Can You Burn Dog Poop? Smell, Safety, and Health Hazards


Have you ever found your dog’s poop on the lawn and wanted to burn it? I know, this sounds gross, and I remembered pulling the shit-a-bag joke as a kid. Or when I played with a friend, we tried to light dog poop if we found some matches. Of course, this never worked for us. Recently it made me wonder why we never succeeded?

Can You Burn Dog Poop?

Unfortunately, dog poop will not burn by itself. Dog poop is not flammable and can only be used as a fire starter if you use chemicals or other ways to create a flame. For your dog’s feces to burn, it needs exposure to high temperatures, and it is not likely that your dog’s feces will catch fire by itself.

Is dry dog poop flammable?

Dry dog poop burns fine, though; it smells like a bad cigar and is harmful to your health. Burning dog poop can cause cramps, kidney disorders, intestinal illness, and more. Fresh poo contains lots of water and is, because of that, not very flammable.

The bad cigar kind of smell will go away as quickly as any other smell. It depends on the weather and the wind.

Is fresh dog poop flammable?

Fresh dog poop is too heavy on moisture; because of that, it will not burn quickly. At the most, it can produce a lot of smoke when thrown in the fire.

The U.S. Military started burning fresh poop during the Vietnam war. They did it by adding diesel to a large bowl together with the poo. The heat of the burning diesel made the moist in the poop evaporate and eventually burn the poop. So that is one way you could also burn dog poop.

Dry dog poop can burn, but you will have to let it dry out before lightening it up. Dog feces with an average of 30% or less moisture can be considered dry. Average dog poop will dry out after 2 to 3 weeks, and this is under normal warm weather conditions and keeping it out of the rain. So waiting three weeks before you burn dog poop will give you a better chance at success.

Burning dog poop can give us an excellent alternative source of fuel. 

Mythbusters has tested how well dog poop burns by fuelling an 8 feet rocket with it. The rocket reached 64% of the control rocket’s altitude, leaving an appropriate dark smoked trail. You can watch the video here:

Can A Dog’s Diet Affect The Dry Time of Dog Poop?

Keeping your dog on a plant-based diet or a meat-based diet makes a difference to the decompose time of its stool. 

When your dog only eats food containing high levels of grain or vegetables and little to no meat, his poop will decompose faster than from a dog only eating meat-based. 

What is more interesting; the stool of a dog that only eats vegetables and grain smells way less. So if you have a dog that smells bad, you might want to give another diet a try.

Also, a dog on a vegan or a raw diet produces smaller stools, and smaller stools decompose faster. 

A smaller stool means your dog digests its food well, which means the food you provide for him is healthier. Bigger poop means your dog does not digest his food very well. If you serve your pooch many processed foods, you could consider changing his diet.

What Burns Better, Poop From a Vegetable Diet or Meat Diet?

What Makes Your Dog’s Poo “Normal” – According to a study, a dog’s average poop weighs about 11-13 grams and is around 2.5-3.5 degrees Celsius. Good quality dog poop is slightly harder than a carrot and softer than ice cream, will be very watery. The hotter and drier it is, the better the conditions are to burn it.

Dog poop from a vegetable diet is lighter and softer than dog poop from a meat diet (about 5-6 grams). Dog poop from a vegetable diet is also more humid than dog poop from a meat diet. Therefore you would think that stools from a meat diet would burn better.

Poop from a dog on a vegetable diet contains a small percentage more Nitrogen and therefore burns better. 

According to this research, about 15% to 20% of the dog’s feces is Nitrogen. Which is what will make dog poop burn. The amount depends strongly on a diet. The dog group placed on a plant-based diet had a little bit more Nitrogen in their doody, and the dogs in the control group were served a commercially available diet.

In this research, you can see the Nitrogen is an essential ingredient for composting. Too little Nitrogen and your compost will not warm up, and a suggestion is to add more dog poo. Too much Nitrogen and your compost can smell bad.

Dog poop from a meat diet can be used in a fire, too. The difference in Nitrogen levels is not very high, so you can use either. Flammable poop is flaky and can break apart easily when heated. 

Can Dog Diarrhea Burn?

Now we know feces contain methane which makes it flammable. Diarrhea often goes hand in hand with an overproduction of methane in the intestines, making me wonder if diarrhea is more flammable.

Diarrhea decomposes the fastest of all, and it contains a lot of moist that prevents diarrhea from burning. When the moisture evaporates into thin air, not much remains to burn. 

Since diarrhea is very thin and contains so much wetness, it could easily be washed away by rain. For me, it’s hard to get some good data from testing it myself. In my country, it rains a lot, so diarrhea doesn’t stay very long.

Since there is not much data on the internet about the decomposing time of diarrhea, I will try to get some data next from it next time.

Of course, when your dog has diarrhea, something might be wrong, and you should keep an eye on it. Your dog could have eaten something wrong, and another possibility is he could be infected with a virus or a parasite. If his stool doesn’t change, you should consult a vet.

Is Burning Dog Poop Harmful?

Not only is burning dog poop harmful to the environment, but it can also cause health problems if not handled correctly. 

Dog poop contains many bacteria, which only grow more the longer you leave it. Burning a pile of dog poop causes smoke, and that smoke contains many of the bacteria.

Inhaling the smoke can cause problems like lung problems and breathing issues, allergies, infections such as asthma, nausea, and dizziness, and eye or throat irritation. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it can even cause cancer. 

The toxins in the smoke are the cause of this. The amount of time you are exposed to the smoke can also impact how sick you get. If you inhale it for a long time, it can cause long-term health problems. If you are around it for a short period, your symptoms will most likely be short-term.

What Chemicals Can I Use To Burn Dog Poop?

Using dog poop to start a fire is not encouraged due to the danger and the time it might to for the feces to catch fire. However, if you are really desperate, there are things you can use to make your dog poop burn. First, you need to crush up your dog poop into small pieces.

If you use only dog poop, you will need about 500 grams of it. Next, place your dog poop in a container and add a small amount of a petroleum-based solvent, such as gasoline. Then, light the petro-based solvent on fire using a lighter or lighter.

Hydrogen peroxide or Bleech is also an option to start a fire with dog poop that contains only a small amount of urine. If the dog drinks a lot of water, you can use the hydrogen peroxide to create enough heat from the decomposition to produce flames. 

Bleech is a combination of Hydrogen Peroxide and sodium and can be used to set dog feces a fire. Hydrogen peroxide footprint is kinder for the environment than bleach. 

Will Dog Poop Burn When Thrown In A Fire?

Even fresh dog poop will eventually catch fire. It will not burn by itself as easily as other organic materials such as wood chips and dead leaves, though. 

Throw it in an already burning fire, and the heat from the fire will evaporate the moisture. Dog feces are made up of lots of water, making them very difficult to burn. It can take hours for dog poop to catch fire. When the stool is dry enough, it could light up and burn. 

Fresh poo contains lots of water and doesn’t burn easily. Too much poop on the fire could kill your fire.

How Do You Melt Dog Poop?

There are various ways to dissolve dog poop, and a couple of them are bleach, hot water, and vinegar.

Can You Melt Dog Poop With Vinegar?

 A common question I found on the internet is, can vinegar be used to melt dog poop. I have tried this method myself. I poured vinegar over a dog stain on a t-shirt of my son, and the stain went away. 

You can use vinegar to dissolve dog poop, although it will not disappear completely. Vinegar is also a good solution for removing stains from your clothing. Vinegar is also good for the environment, and it is much better for the health than bleach. You can mix the vinegar with water.

Can You Melt Dog Poop With Bleech?

You can use bleach to dissolve dog poop. Mix the bleach in with water. The mixture should be about half bleach and half water. Pour the mixture over the dog poo to dissolve it. 

It is better not to use bleach, though. Bleach is not good for the environment and is not a good chemical to remove stains from your clothes. 

Another more environment-friendly solution would be to use boiling water. You will probably need more of it when you want to get the doggy poo from your lawn. To remove doody stains from your favorite sweater or shoes, it would be the best option. You can let it soak for a while in a bucket.

You can use soap to get rid of dog poop. You can use liquid dish soap or laundry soap. The thing with the soap is that it will not remove the stain from your lawn. It will only dissolve it. 

How long should you soak the poo in the water? It would be best if you didn’t soak it too long because you will have to deal with a bigger mess. The poo will break down and start to dissolve.

Is It Legal To Burn Dog Poop?

In some areas of the United States, such as New York City, burning dog poop is considered a biohazard, and therefore it is not legal to burn dog poop. 

In other areas or countries, setting dog feces on fire might be illegal too. You should check the rules and regulations of your area. 

Be careful, know what you are doing, and don’t do it near buildings or other people.

People might not appreciate the smell of burning dog poo. The smoke that comes from it can also be harmful to your health or others, and it can cause lung problems!

So if you must burn dog poop, it is best in an open area away from other people.

Conclusion

Dog poop by itself is not very flammable because of the high levels of moisture. You need patience and wait for the poop to dry up a little bit. The fastest way to do it is to leave it in the sun for a couple of days. However, if you need to get rid of dog poop fast, you can use an accelerant like bleach or gasoline to help it burn more easily. 

It is not advised to burn dog feces, though. It’s very harmful to your health, to others and can cause cancer.

Erwin Borgers

Hi, I’m Erwin. I grew up with two cats, but I always wanted to have a dog. Since my wife and I lived together, we have Mayla. She is a very sweet King Charles Spaniel. Together we spend countless of hours in the forest near our home. We love to walk together and now I want to share what I learned about walking dogs and what I learned about dog gear with you.

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