Growing Vegetables Where Pets Have Pooped or Peed

Knowing that your soil is safe for growing food is important. This guide is about growing vegetables where pets have pooped or peed.

White dog sitting in the backyard.

August 1, 2005 Flag
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I know that cat urine can burn up a lot of plants. I have a problem with dog dung in my vegetable garden. Does anyone know if this will hurt the plants?




Although dog and cat manure both contain organic nutrients useful to plants, neither is safe to use in soil containing food crops. Both contain parasitic pathogens that are harmful to human health.

Dog manure can contain the eggs of Toxocara canis (the common large roundworm), which can also infect humans. It's estimated that 90% of young puppies are infected with this worm-many are born infected-and up to 50% of all adult dogs.

The eggs can be transferred to the human mouth by a person's fingers or from foods that have been in contact with dog feces.

Toxocara eggs can remain viable in the soil for up to 10 years depending on environmental conditions. Because no information is known on the effects hot composting has on Toxocara eggs, it also unsafe to add dog manure to compost heaps intended for food crops.


If you have a dog feces problem in your garden, remove the feces and take care to use good hygiene practices (thoroughly washing hands and vegetables) to avoid possible contamination.

August 3, 20050 found this helpful

if they are pooping in your garden they are also peeing. pee isnt good.

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June 25, 20070 found this helpful

Does watering plants/ie.the poop down (if already on or near plants) really help. I had a rainbucket (5 gallon) bucket of water I used on plants- forgetting that about a month previous I used it to cart dog poop out of my dog's pen. There was one 'turd' still in the bottom of the bucket, which I only noticed after watering all my tomato, and lettuce plants that I had worked so hard to grow from seed.

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June 5, 20080 found this helpful

What if you plant where dogs had been pooping a few months earlier, but do not add any poop after?

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July 21, 20080 found this helpful

I've heard here that parasites and "too much nitrogen" are the problem with using dog poop as fertilizer. I live in Tucson, AZ and dog poop does not decompose here. It stays a hard, dry piece of poop forever where it stands until a monsoon puts it in a wash or dry river. Here I suppose it gets buried and decomposed, but my point is that I regularly see old pieces of dog poop, in my backyard and while taking walks in Tucson's many beautiful parks. They have been baking in the 110+ degree sun for weeks. Surely the parasites are killed by then?

Once I collect my dog's dry, cooked stool, can I then alter the acidity and "nitrogen content" to make the end product useful and safe for my vegetable garden?

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February 14, 20090 found this helpful

July 7, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have 2 female dogs. They urinate on cement in my yard, when I hose it down the water from this goes into my vegetable garden. Can this be harmful to humans to eat these vegetables? I am concerned about this. Can someone please help?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Diane from Chicago, IL

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July 8, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

Since it seeps into the ground, I don't believe there is potential harm for humans - but it can/will kill grass and plants (especially from female dogs).

Try to get the dogs to go somewhere else. You can also dig a small "moat" around your garden to block the urine - or line the edge with rocks to block it.

In the meantime, you will need to neutralize the soil. An old trick my father taught me - place a few tablespoons of baking soda in a watering can - water thoroughly. This will counteract the acid in the urine.

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July 8, 20070 found this helpful

Don't know if it will harm you to eat the veggies, but you probably won't get any if you don't neutralize the acid from the urine (especially from female dogs.)

I would put a barrier between the garden and the dog urine - possibly dig a small "moat" and fill with rocks to stop the urine - or build a barrier with bricks of garden stones.

Also, you will need to neutralize the acid fairly quickly or your vegetables will not survive - my father's trick was to use a few tablespoons of baking soda in a watering can and water the area.

Good luck!

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July 12, 20070 found this helpful

I read somewhere dog feces in veg garden will seep in and cause bacteria that is not good for humanes.

I would find out BEFORE I ate anything. Good luck

and hope you find out.

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September 14, 20080 found this helpful

My dog urinates on my basil and cilantro which i've been eating for 3 months. I just learned today that he was doing that. Because he is a boy and a 150 lbs. Neo mastiff it gets the whole plant from top to bottom. I decided to close up the garden and he'll just have a smaller yard. I'm sorry baby boy but mommy needs her veggies.

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March 22, 2010 Flag
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My new puppy has pooped several times in the vegetable garden since last fall. When he was young he had a type of worm. Can I plant my vegetables there this spring or do I need to change all the soil?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Tracy from Kinnelon, NJ

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March 26, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I can't imagine it could be a problem, I mean, no one can control where animals poop. I would pick it up whenever you can, but I wouldn't worry about it.

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

If you cover it up with composted manure about 6 inches or more or dig a hole & bury it, then keep the dog out of the garden. It should be o k, good luck.

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October 4, 2013 Flag
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If dog manure has been buried in a garden used only for trees and non food plants and several months ago the practice stopped after reading posts on the dangers of burying dog and pet feces, how long will the buried "poop" be considered toxic?

We have removed 12-18 inches of the soil and replaced with new fresh top soil. Will time and decomposition of the feces along with 12-18 inches of top soil make the ground safe for tomatoes and peppers in a year or so?

By Jerry D

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October 7, 20130 found this helpful

There are different answers for this issue.

In one place I went to visit there were black raspberries around a post loaded with berries. People that live there stated the berries would not come on. They cleaned up after there dogs, they lifted the soil and put there dog droppings there. The doggie "do do" actually made the bushes load up with berries.

I questioned weather or not the berries would be eatable. Some say yes, others would not eat them. But consider this. Manure from other animals are used for gardens. And human sewage is also used for garden fertilizer.

Consider hatching this question out with your local veterinarian, your medical DR and your local cooperative extension.

Did you know that there is garden fertilizer made with human sewage processed, and then sold in garden and building supply stores.

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July 21, 2010 Flag
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Is it safe to eat from plants such as tomatoes or strawberries where cats have pooped and peed?

By Gabe

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful

I'm not sure if it's technically safe, but I wouldn't try it.

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July 23, 20100 found this helpful

I grow mine in containers to avoid this situation. Ick.

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