How To Use Dog Food As Fertilizer | Steps & Recipe

Sherin Woods is a California-based DIY enthusiast and garden design aficionado. With a background in Environmental Science, she combines creativity and sustainability in all her projects. A Pinterest favorite, Sherin is committed to eco-friendly solutions and has contributed to various home and garden publications. Her areas of expertise include DIY project planning, sustainable garden design, and content creation.
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Use dog food as fertilizer that is expiring or unused to improve the quality of your garden soil and make it more fertile.

Dog food that is expired or stale can be used to transform the infertile soil. It is rich in nutrients that are known to boost plant growth. To multiply the effects of this dog food fertilizer, you can add clay cat litter and alfalfa pellets.

Before going into the requirements and procedure, let’s understand how these ingredients help the soil:

Dog Food: Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and calcium are released into the soil when dog food breaks down. Decomposition of dog food provides the meal to soil friendly insects and some other beneficial fungi and bacteria.

Cat Litter: Pottasium rich clay is released by cat litter, which is efficient for sandy soil that drains very quickly, washing away all the key nutrients. Adding it improves the moisture holding capacity of the soil.

Alfalfa Pellets: Trace minerals and macronutrients are important as well when it comes to healthy plant growth. Furthermore, it also boosts the soil with nitrogen, beneficial bacteria, and organic matter.


  • Dog Food Kibbles (Dry)
  • Clay Cat Litter
  • Alfalfa Pellets
  • Showel
  • Cardboard Boxes (Flattened)

Step 1.

Select a planting site to improve the soil. The site should be in full sun and around the size of 6 feet by 6 feet.

Step 2.

Prepare a layer using 25-pound dry dog food, 20-pound cat litter, and half amount from a 50-pound bag of alfalfa pellets.

Step 3.

Cautiously use the shovel to turn the ingredients in the soil. Continue doing so till the ingredients get thoroughly embedded to a considerable depth.

Step  4.

Water the planting site deeply. But allow the soil to soak water so that it doesn’t run off.

Step 5.

Use flattened cardboard boxes to cover the site. Make sure that the cardboard boxes overlap each other to a margin of 6 inches. This is to discourage weed growth completely.

Step 6.

Water the cardboard using a hosepipe till it begins to sag. Prepare the layer of coastal hay mulch about 4 to 6 inches thick over it.

Step 7.

Water the site weekly and deeply and continue doing this for about three to four weeks. The dog food will disintegrate with time and boost the soil, making it suitable and fertile for planting.

Note: Take measures to protect your dog food fertilizer site from pets, rodents, and raccoons who might dig it up for food.

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