used on edible plants - compost heaps don't tend to hot enough to kill nematode worms and the bacteria which can cause food poisoning. If you use a flea or worm treatment on your dogs this could also kill some of the beneficial invertebrates in the compost heap.

As Malcolm says, fermentation methods might work although I wouldn't risk applying the resulting compost to edible leafy plants. I worked in the NHS six years and we had a few cases of severe food poisoning from salads that had been fertilised with inadequately treated human waste.

We have a 'green cone' - a thing that has a basket sunk into a hole in the ground and a cone rising up with a lid on the top. We have been putting dog poos in it for many years and you can forget about them. I planted Bocking number 14 comfrey around the north side of it which I harvest for feeding potatoes and tomatoes. I don't know if green cones still exist as we got ours from Freecycle many years ago. They're not meant for dog poos really and I believe there are smaller special dog poo receptacles that go into the ground that are available to buy. Planting comfrey which feeds off the dog poos works very well. No smell. Just scoop poops (we use a Dutch hoe with a shortened handle) into bucket and tip into the top then forget.

You’re not even recommended to use horse manure round anything you might eat raw due to pathogens.

I have seen humanure being used to produce methane for cooking before being processed as a fertiliser.