Better Options for Pet Poop

Whether it’s from your dog, cat, hamster, rabbit or guinea pig, it happens. So what should you do with it?

| March 27, 2008

  • Puppy in Park
    Every conscientious dog owner knows there's usually some clean-up involved during a visit to the dog park.

  • Puppy in Park

Now that you’ve finally figured out what to feed your pet (after pet food scares and debate over homemade diets), it’s time to address the other end of the story, so to speak. Whether your pet is nibbling millet or dining on organic kibble, eventually most of that food is converted to waste — and what do you do with all of that poop?

To Flush or Not to Flush?

Some litters companies advertise that their products are “flushable.” However, sending pet feces into a sewer system is discouraged in some parts of the United States, and the excess solid material can stress your home plumbing. Also, some cat feces can contain the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can infect humans and other animals and isn’t always killed by municipal water treatment systems.


Perhaps, instead of a gerbil, you have a great Dane — in which case your pet’s poop probably isn’t all conveniently deposited in the one box. For those donations Rufus makes at the dog park, try using one of the many available biodegradable doggy bags or boxes rather than plastic bags.

Back to the Earth

Like other animal manures, pet poop contains nutrients that can be beneficial to soil microbes. You can return those nutrients to the soil (and reduce your contribution to your local landfill) by burying your pet waste. Most experts recommend against composting pet poop to avoid the (admittedly small) health risks to humans from potential parasites in the waste. Be sure to choose a site at least 100 feet from any water sources, as well as away from any nearby garden.

If you opt to toss pet poop in the trash, whether it’s from the back yard or out of the litter box, the biodegradable doggy bags are a good alternative to plastic sacks here, too — for hamster, rabbit or any other pet poo — and allow the good nutrients to make their way back to the earth.

9/2/2009 12:26:06 PM

I pick up dog poop after my yorkie. It's faily easy with flushable dog poop bags that I use everyday. Flushing is the most eco-friendly way to get rid of dog poop. Google "flushable dog poop bags" and check out yourself.

10/10/2008 3:58:58 AM

dog manure idea - get a plastic garbage can remove the bottom, dig a hole that is deeper than the can. if your soil is not sandy place sand in the bottom of the hole. (in which case you will need a larger can than if no sand. ) put the can in the botom of the hole. whether adding sand or not add gravel to cause drainage and hold the can securely to the bottom of the hole. the can will stick out of the hole a little bit . place dog manure in the can as needed do not put in plastic bags. add cess pit starter or booster to the can . may need to add water sometimes and reapply the cess pit mix . get at hardware store. ok to put a hole in the can lid that is small enough 5 or 6 inches is good. keep lid on with several bricks as a weight. be sure to put out of the way because there will be an odor and flies. after all it is manure you know. usally do not need to remove the lid, anymore. if wind is a problem in your area then do not completely remove the bottom of the can put holes in the bottom of the can with the sand underneath and the gravel inside to cause drainage and hold the can down. in winter cold will not let the dog manure cess pit work so that is a nuisnce that is dealt with by having extra cess pit then in warm weather add new bit of the starter booster and water to cause it to have the manure disappear.

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