Can You Flush Dog Poop Down the Toilet

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but what comes out of them certainly isn’t. Dog excrement may not be the most fun of topics to discuss, but there are still some important things to know about how you handle your pet waste.

If you’re near a toilet, then your first question may be: can you flush dog poop down the toilet? You can, but it might be dangerous to your health or your piping. However, as long as it’s not in a bag, it’s okay to flush dog poop down the toilet. There are some better alternatives, though, such as using a designated bin or turning it into compost.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to best dispose of dog feces. You’ll learn all about the reasons why you shouldn’t flush dog poop (including pathogens and a clogged system), what can happen if you do (contamination or a clogged toilet), and what alternatives are out there for dog owners (like compost or throwing dog poop away). Let’s get right to it!

can you flush dog poop down the toilet

Is it Okay to Flush Dog Poop Down the Toilet?

Every dog owner knows this issue: your puppy is having a temper tantrum, has been left inside too long, or has made some questionable dining choices, and you’re left with a mess to clean up. It’s bad enough that it’s there, but getting rid of it is even worse, so you certainly want to make the cleaning process as easy as can be. This leads us to the question … can you flush dog poop down the toilet?

The answer to this question isn’t as simple as it might seem.

You can physically flush your dog’s poop down the toilet as long as it isn’t large enough to clog your sewer system. But even reasonably sized dog waste will have long-term effects that make it inadvisable to flush dog excrement.

A lot of this depends on where you are, who you’re asking, and whether the dog’s waste is in a bag or not. But even if you aren’t in a situation where you can flush dog poop, there are plenty of other options from starting a worm farm with it to composting!

Can You Flush Dog Poop if You Have a Septic Tank?

The answer to this question isn’t simple. In a pinch, if you have waste you need to get rid of, flushing it probably won’t cause your entire septic system to come crashing down in a messy and inconvenient spectacle.

But if you have any other option, you should probably choose that! It is generally not recommended to flush dog poop down the toilet on a regular basis, and there are a few good reasons for it.

Pathogens

Your dog’s poop is not the same as human poop, and one of the things that differentiate them are the pathogens the average dog can carry in their poop.

Some of the parasites and pathogens that can be carried in dog poo are:

Introducing these to the septic tank system by flushing dog poop can cause long-term danger. Some of them can stay present in nature for a long period of time. The eggs found in dog waste from Toxocara alone can live between six months and four years.

Ground pollution

Most pollutants, like pet waste, contain dangers that live in the digestive system of the dog. The poop of animals in the wild and dogs outside already hold a risk of entering our water system through the natural process of rain and melting snow washing them into nearby bodies of water, but the amount is distilled by nature.

Owners putting the pet poop in their toilet bowl and then flushing it into their septic system, however, makes a direct introduction of an environmental pollutant. This can cause things like fecal coliform bacteria. The environmental protection agency does test water for contagions like that and introduces measures to kill pathogens, but it is important to dispose of your pet waste properly.

Overloading your septic tank system

Depending on the size of your dog and their poop, flushing dog poop down your toilet can clog home plumbing. When you stress sewer systems, you end up without a toilet (or forced to use an outdoor toilet) while you wait on a professional to take care of the mess.

The general rule is: to keep things sanitary and comfortable in your own home as well as in the outside world, it’s best to avoid flushing dog poop!

Is Dog Faece Allowed to be Flushed Down the Toilet in the UK?

Water resources in the United Kingdom state that animal waste should not be flushed, only human feces. The particular concern is that Toxocara (or roundworm) is found in dog poop and the sewer system in the United Kingdom is not suitable to filter this out.

While water is heated during treatment, roundworm is known for being extremely tolerant of high heat. When you flush dog poop, you introduce this to the system and potentially contaminate others with your dog waste.

Is Dog Faece Allowed to be Flushed Down the Toilet in the US?

The United States environmental protection agency actually does recommend flushing as a way to dispose of dog poop.

However, many plumbing professionals and those in charge of sewage treatment facilities disagree. While it’s not illegal to do so in the United States, if you want to be extra conscious about yourself and your surroundings, you might want to explore some of the other options we describe down below.

Is Dog Faece Allowed to be Flushed Down the Toilet in Australia?

Multiple water authorities in Australia have all come to the same consensus that dog poop is not the same as human poop and you should avoid flushing animal waste.

While one authority did state that flushing may be a fine disposal method for cat poop, four others expressed the belief that only three things should be flushed down a toilet bowl: human feces, urine, and paper specifically made to flush.

What is the Best Way to Dispose of Dog Poop?

There are a number of good options if you need to dispose of dog poop. We’ll cover the specifics of some of them in sections below, but here’s a bullet-pointed list to get you started.

  • Compost dog poop
  • Dissolve dog poop
  • Throw dog poop away in a trash can
  • Add dog poop to a worm farm

What is Composting?

Composting is a way of taking advantage of nature to help nature. In the wild, plants and other organic matter naturally decompose back into the earth. Using a composting bin is a way to take your own organic waste matter that you create in your every day life (like food scraps, leftovers, vegetable peels, dog waste, etc) and recycling it back into fertilizer. It takes the natural decomposition process and speeds it up.

You can also use dog poops in a composting bin in your yard. They decompose similarly to any other organic matter. The compost that you are left with is rich in minerals and perfect for using in a garden or just in your yard to encourage plant growth. It’s a cheap and eco-friendly way to recycle natural waste.

Why is Composting Dog Poop Better Than it Going to a Landfill?

Ultimately, a landfill will do the same thing to the dog waste that the compost bin will.

The major difference is in how long it takes. In a landfill, particularly if the dog’s waste is contained in plastic, it could take months to years to properly decompose. The main determining factor here is whether or not the dog’s waste is contained in an eco-friendly plastic bag or not.

Compost has the three main nutrients that garden crops need to survive: phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. These can be made artificially, but in doing so a lot of chemical components are used.

Most of these chemicals are deemed safe, but why rely on science when your own dog is providing you with what you need to make it organically? Flushing a dog’s waste going down the septic system is not only dangerous, but also a waste—in a whole new sense of the word.

How to Compost Dog Poop

Third Rock Compost Bin Kitchen – 1.0 Gallon Countertop Compost Bin with Lid – Small Compost Bin – Includes Inner Compost Bucket Liner & Charcoal Filter

You can make or buy a compost bin to fit whatever size or amount of dog waste that you’re dealing with.

Because dog waste is naturally nitrogen-rich, if you plan on using it primarily as an alternative to flushing dog poop down the toilet, you can choose to counter it with some carbon-rich materials.

From this point on, there are many different ways to compost depending on what you want to use the fertilizer for and what other materials you have.

How Does Composting Dog Poop Help the Environment?

Composting helps the environment in a few ways. One is that it helps to avoid the process of anaerobic decomposition and the gases that it releases. These gasses (half methane and half carbon dioxide), both qualify as environmental pollutants.

While most landfills do try and maintain methane levels, landfills are still the third biggest generator of methane emissions (from humans) in the United States. You can help avoid this just by setting up a bin in your backyard.

Further benefits include helping to conserve water, improving soil health, and lessening erosion. All in all, composting is a great idea if you can find the time to get it started!

What Happens When You Throw Dog Poop Away?

can you throw away dog poop in plastic bags

If you choose the method of bagging your dog feces in a poop bag and putting it in the trash, you might wonder what happens to it after that?

The answer is a landfill. In a landfill, the dog’s poop itself would naturally decompose at a fairly fast rate and not be much of a problem.

What can be a problem is the plastic bags that a dog owner will use.

Types of Plastic Bags to Store Dog Faeces in

If you choose to use a poop bag instead of risking your septic tank or septic system by flushing dog poop, there are plenty of options on the market for you to choose between.

Here are some of the types of bags to hold dog waste that dog owners can choose between.

1. Bags Made for Your Convenience

A plastic bag made for your convenience may not be the best option if you’re trying to keep a mind toward the environment, but it may end up saving you a headache.

Weigh in the pros and cons of these bags and consider which factor is more important to you—staying clean and hassle-free, or being environmentally conscious. The decision is ultimately yours.

2. Environmentally Friendly Bags

Environmentally friendly, or eco friendly, poop bags are often made from organic materials through means that the manufacturers verify to be ethical and cruelty-free. If you care about where your products come from more than the price and convenience of design, these may be a good option for you.

3. Compostable Bags

Compostable bags differ from other environmentally friendly bags in one major way. In such bags, the main focus is centered around what happens after you use them, rather than how they’re made before they end up in your hands.

These bags are suitable to put in municipal compost bins or other compost facilities. This is because a biodegradable bag will end up becoming part of the compost along with the dog poop inside.

4. Heavy Duty Bags

Sometimes dog owners just don’t want to have to acknowledge the dog poop at all! We don’t blame you—it’s certainly not the nicest thing in the world to have to deal with.

Heavy-duty bags are generally made with thicker plastic to hold the dog’s poop in and stop it from smelling at the same time. Many of them have ingredients built-in that neutralize the acids that cause the smell in dog poop.

If these sound appealing to you, please remember: never flush plastic bags!

Verdict

With a great dog comes great responsibility … for cleaning up dog poop. Any dog owners need to know their options when handling the smelly mess their dog has left behind. While flushing dog poop is generally inadvisable, there are plenty of other ways to get rid of a dog’s poop without just tossing it into your yard.

If you just want convenience, you can pick out a type of poop bag and toss them in the garbage. They’ll eventually hit a landfill and no longer be your problem.

If you have more of a mind toward being eco-friendly, avoid just tossing the dog feces into the trash to dispose of it in, and instead start a worm farm or a composting bin. If you don’t have the means to start one yourself, you can visit local compost facilities instead.

Whether you dispose of their unpleasant waste in the trash or compost it, we hope your pooch stays happy and mess-free for many years to come!

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