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Is Dog Poop Bad For a Vegetable Garden?

Question:

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?

BJ, KY

Answer:

BJ,

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.

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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.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services.

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By Yes, it does not do good things for your garden (Guest Post)
August 1, 20050 found this helpful

dog poo kills trees, kills plants. Yes, it's bad for the garden. It's like a nitrogen overdose for the plants. If you can't keep the dogs from the garden try to give the plants extra water to try to water down the stuff.

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By suzq (Guest Post)
August 2, 20050 found this helpful

I dig holes between rows in my garden...bury the dog poop...next year it will be like fertilizer....

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August 2, 20051 found this helpful

Hi,
I have a special compost pile for the dog poop. I keep it separate from my other compost pile and mix in leaves and grass clippings to cover the smell. When it is composted I can use it on ornamental plants. I never use it on my vegetable garden but it's fine for trees and shrubs once composted.

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Susan from ThriftyFun

Reply Was this helpful? 1
August 2, 20050 found this helpful

Animal poop needs to be composted before being put in the garden.

Also, poop from dogs, cats, humans, and other meat eaters can host parasites that can be harmful to humans, and should not be used on or near plants that will be eaten raw. Just as an interesting side note, Asian cultures often use "nightsoil" (aka, human poop) as fertilizer for their crops. That is why all foods are cooked, or at least washed thoroughly and then peeled. Things like raw lettuce salads are unheard of.

But as Susan from Thrifty Fun says, it should be fine to use around ornamentals, as long as it's out of the way of any kids who might like to dig in the dirt.

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By sandy (Guest Post)
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 9, 20180 found this helpful

So my question is does watering the ground wash the PE and whatever may be left dad picked up the poop but will watering it help clean the soil please give me an answer someone

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By Derek. (Guest Post)
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.

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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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By lydia (Guest Post)
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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By Cullen Chadwick (Guest Post)
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.

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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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By (Guest Post)
February 14, 20090 found this helpful

We have berry trees planted as wind rows. The rabbits in the winter eat the bark. This stressed the trees. We put dog poop around perimeter of wind rows. Find that this deters the rabbits.

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February 27, 20180 found this helpful

I made the mistake of making assumptions before researching when I started my compost. I had been scooping dog poop into the yard and tossing it into the compost.

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The compost had not fully matured, but I decided to rake it over my garden plot, then manually till it in. Is there anything I can do to make my garden plot safe use for the spring?

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May 25, 20190 found this helpful

Depends on the dog. If the dog does not have parasites, then the poop doesn't either. It also depends on what kind of vegetables you are growing. I bury dog poop in planters and then grow tomatoes. Tomatoes love it as long as there is some potting soil or dirt mixed in. Dog poop is actually very nutrient rich and as long as it is buried, it is not going to get on the tomatoes. It is not as if tomatoes will suck up the parasite eggs and put them in the tomato fruits. That is not how plants work.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 25, 20190 found this helpful

Depends on the dog. If the dog does not have parasites, then the poop doesn't either. It also depends on what kind of vegetables you are growing. I bury dog poop in planters and then grow tomatoes. Tomatoes love it as long as there is some potting soil or dirt mixed in. Dog poop is actually very nutrient rich and as long as it is buried, it is not going to get on the tomatoes. It is not as if tomatoes will suck up the parasite eggs and put them in the tomato fruits. That is not how plants work.

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