Dog Waste Composting

The war of the dog poop has been going on for more than a decade in our home. No one wants to walk the dogs so they tend to go in the yard. Though easy on the walker, we all know the problem with dogs in the yard, someone has to clean it up and indeed, whole businesses have sprung up around this need.

We won a strategic victory four years ago when we refused to let them go on the lawn and instead released them in the rear yard. However, this was a short lived victory as  they then proceeded to kill our shrubs and pachysandra (I didn’t think anything could kill pachysandra). After four years of watching the rear “garden” die, we finally had it. Either the kids were going to walk the dogs (and clean up after them) or something  would have to be done.

Anyone with children knows how well the “kid solution” works. Generally this solution has very limited applications….maybe once a day if you are lucky. If we were ever to regain our rear yard, something had to be done. A Google  search of .33 seconds turned up  “Pet Waste Composting”  at This site,  sponsored by the Canadian office of Urban Agriculture, had step by step, photo illustrated instructions on how to install a dog septic system. Basically, you dig a hole, take an old garbage can and drill holes in the bottom and sides, and bury it in the hole with the top exposed. Then you just scoop your dog waste, throw it in, add a handful of leaves, and add Septo-Bac, an enzyme-active biological compound formulated to increase the digestion rate of sewage. The dog waste decomposes and escapes through the holes where trees and shrubs feed on the processed waste. The site claims that the composter takes about six years to fill up and when it does, you can bury  the composted remains in ornamental beds. It also stresses to never use composted dog waste in  food crops.

We Googled Septo bac and ordered up a couple of months worth, and with the help of our five year old, we built two composters in our back yard and will fence off this area and mulch it  so that we have a dedicated dog run that will be scooped regularly. The dog run will limit how much yard the dogs get and having it be plant free will make it easier to spot and scoop. There are smaller commercially distributed dog septic systems available. One is the “Doggie Dooley” which you can find at and also at


Comments are closed.