Pets produce pounds of the proverbial periodically and disposing of the steaming mountains of muck can be a problem. The more pets you have, the worse it gets.

Disposal of your pet’s droppings is not that difficult if you only have one medium sized dog or cat but if you have a huge hound then it can be more difficult.

Hygiene Considerations

Hygiene is important. Dog and cat droppings harbour disease-causing organisms such as bacteria and juvenile worms. If a pet’s droppings are allowed to mature on the ground then it is more likely that worm eggs will hatch and spread. Naturally, the bacteria will proliferate too. For this reason a pet’s droppings should be cleaned up on a daily basis.

Animal excreta does not decay well in a compost bin. A simple way of disposing of a small amount of droppings, say for one dog or two or three cats, is to bury the waste in a small prepared pit in your garden.

Prepare a pit in an out- of- the- way garden bed. Till the soil in an area about one meter square and 30 centimeters deep. As you collect your pet’s offerings, dig a hole in one corner of the pit and bury the droppings there. Each day, move to a different corner or spot in the plot.

After a while you will find that you have a very healthy crop of worms thriving on your pet’s waste and that’s good for the garden.

What about worm farms? A good worm farm will dispose of animal excreta but limit the amount you put in. If you are thinking of using a worm farm for this purpose, you will need to keep the droppings to less than 5 percent of the total volume of added material. Be very careful about placing droppings from your dog into the worm farm if you have just used an intestinal worming medication on your pet. The medication may be excreted with your pet’s feces and that will have a disastrous effect on your worm colony.

Flushing your pet’s droppings down your own toilet is not a good idea. Your Council frowns on this practice as it places an additional load on the sewerage system and animal droppings apparently don’t decay as easily as human excreta.

Can Feces be Placed in the Garbage Bin?

If you have one or two dogs, many Council’s allow you can place your pet’s droppings in your garbage bin provided they are well wrapped in plastic to prevent odor. However, don’t do this if you own a large number of dogs.

You can also buy pet waste disposal tanks that you can place into your garden. These units are like a small sewerage tank. They are buried in a convenient spot in the garden. They have a foot-operated lid to make them easy and hygienic to use and come in various sizes to suit different sizes and numbers of dogs.

The disposal of cat waste is much the same. However, cats are generally cleaner and will bury their own droppings so you may never see your cat’s waste. If your cat uses a litter tray you can collect the solid matter and bury it while leaving the uncontaminated litter in the tray.

Contaminated litter needs some consideration. My preference is to use the environmentally de-gradable litters that are commonly available. I use a Lucerne-based litter. It breaks down just like mulch when added to garden beds. Watering it into the ground breaks the litter into fragments and helps to speed up the process and dispel any odor. Many other litters work in the same way but I find some clay-based litters are slow to break down and form into lumps of clay that are quite sticky. This problem can be solved by tilling the litter into the soil of the garden bed, thus mixing the two together.

Contaminated litter can also be wrapped securely and placed into your garbage bin.

Can a Worm Farm Process Animal Waste?

Yes it can.

We have very successfully used commercially available worms to process the excrement of our resident dogs.

While you can purchase worm farms especially for animal waste, we found using  a standard compost bin has been very successful.

After the bin was seeded with 2,000 worms from a hardware store, after two months the worms have reproduced to such as extent that feces are digested quickly.

We use the bin as a digest-er of animal feces are are unlikely to use the produce as compost in the garden.

If you are using a worm farm to digest your dog’s feces be sure to discard any feces that are produced for a few days after worming your dog because residual worming preparation will kill your worm farm.

On the Street 

When walking your dog on the street, be sure to carry a poop bag with you so that you can pick up your pet’s pavement produce promptly!Nothing angers people more than discovering malodorous mounds of manure on the footpath and even more so when they tread in it.Be responsible and clean up after your pet.

Diet Affects Your Pet’s Feces

As an added hint, if you want to reduce the volume of feces that your pet produces and make the feces more uniform in their consistency, then try some of the super-premium pet foods that are available from veterinarians and pet shops. These super-premium foods are very highly digestible as well as being good quality, nutritionally balanced products. The high digestibility means that the droppings will be easier to pick up. In short – your pet will produce small, well-formed “doggy-loggies”.

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Dr Cam Day

Dr Cam Day

Vet Behavioralist

Dr Cam Day is a Veterinarian consulting full-time in pet behaviour in South-East Queensland, Australia.