If you are a dog owner you know that your dog’s don’t just produce love and affection they also are machines when it comes to creating waste, especially big dogs. I currently have two large dogs and the mess alone causes quite the inconvenience, Especially when you end up with a big pile under your foot. Dog waste is a part of any responsible dog owner’s life and before you grab a plastic grocery bag to scoop that poop take a look at this article from Mary Jo Dilonardo abuot what we can do with our dog’s waste.
What should you do with your dog’s poop?
There’s no perfect way to dispose of your dog’s waste
MARY JO DILONARDO, October 30, 2018, 9:18 a.m, MNN.com
Your dog squats and you diligently zoom in behind him, scooping up his deposit as soon as it hits the ground. Picking up waste isn’t the most exciting part about having a dog, but responsible pet owners do it.
You may think you’re being environmentally smart with the bags you use or how you dispose of your dog’s poop, but there’s a good chance there’s a better way. Here’s a look at the most common methods people use to get rid of dog poop and the pros and cons of each way.
A lot of people give their plastic grocery, produce or newspaper bags a second life by using them for poop scooping duty. Just scrunch a few in your pocket when you hit the sidewalk and you’re ready to erase any odoriferous present your pet leaves behind.
On a positive note, at least these upcycled bags are getting some use before they get tossed in the trash and head to the landfill. But many places (like grocery stores) will recycle them, which is a much better solution.
The other option is to choose “biodegradable” bags. Check out any pet store aisle and you’ll find dozens of options these would seem to be the perfect way to ease your conscience. They promise the bags will break down quickly. However, as Simple Ecology points out, “biodegradable” is a marketing term with no legal definition. Several years ago, the Federal Trade Commission warned manufacturers and marketers of 20 dog waste bags that they had deceptively labeled their products as “compostable” and “biodegradable.” So that bag you hope will decompose quickly could be sitting in the landfill for nearly as long as a plastic grocery bag.
Composting or burial
You can compost your dog’s waste, but you can’t do it in your normal compost bin. You’ll need to create a separate composting system using nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich materials. Here’s a very detailed how-to from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
If you don’t want to go the DIY route, you can buy a canine waste disposal system like a Doggie Dooley. It works like a mini septic tank that you bury in your backyard, occasionally adding water and powdered enzymes to your collection of waste.
And then there’s the less intricate method where you just dig a hole at least six inches deep and simply bury your dog’s deposits. This obviously requires some regular digging and will create a bunch of temporary holes in your yard.
Whether you choose to compost or bury your dog’s waste, be sure to keep it away from any edible gardens and, as always, make sure your dog is healthy. Any illnesses (from worms to diseases) can show up in your dog’s stool and you don’t want to handle them or spread those germs around your yard.
You should also know that not everyone thinks composting or burying poop is a great solution.
The public works department in Snohomish County outside Seattle conducted a four-year study on pet waste composting.
“Composting and burial are not good ideas. They do not kill hazardous pathogens that may be in the waste and can pollute water,” says the county’s FAQs on waste disposal. They say that most home compost piles don’t reach temperatures hot enough to kill many dangerous pathogens like E. coli and salmonella. Plus roundworms can survive for as long as four years when buried in soil.
If you don’t want to throw it away or bury it, another option is taking your pet’s poop inside and flushing it. Use a scoop when you pick it up and march it indoors so nothing goes into the toilet other than feces.
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