Debra Lynn Dadd

pet poop composting

QUESTION:

I bought a pet poop composter but have since heard conflicting opinions on whether they are good or bad for the environment. Does anyone out there know?

POSTED BY JF :: MINNESOTA USA :: 04/21/2009 4:27 AM


DEBRA'S ANSWER:

I haven't read all the pros and cons, but here's my logic.

Cats and dogs are animals, just like any other animal in the environment. Elephants and tigers and monkeys and the like are pooping into the environment all the time. So why shouldn't cats and dogs?

I looked up Pet Poop Composter and found that it is a worm composting box that turns pet poop into compost that can be used in the garden.

I really don't see what the objection would be to this.

Debra :-)


COMMENTS:

I am intrested in this question only because I am starting my own organic garden and I also do not know what kind of fertilizer to use. I have read that only chicken manure should be used. I have also heard not to use any carnivorous animals manure, but did not know why until I bought a chihuahua from a bad breeder who did not worm her animals. My puppy had them so bad she wouldn't play and was very thin. I learned more about parasites than I ever wanted to know and all I can say now about it is I would never, ever use dog poo on my garden. A parasite egg can lay dormant for years in the soil or in this case a composter. Kids are very vulnerable to these parasites and when they play outdoors in an infested area can easily contract them. Almost nothing can kill the egg, not even bleach. I do not know if extreme heat could, but I doubt the composter could get hot enough. Even if you are very diligent about worming your animals there is still a possibility they could contract them between wormings and it may wind up in the garden. Sorry to bring a gross subject into this innocent question.

POSTED BY JEN :: MICHIGAN USA :: 04/22/2009 1:57 PM


My college roomie had tried composting her pet poop (not this specific product, but another one), and it worked pretty well in summer, but in winter is took a much longer time (ground was near freezing).

The only concern I know of is that you shouldn't use the composted remains on vegetables or anything you intend to eat (fruit trees, edible flowers). The composting process supposedly does not completely negate some of the pathogens (is that the right word?) that could be transmitted to humans. So as long as you just use the composted waste for ornamental flowers and shrubs, I think it should be OK.

POSTED BY LAURA :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 04/22/2009 1:57 PM


Dog and cat poo is meat-based and therefore inappropriate to use as compost. It's no different than adding human waste to your compost pile. Ick. I don't see what the point of composting it is, since you can't safely use it as such. Not only the meat, but think about the chemicals and preservatives used in many pet foods. Another concern with the below-ground poo composters is the water table. If you aren't well above it, you risk contaminating groundwater.

We just reuse the annoying plastic bags our newspaper comes in, which keeps contamination away from the landfill and the poor garbage workers who have to deal with it.

POSTED BY JT :: CALIFORNIA USA :: 04/22/2009 2:12 PM


I would not compost dog or cat poo. I do not believe composting would get hot enought to destroy all worms, worm cysts, worm eggs, or Toxoplams gondii......


Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite that is a protozoa (something on the order of an amoeba)--per Wickipedia:"Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii.[1] The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family. Animals are infected by eating infected meat, by ingestion of feces of a cat that has itself recently been infected, or by transmission from mother to fetus. Cats have been shown as a major reservoir of this infection.[2]

"Up to one third of the world's population is estimated to carry a Toxoplasma infection.[3] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that overall seroprevalence in the United States as determined with specimens collected by the National Health and Nutritional Assessment Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2004 was found to be 10.8%, with seroprevalence among women of childbearing age (15 to 44 years) of 11%.[4]

"During the first few weeks, the infection typically causes a mild flu-like illness or no illness. After the first few weeks of infection have passed, the parasite rarely causes any symptoms in otherwise healthy adults. However, people with a weakened immune system, such as those infected with HIV or pregnant, may become seriously ill, and it can occasionally be fatal. The parasite can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and neurologic diseases and can affect the heart, liver, and eyes (chorioretinitis)."



this is the disease that pregnant women are warned against, when they are told not to clean cat litter boxes when pregnant, and not to eat undercooked meat. I believe it can cause still- birth /misscarriage and it can cause blindness or other abnormalities in infants who are not killed in utero. As stated above, it can cause problems in adults and children also. I believe it can cause blindness in children and adults.

POSTED BY PATTI :: OHIO USA :: 04/22/2009 3:30 PM


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