And, the environmental impacts of dog waste are significant. Without proper disposal methods, our waters get polluted, methane gases get emitted, and plants get destroyed through eutrophication. It’s essential to approach its disposal in an environmentally responsible manner.
Consider these eco-friendly dog waste disposal methods:
Biodegradable Pet Bags
The most common way to reduce the ecological footprint of dog poop is to use biodegradable poop bags. Typically made from plant-based materials such as corn or potato starch, they decompose in commercial composting systems, making them a better alternative than regular plastic bags. By choosing biodegradable bags, less methane gas gets emitted, and less plastic ends up in our environment.
High-Quality Dog Food
By providing your dog with high-quality, fresh, and nutritious pet food, you can reduce its waste output by 50 to 70%. Better quality food is digested more efficiently, resulting in less frequent and smaller poops. This, in turn, leads to smaller volumes of dog poop to dispose of.
If you have a big enough garden, consider constructing a designated area for your dog to do their business. This can be as simple as a space with gravel or scented mulches. Just make sure that the area is situated away from vegetable gardens and children’s play zones due to toxocariasis. An added house-like structure can be included, but keep in mind that doing so brings its own separate ecological footprint.
Although dog waste contains pathogens, you can still compost it separately from your regular compost. Dog poop can be composted outdoors, indoors, or through a method called bokashi composting when done correctly. Once again though, due to toxicity risks, keep the compost site away from children and areas where food is grown.
Worm Farming (Vermicomposting)
That’s right: worms.
Vermicomposting is a unique composting method that takes advantage of the natural abilities of worms to convert organic waste, such as dog poop, into nutrients. While it may sound gross, it’s one of the most eco-friendly and efficient methods to get rid of dog waste.
Throw It in the Green Bin
If you don’t have the means to compost it yourself, it’s better to let the experts handle it. Many municipalities provide green bins for compostable items like food scraps, garden leftovers, and yes, dog waste. Just ensure that the dog waste is not mixed with plastic or biodegradable poop bags. This bin is meant for compostable waste, and biodegradable is not the same as compostable.