Everyone knows that cow manure makes a great fertilizer for farmland, gardens, and lawns. You may think if cow manure works, so will dog poop. Unfortunately, dog poop does not make a good fertilizer, and in fact can end up severely damaging or even killing your luscious lawn.

If that wasn’t bad enough, dog poop can harbor parasites and bacteria which may be harmful for your health and the health of your family if they get into the groundwater table.

Let’s take a closer look at why dog poop is not a good fertilizer, and how it differs from the better option of cow manure.

Why Does Dog Poop Damage Grass?

Dog poop has a high amount of nitrogen. While plants and grasses do need nitrogen, the high amount contained in dog poop can end up burning and eventually killing your grass. That’s why it is important to clean up dog poop on a regular basis.

Initially, your grass may enjoy the increased boost of nitrogen and other nutrients. This can be seen in very lush and green grass that is growing faster than usual.

However, as the dog poop remains on the grass, this excess amount of nitrogen can lead to it burning your grass down at the base of the stalk and around the roots. As the poop continues to break down even more, the overload of nitrogen and nutrients will eventually kill the grass, leaving brown spots in various places around your lawn.

If you notice extra lush green tufts of grass around your lawn, this may be the first initial sign of decomposing dog poop. In order to prevent the burning and dying of this grass, you should clean the poop from that area immediately.

How is Dog Poop and Cow Manure Different?

Since dogs are normally fed a diet that is high in protein, this protein breaks down into nitrogen. This excess buildup of nitrogen is then passed in both urine and feces.Cows, on the other hand, are a vegetarian that eats a diet of plant matter and roughage. As a result, cow manure is high in a wide range of nutrients, but extremely low in nitrogen.

Unfortunately, cow manure can contain a range of bacteria and fungus that you do not want in your lawn, so if you plan on fertilizing your grass be sure the fertilizer you choose is already prepared or is organic.

Dangers of Dog Poop

Leaving dog poop sitting on your lawn can have potential risks to your grass, as well as the health of your family. Especially if small children play in the yard regularly.

The CDC, or Center for Disease Control, lists a number of different parasites that can live in dog poop. These parasites can eventually make it onto the ground, onto other pets, and even onto the hands and feet of your children playing in the yard.

These potential parasites can include:

  • Tapeworms
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Salmonella
  • Giardia
  • And more