You love your dog and consider yourself a responsible pet owner. Your dog's shots are current, he's obedient and house trained. You even pick up his doggie waste with poop bags manufactured from recycled plastics and dispose of it in a trash receptacle. But, have you considered how those little bags of fecal matter in the long run contaminate yours and others' drinking water? On the back end, there is a more ecologically sound method of dealing with dog poop: Build a doggie toilet.
Effects of Dog Waste
walking the dog image by Byron Moore from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>
Much attention over the past few years has focused on the effects of corporate animal farms, particularly how untreated pig, poultry and cattle waste leaches into ground water and contaminates waterways. Dog poop also poses a biological hazard. Bacteria found in dog waste -- Giardia, Salmonella, E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria -- have also been found in drinking water samples and water samples taken at heavily populated beaches. By building a dog toilet in your yard and treating dog waste with enzymes, you are effectively breaking down fecal matter into non-toxic, biodegradable components before you introduce them into the ecosystem. The concept is surprisingly similar to a septic system, just on a much smaller scale. Though a number of retail distributors sell doggie toilets like the Doggie Dooley, it's easy and inexpensive to make your own.
Measure the height and diameter of a 15-gallon plastic garbage can. If you have more than one dog, either choose a larger garbage can or be prepared to treat the fecal matter more often. With a hand drill, drill holes in the sides of the garbage can. This increases the drainage potential of the doggie toilet.
Dig a hole at least 48 inches deep and the diameter of your garbage can. With the keyhole saw, cut off the bottom of the garbage can so that it resembles a cylinder. Line the bottom of the hole with gravel or rocks. Slide the garbage can into the hole. The lid should be labeled and securely closed so that children and pets don't mistakenly fall into the doggie toilet.
Each time you add dog poop to the doggie toilet, add septic starter and water. Read the directions on the septic starter label and measure and mix the correct proportions. If you're using Doggie Dooley Waste Terminator, follow directions on the label. Both methods help to break down fecal matter into a less foul, biodegradable liquid that leaches through the gravel into the soil.
Utilize the Doggie Toilet as a first step. Gradually replace dog poop plastic bags with an old-fashioned pooper scooper or consider the purchase of Scooperboxes, a recycled cardboard scooper that scoops, seals and contains the poop until you can dump it into the doggie toilet. Some owners have taken doggie bathroom practices a step further. They designate a doggie bathroom area in the yard as a means of controlling the spread of dog poop.
When handling fecal matter, practice safe hand-washing techniques.
Items You Will Need
- Tape measure
- 15-gallon plastic garbage can
- Garbage can lid
- Hand drill
- Keyhole saw
- Small rocks
- Septic starter
- Doggie Dooley Waste Terminator
- When handling fecal matter, practice safe hand-washing techniques.
Merle Huerta, an adjunct instructor of English skills, began writing during her husband's combat deployment to Iraq in 2003. Her articles have appeared in "The Jerusalem Post," LiteraryMama.com and USA Travel Tips, among other publications. Huerta has an M.A. in instructional media and technology from Columbia University and is a graduate of CUNY's The Writers Institute.