When you have a beautiful lawn, two things are certain. You want to keep it clean but your dog has picked a favorite spot and that’s where the dog poops. Dog poop contains high levels of Nitrogen. If you want to keep your turfgrass alive and lush, you must neutralize the dog poop. Fortunately, there are quick and toxic-free ways to neutralize dog poop on the grass.
Enzyme-based dissolvers, gardening lime, white vinegar solution, and DIY dog poop dissolvers are some of the safest and quickest ways to neutralize dog poop. Any of these methods neutralize dog poop and prevent you and your dogs from diseases. They also neutralize the acidity and the nitrogen in the poop which would be detrimental to the turf grass.
Is Dog Poop good for grass?
Dog poop is not good for the grass. It contains a lot of pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. A single gram of dog feces contains approximately 23 million fecal bacteria. Dog poop is also toxic to grass because of the acidity which is caused by the meat diet. The high amount of nitrogen in the feces causes discoloration and burning of grass and other plant life.
Dog poop plays host to pathogens and disease-carrying parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms, Salmonella, E. Coli, and Giardia that are harmful to human beings. It has also been found to release airborne bacteria. Smelling or touching dog feces can cause cramps, diarrhea, Intestinal Illnesses, dehydration, and kidney Illness to human beings.
Well-fed dogs produce a remarkable amount of poop. An average dog produces approximately 0.75 pounds of poop per day. America’s 83 million pet dogs produce about 10.6 million tons of poop every year.
Dog poop takes approximately a year to completely decompose. Composting dog poop by yourself in the backyard can be difficult. The temperatures required to decompose it are high and it should be done for a long time to kill the pathogens. Therefore, pet owners prefer to discard it.
Cutting the poop into your yard mostly will spread to different parts of the yard when it hits the mower blade. You’ll have a harder time disposing or neutralizing the poop when it’s strewn all over your lawn.
How to neutralize dog poop on grass
Chemicals are an effective solution to neutralizing dog poop on the grass. Still, there aren’t too many chemical options made specifically for dog poop. Some neutralizers take longer than others. Here are some of the products that safely neutralize dog poop on your lawn.
1. Enzyme-Based Dissolvers
Enzyme-based dissolvers are organic products that dissolve poop in a short time. They remove or suck the moisture from the poop. Dehydrating the poop neutralizes the smell and reduces the poop’s size by up to 80%, making it easy to discard or dissolve.
Nature Pure Edge Yard Odor Eliminator is an example enzyme that dissolves the dog poop in minutes. It contains lipase enzymes that break down fats, oil, and grease. Also, it contains protease enzymes that break down proteins. Furthermore, it contains Amylase enzymes that are effective on starches. Other enzyme-based products include NaturVet Yard Odor Eliminator
Enzyme-based dissolvers are non-poisonous and harmless to the turf grass, humans, and pets. However, they aren’t too effective on big droppings. They’re most effective on small remnants left after initial cleanup. You’ll need a disinfectant to curb the spread of diseases and pathogens, especially if you’re not using an antibacterial enzyme-based dissolver.
2. Gardening lime
Gardening line or Agricultural lime dries out the poop, making it crumble and dissolve. However, you need to take care when using gardening lime. It might be harmful to your skin. Handle it with protective gear such as latex gloves.
Sprinkle the lime generously on the dog poop and immediate surroundings and cover for two days to decontaminate. Hose the dirt with water into the soil. Use gardening lime in limited amounts because it is caustic and can burn the lawn.
3. White vinegar
Vinegar is a disinfectant and a deodorizer. Although vinegar does not completely dissolve dog poop, you can disinfect the area with it since it has antibacterial qualities and removes the poop odor.
Mix water and white vinegar in a 50/50 ratio and pour the mixture on the poop. The disadvantage of using vinegar is that it makes the poop mushy instead of drying it.
4. DIY poop dissolver
The best DIY dissolver is made from sodium bicarbonate or calcium bicarbonate or calcium hydroxide. Mix Sodium bicarbonate with peppermint essential oils. Sodium Bicarbonate will dry the poop making it desiccate faster into the soil while the peppermint essential oil kills bacteria.
Spread the mixture on the dog poop and wait for a few hours. This solution takes longer than store-bought products and you might need more of it for it to work effectively.
Neutralizing dog poop as soon as possible is important because of the pathogens that it has. Dog waste bacteria and pathogens spread through soil, water, and air. Utmost caution should be observed when dealing with it by wearing protective gear and cleaning afterward.
Ensure you neutralize and disinfect the area thoroughly because of the many fecal bacteria. Even after the poop has dissolved you should disinfect the area to eliminate any pathogens that might hatch and multiply.
Tips for cleaning dog poop out of your yard
- Wear protective clothing when handling dog poop. Face masks and rubber gloves will come in handy, especially when you’re dealing with large amounts of poop and chemicals.
- Keep children and pets away from areas with dog feces. Clear a spot in the yard, dig it up and dump neutralized poop there.
- Pick up the dog waste or neutralize immediately. Scoop your dog’s poop within 24 hours of it defecating. Use a paper bag, biodegradable bags, or a pooper-scooper. Ensure you dispose of it safely in a secluded area of the yard. You can use a separate trash can or use a pet waste digester. Neutralize the remnants soon after to prevent your grass from burning.
- Plant the type of turf grass that is resistant to damage from excess nitrogen from dog poop. Fescues and Perennial ryegrass are great for your lawn and are less susceptible to dog poop damage. Mild lawn burn will repair itself, especially for grasses that are spread by stolons and rhizomes. Repair severely damaged patches by sodding to prevent weeds.
- Hire an expert dog waste cleaning services if you are too busy or there’s an overwhelming amount of dog poop. They clean and scoop the poop according to your preference. Negotiating with a dog poop removal service might also get you a grass patch-up bonus on burned lawn patches.
- Environmental options to discard dog waste are available such as; Biodegradable poop bags, Flushable poop bags, and Waste digesters.
- Feed your dog high quality foods. The best dog foods contain fewer fillers. Nutrient-rich foods ensure your dog eats less and produces minimal waste. Therefore, you have less poop to clean.
- Modify your pet’s behavior and designate a spot for it. Clicker training is a great way to help your dog identify a spot. Positive reinforcement also encourages adherence to the designated poop spot. Mark the segregated area with and landscape it. You should train your pet consistently so as to establish a routine.
- Washington State University Extension; Managing Pet Waste