Is Dog Poop Good Fertilizer?
Many dog owners may wonder if the waste produced by their pets is a viable fertilizer resource. The answer is essentially yes, but no. Confused? It is ok this is a complicated question to answer and explain.
In terms of plant viable nutrients yes your dog poop is a great resource for nutrients. So much in fact the concentrations of the plant required nutrients are so high it can be an overdose. Imagine evaporating 90% of the water out of a case of Red Bull, then making espresso with the remaining liquid. BAM caffeine overdose, followed by possible heart attack!
In terms of bacteria and unwanted vectors added to the environment, dog poop is not exactly what you want laying around supplementing the garden. E-Coli and possible parasites are a common issue associated with carnivorous wastes.
Odor is a huge reason why people avoid using dog poop as a fertilizer. Actually odor is a huge reason why any poop is avoided as a fertilizer. The composting of waste is a needed process to reduce the odor, eliminate the vectors, and release the nutrients that are tied up molecularly in the waste. Plants will absorb nutrients that are easily accessible. These tend to be dissolved in water. To break down the chemical chains allowing nutrients to be released in water and viable to plants the waste needs to be broken down. If you are interested in composting your local hardware or garden centers have information available so that you may research the topic.
Composting waste sounds like a great idea right? It is actually, but the amount of waste needed, the time required to make a viable product, and the space needed to actually have a compost site 9 times out of 10 will keep a homeowner from doing so. This is why poop cleanup either through a local poop cleanup service, such as Wisconsin Poop Cleanup, or doing so on your own is crucial to the safety of family and pets, and crucial to the health and quality of your landscape.
If natural fertilizers peak your interest there are a number of local sources of natural and pet friendly fertilizers. Milorganite is produced from wastewater bacteria and offers natural nitrogen, iron, and phosphorus, along with other naturally occurring and needed nutrients. It is also pet friendly and has an “earthy” odor. This is just one of the options; feel free to research on your own.
*Wisconsin has recently mandated a Phosphorus Free Fertilizers/Products Law. This is to help the quality of possible runoff to surface water sources, in an effort to reduce unwanted aquatic plant growth. As mentioned Milorganite contains Phosphorus, the “slow moving” Phosphorus in Milorganite remains in the soil for plant use, and does not leach into the groundwater or surface water sources.