Doggie Doo-doo Composter

Doggie Doo-doo Composter

Because Poo Happens!
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Doggie Doo-doo Composter: Because Poo Happens!
Thursday, December 17, 2009 - 7:00pm


I miss my dog Starhawk- he’s been gone two years now, after 13 years of loyal companionship. I miss throwing tennis balls, our hikes together, nuzzling his big ol’ head. I even miss his barking mother and picking up his poo.

Now that’s love. But it’s easier to love when you have a good place to put the dog doo and can compost it into nutrients for your flower beds. When I was a kid, one of my jobs was to clean out the kennels for my dad’s hunting dogs. I shoveled the dog doo under the lilac bushes. We had the biggest and sweetest smelling lilacs in the neighborhood.

Today we’re going to show you how to make an in-ground doggie doo-doo composter, using an old 5 gallon pail.

Note: Doggie poo is acidic, not to mention pathogens- oops, I mentioned them- and is not suitable for vegetable gardens. But you can use it on flower gardens, especially with acid loving plants or you can sweeten it up by adding other materials to it during the compost cycle.

The average dog produces about 275 pounds of waste a year, so you won’t have to worry about supply.

I started with an old 5 gallon pail I found on the road. Plastic road kill, if you will. You can use a container of varying size, depending on your dog. For a toy Chihuahua, a yogurt container might suffice. For a Great Pyrenees, you might want to look into one of those 55 gallon pickle barrels we used to make rain barrels and a rotating composter.

First, I drilled a dozen holes in the side of the pail, about midway up from the bottom with a 15/16“spade bit.

Next, I drilled a Swiss cheese worth of holes on the bottom. You could just cut the bottom out, but it’s more fun drilling a bunch of holes! Aren’t you glad you bought that rechargeable cordless drill way back when for the earlier projects we showed you? Keep reminding your spouse how handy and what an important tool it is.

Now that your pail won’t hold water any more, you are ready to dig a hole for it in your yard. Pick a place fairly well drained and away from your bedroom window or favorite outdoor summer sitting spot.

We’re putting ours on a ragged patch of land about 50 feet from the garden. Dig the hole with a spade to just fit the pail. The top should be about flush with the ground or a little above. You don’t want to trip on it, but you don’t want to build a drain either.

Backfill with dirt, and put a lid on it, and keep a lid on it! You can paint a nice doggie picture on the lid, or mount one of those rubber doggie doo gag items to the top so you remember what’s in there.

Add some enzymes for septic systems from your local hardware store and let it cook away. You can also go the next step and create a dog compost wormery, and there is great article on composting dog waste by the USDA that has some good tips. Who says the government doesn’t know sh-t?

Starhawk at 6 weeks, circa 1995. Aww…

Now that I’ve built this composter for dog doo, I need to think about getting another dog. Anybody got any yellow Lab puppies? We’re ready... is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.