Do you enjoy a pleasant stroll around your town or in the country? Fresh air and exercise to put you in an excellent mood until…squelch, that dreaded moment when you step in a dog’s number twos. Responsible dog ownership maybe a crap topic, excuse the pun, but the general public are becoming less tolerant of the littering of our towns and countryside. The first step is to encourage all owners to pick up after their dogs but we also need to encourage environmental disposal of the waste.
Dog fouling creates problems that are more than just a nuisance. The health effects can be far reaching, a dog poop contains millions of bacteria and parasites which can make you, your family and pets very ill. A runny tummy would be inconvenient, permanent blindness however would be a disaster, and this can occur if you get any in your eye. Dog poop left on our streets has another knock on effect in polluting our waterways. Rainwater run-off will wash the fouling straight into our drains and rivers, this pollution will add to the already deterioration of our waterways.
Many dog owners are responsible, they have purchased one of the many pet poop scoops on the market, they clean up after their dogs and dispose of the bags in one of the bins provided by the council. These bins are then taken to the local rubbish tip and added to landfill, where they take a very long time to decompose, especially if they are encased in a non-biodegradable plastic bag. A more environmental way of disposing of this dog poop is to compost it but this needs to be done in a specific way. Do not add it to your normal compost as the dangerous bacteria and parasites will not be killed off at these low temperatures. This waste should never be added to compost which is intended to fertilize vegetables and edible plants.
The best way of disposing of dog poop in an environmental manner is to make a dedicated dog waste composter. This will need to be dug into the ground and will allow the waste to enter the subsoil directly. You will need to experiment with systems according to how much dog waste you have but helpful hints include:
- Keep your hole at least 1 foot deep and a good distance from your vegetable plot
- Use an old dustbin to line the hole with the bottom cut out and holes in the sides
- Add stones at the base for drainage
- When you place dog waste in the hole also add water and a septic starter
- Keep the compost well covered to deter attracting animals
Another simple way of disposing of the poop is using a fertilizer-producing worm farm, but beware as the worms will only feed on the dog waste so do not add any vegetable scraps.
Cleaning up after your dog has never been easier and with our tips described here you can go one step further and dispose of the waste in an environmentally friendly way.