Flick it, bin it, or store it in a wormery — we explore the options.
It’s smelly and unpleasant, but unfortunately dog poo is something that all owners have to deal with, and have responsibility for removing on a daily basis. And, with millions of dogs in the UK, that’s tons of excrement being produced every year. But, what are your options when it comes to removing your dog’s waste? We take a look at some practical solutions which are more environmentally friendly than simply bagging it and disposing of it at your nearest convenience.
Dog poo wormeries
Dog poo wormeries could be a consideration for many dog owners, especially those who are garden proud. Not only does it solve the problem of choosing a responsible place to dispose of your dog’s waste, but once the worms have processed the poo, it makes a suitable fertiliser for your garden, although, you’ll need to make sure you only use it on the flower beds and not your vegetable patch.
Home wormeries from companies such as Earth Essentials contain everything you need to get started, including the wormery itself, live worms, worm feed, and a drainage tap for removing the fertiliser. You also need to ensure that the wormery is only used for dog poo and any kitchen waste is disposed of in a separate wormery.
Stick and flick policy
Every dog owner (unless they are registered blind) has a responsibility to pick up their dog’s poo — and you can be given an on-the-spot fine of up to £80 if you don’t. Although this is often the case in the countryside too, some areas operate a ‘stick and flick’ policy, which means that in places where there are signs indicating it is OK to do so, such as on Forestry Commission land like Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, you may have the option to flick your dog’s poo into the undergrowth with a stick. This is to discourage those who leave mess on a footpath, or bag poo but then leave it somewhere (such as hanging in a tree). But the Forestry Commission prefers people to bag it as a first choice.
Dog poo disposer
Get rid of dog waste at home with a dog poo disposer, which you can bury in your garden. Simply scoop up the poo, lift the lid, and place it in the disposal unit. With the help of a bio-activator, it will dissolve. You will also need to occasionally flush it out with buckets of water, which will drain through the slots in the side of the unit. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t train your dog to use the disposal unit like a human toilet! As well as being able to buy dog loos, you can also make your own.
Dog poo bags
The problem with ordinary dog poo bags is that they are made from plastic, which does not degrade — and collectively take up a lot of room in landfill sites. So if you’re looking for a more economical way of bagging your dog’s waste, there are many biodegradable bags on the market, many of which are vegetable- and plant-based, or even made from paper with built in ‘scoopers’.
You can also buy flushable dog poo bags which go down the toilet and break down harmlessly in water; they are also biodegradable in landfill sites. Alternatively, you can forgo the bag completely, and use a hand-held scoop or shovel — which may be more practical for the dog waste in your garden.
How to make a dog loo
- Purchase a large, plastic dustbin with a lid. Cut four large holes into the bottom of the bin and puncture smaller holes around the side, about halfway up the height of the bin.
- Dig a hole in a quiet corner of your garden — away from where children may play and vegetable patches — which is one foot deeper than the bin and slightly wider.
- Fill the hole with approximately 15cm (6in) of pea shingle/ gravel (available from many large DIY stores), and then larger pebbles on top to a height which means that the top of the bin lid is flush with the ground.
- Place the bin in the hole and surround the outside of it with more pea shingle to secure in place.
- Use a bio-activator or septic tank starter pack, as per the instructions, as you gradually add your dog’s waste. Flush with water occasionally to help solids disintegrate.