Can I use dog poop as fertilizer in my garden?

Using dog poop as fertilizer for your garden may seem like a good idea. Cow and pig manure is used, so what’s the difference? It turns out, however, that saving dog poop as fertilizer might not be the best move. Here’s the scoop on fertilizing your garden in the spring. 

 

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

 

Have you ever heard, you are what you eat? This classic saying is a great way to help explain why cow manure works as a fertilizer, but dog poop does not. A cow’s diet is plant-based: grain, hay, soy meal, cottonseed, corn silage, and more. So, their poop mainly consists of undigested plant fibers. These fibers can add a boost of nutrients to the soil in your garden, helping your plants grow. 

 

Dog poop as fertilizer is a much different story. Since dogs have high-protein diets their poop is much more acidic. As it breaks down, the nutrients are not compatible with the needs of the plants. 

 

Warning: those with weak stomachs may want to skip this section. 

A single gram of dog poop contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Ick! The bacteria and parasites that live in your dog’s excrements make using dog poop as fertilizer dangerous. That being said, there are ways to correctly compost dog poop so that the bacteria and parasites die, but ensuring you do this properly is key. 

 

Parasites, like hookworms, roundworms, giardia, and parvovirus can live in dog poop for days. If you use dog poop as fertilizer for vegetables, there is a chance that parasites from the dog poop lay eggs on your crops. If ingested, they will make you seriously ill. 

Yeah, roses really smell like poo-poo-oo.

OutKast may have said it best. No one wants to pick flowers in a garden riddle with dog poo-poo-oo. Unlike cow manure which loses its odor rapidly, dog poop seems to just get stinkier. Another reason to hold on the dog poop as fertilizer. 

 

Well, that’s our insider’s scoop. Remember, keep your dogs and family safe by regularly removing dog poop (and all of those nasty parasites) from your yard. Totally grossed out now? If so, our pooper scooper technicians can help with that. 

 

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