How to Compost Your Chihuahua’s Doo Doo (aka Poop)

Today I finally built a composter for my Chihuahua’s waste.  She’s only 6 1/2 pounds and on a raw food diet, so her waste is minimal.  We’ve been just piling her doo doo in a corner of the yard for over 2 years now and the pile really doesn’t grow.  However, it really was time to do something a little more attractive.  My intent is not to create compost to use in my garden, but to simply let it decompose and absorb into the ground.

Materials and Equipment

Materials Required

  • Plastic bucket with lid (15 litres / 4 gallons – you’ll need to go bigger for larger dogs)
  • Nylon rope (approx 18 inches)

Equipment Required

  • Shovel, digging bar, crow bar or anything else you like to dig with
  • Drill and bit the same diameter as the rope
  • Utility knife

Optional Requirement

  • Level (to impress your Grandfather with your perfectionism)
  • A little helper for asking questions, getting in the way and minimizing the overall efficiency of your labours

How to Build a Dog Waste Composter

Step 1: Cut the bottom out of the bucket

Step 1: Cut the bottom out of the bucket

Use the utility knife to cut the bottom out of the bucket.  I left a rim all around the bottom simply because it was easier.

Be careful; take your time; avoid cutting yourself.  Keep your phone handy and ensure that your little helper knows how to dial 911.

Step 2: Drill Holes in the Lid

Step 2: Drill Holes in the Lid

Drill 2 holes in the lid, approximately 6 inches apart.  These are for the rope handle.

Please do not underestimate the serious nature of drilling holes for a 5 year old boy.

Step 3: Complete the Rope Handle

Step 3: Complete the Rope Handle

Thread the nylon rope through the holes, tying the two ends together in a knot on the underside of the lid.

You can do this; I know you can.

Step 4: Dig a Hole

Step 4: Dig a Hole

Dig the hole wide enough and deep enough that the bucket fits in, with just the brim above the dirt.  You want to be able to put the lid on it, but not really see any more of the bucket, other than the lid.

If at all possible, get someone else to do this step for you; a 15 litre hole is more work than you’d expect.  Holding on to your back, walking stiffling and rattling a bottle of Ibuprofen might help with enlisting aid. In my case, the family hole digger was off gallivanting on trails with his mountain bike , so I did it myself.  If you happen to be using the optional little helper, s/he will probably wander off before this step is complete but will want to come back to “try out” the hole occasionally.

Step 5: Place the Bucket in the Hole

Step 5: Place the Bucket in the Hole

Once the hole is the correct width and depth, lower the bucket into it and then tweak things until it sits nice and level.

If you’d like to impress your perfectionist Grandfather or just be able to sleep better at night, use a level and do it PROPERLY!  Don’t be surprised when you try and teach your perfectionist little helper how to use a level and he ALREADY KNOWS.

Step 6: Backfill the Hole

Step 6: Backfill the Hole

Carefully add dirt back into the hole (on the outside of the bucket), using the level frequently to ensure that the bucket remains level.  Gently tamp in the dirt and continue to fill in the hole to the level of the surrounding dirt, ensuring that the bucket is securely buried.

At this point, you are almost finished.  Resist the urge to stop and have a cold drink because if you stop now, you’ll probably never finish and will end up with a bottomless bucket buried in the corner of your yard for no apparent reason.  This will become a hazard to small children, as well as teens who wander around the backyard, not looking where they are going because they are too busy texting their friends.

Step 7: Clean Up and Admire Your Work

Small Dog Waste Compost (the blue lid conceals a buried plastic bucket)

Once you’ve put away your tools and dusted yourself off, this project is complete. You may want to paint the lid to camouflage it and/or to make it clear to passers-by that it contains nasty doo doo waste products.

Find somewhere to dispose of the rocks and dirt that were removed from the hole.  I don’t recommend that you fling it over the fence into the neighbour’s yard … then again, our neighbour has been known to fling their dog’s doo doo over the fence into our yard ….  My current strategy is to leave it in the wheelbarrow until my spouse needs to use the wheelbarrow and thus, is required to figure out what to do with it’s contents.

While your Chihuahua (or other small pet) may wish to carefully investigate the new structure in their yard, they will likely be VERY alarmed if they are placed inside said structure.

Tomorrow’s plan: Move aforementioned pile of doo doo into the bucket and locate a local source of doo doo composting enzymes.

The Chihuahua’s Birthday Party

That should be the title of a children’s book, should it not?

My baby turned 3 today! My baby is a Chihuahua named Maddie.

Usually we just snap a picture, post it on Facebook and it’s over.  But this year things got a little carried away…

Breakfast in Bed

Our family always serves the birthday boy or girl breakfast in bed.  I decided that Maddie needed the same treatment … mostly ’cause I thought the pictures would be hilarious.  So breakfast in bed it was!  She was a bit confused, but since it was her regular disgusting breakfast of raw meat and veggies, she didn’t waste any time scarfing it down.  The little slice of strawberry provided as a special treat took a bit more time … it was just too weird for her … but eventually that went down the hatch, too.  The umbrella drink just got a suspicious sniff.

Maddie the Chihuahua has breakfast in bed on her birthday.

“Mmmm, I love strawberries… Wait, what’s a strawberry?”

Party

While chatting on the phone with my sister this morning, I mentioned that it was Maddie’s birthday.  She passed the news onto my nephew Isaac (age 5).

Awhile later he called me back and asked ever so sweetly, “Aunty Jennie, can we come to Maddie’s birthday party?”

What’s an Aunty supposed to say to that?  So, of course I ran to the grocery store for a cake mix (vanilla, ’cause chocolate isn’t good for dogs) and threw that thing in the oven.

Isaac helped me frost it and decorate it and he carefully arranged the candles “in a triangle”.  We sang Happy Birthday, Isaac blew out the candles and we all ATE CAKE!  Really, it was a decent excuse to have cake, which I’d been craving for days anyhow.

The birthday girl licks the beater.

“Oh my gosh, this is so embarrassing”

Birthday girl licks the candles

A chihuahua sized serving of cake

What?!  That’s all I get?

Miss A was NOT impressed with singing Happy Birthday to the dog (I assured her it was voluntary), but she was fine with the EATING CAKE part.

And last, but not least, Dear Isaac brought Maddie a doggy treat, wrapped up in tissue paper.  Apparently it’s the same tissue paper that he used to wrap a present for his Mommy earlier today … a used pair of her own undies.  Such a thoughtful little tike.  Maddie didn’t seem bothered about the twice used tissue paper.

Maddie gets a birthday present from her cousin

Anyhooo…

Things are finally back to normal … Maddie is curled up snoozing in my lap.