Can You Compost Dog Poop?

Composting dog poop? Picking up after your dog is a part of responsible pet ownership. It’s disgusting, but it’s something pet owners do multiple times a day. So, what do you do with the dog poop?

You can put dog poop in compost, and it’s a surprisingly odor-free way to keep your plants fed and healthy.

Composting Dog Poop

Why You Should Put Dog Poop in Compost

Dogs poop, a lot. You don’t want to leave the land mines lying around your yard or the neighborhood park. It’s rude and no one wants to accidentally step in your dog’s poop.

Almost every dog owner is familiar with the small plastic bags, often conveniently stored besides trash receptacles. You can also find poop bags at affordable prices in almost any pet supply store.

The bags make picking up dog poop slightly less gross and more sanitary. After picking up the feces, the bag goes into the trash can. From there, the plastic bags of dog poop end up in landfills. It’s why you should start putting dog poop in compost.

Composting dog poop keeps the non-biodegradable plastic bags out of landfills. With more people owning pets, the amount of plastic entering landfills is rising at an alarming rate. Leaving the dog poop to naturally decompose comes with problems.

The Director of the Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, Professor Leigh Ackland explains why you don’t want to leave the feces lying around.

Leaving dog poop to naturally break down allows the bacteria in the feces to enter ground table water. An increase in bacteria and algal blooms can appear, contaminating the water and presenting a public health risk. The same problems can occur if you bury the feces in the yard.

Composting your dog’s poop is beneficial to the environment and everyone’s overall health.

Composting Dog Poop

How Long Does it Take for Dog Poop to Decompose?

Dog poop takes longer to decompose than it does for its smell to dissipate. The aroma is usually gone in a couple of days, but the dried feces remain for several weeks.

How long it takes the dog poop to decompose depends on the weather. In cooler climates, it can take up to one year before the feces has fully decomposed.

It usually takes around nine weeks for dog feces to biodegrade in temperate regions. It’s a little faster in a compost pile, thanks to the internal heat.

Composting Dog Poop

Can You Compost Dog Poop?

You can safely put dog poop in a compost pile, and you don’t need to worry about offensive odors. Molecules in the feces begin breaking down almost immediately, removing any bad smells. After a day or so, your compost should only have its natural earthy fragrance.

Are you worried about parasites and germs in the feces infecting the compost? It is only a concern if you are lax about your pet’s healthcare. Veterinarians recommend annual treatment for heartworms and other parasites in dogs.

Compost piles also emit heat, speeding up how long the feces remains in the pile. It is part of the decomposition process, with internal temperatures reaching around 160 degrees Fahrenheit in sunny weather. Adding grass clippings will also temporarily raise the temperature a few degrees.

Composting Dog Poop

How You Can Put Dog Poop in Compost

Composting dog poop is just as easy as using leaves, grass clippings, and other garden debris. You don’t need to take any special steps, just because it’s feces.

If you are composting in a yard where children frequently play, you may want to take the time to ensure the feces lands in the pile’s center. You don’t want curious youngsters picking out dog poop from your compost.

Composting Dog Poop in Your Yard

Homeowners with large yards have plenty of room for a compost pile. A common place is behind a shed or garage. Others build their compost piles on the side of their house or an unused garden corner.

Wherever you place the compost pile, make sure the area gets plenty of sun. It helps raise the internal temperature, speeding up the decomposition process.

Even though the feces quickly loses its unpleasant aroma, you are adding more daily.

To keep odors at a minimum, create layers in the pile. Compostable garden materials like twigs, small branches, wood chips, and sawdust are high in odor-absorbing carbon.

Carbon is not only beneficial for your plants, but it is also a natural deodorizer.

For every layer of dog feces, add a lining of carbon-based materials. It’s also a good idea to limit the height of your compost pile to around three feet. Letting it grow any higher makes it more difficult to flip and aerate.

Composting Dog Poop in an Apartment

You can compost dog poop in an apartment, but you will need a specialized bin. You can find indoor composting bins online and at most home goods and appliance stores.

The cost of an indoor unit varies with size and onboard features, but you can find an inexpensive one ideal for kitchen scraps and dog poop.

How composting bins work depends on the model, but all have the same premise. You deposit your compostable materials in the bin and let nature do the work. Creating carbon layers will help keep the odors down, but you may still get a whiff of the feces in your home.

If the odor becomes too strong, you can place the composting bin in a garage or outdoor storage closet.

Composting Dog Poop


Can you compost dog poop? The answer is yes, and it is also the most environmentally friendly method of disposal. It keeps the plastic pooper-scooper bags out of landfills and helps keep bacteria from the feces out of underground water tables.

Don’t forget to add a layer of carbon. You want to minimize the odors. It’s also a good idea to limit the composting pile’s height. It makes it easier to care for and ensures the pile’s stability. You don’t want your composting pile tipping over.

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