Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Flush Puppies safe for septic and sewer systems?
A: Yes! The bags are safe for sewer systems and generally safe for septic as well. With that said, every septic system is different, and every homeowner is different too. Some septic systems are not very good at breaking down organic matter. And some homeowners are not very good at maintaining their septic systems! What we advise customers is that if you are discouraged from flushing wet wipes in your septic system, then we recommend you not flush Flush Puppies! Also, if you don’t regularly maintain your septic system, you should avoid flushing Flush Puppies down the toilet as well.
Q: What if I don’t want to flush them? Flush Puppies are compostable too?
A: Not everyone wants to flush their pet’s waste down the toilet. But, you can still avoid sending it to the landfill, where it may mummify for eternity. Flush Puppies are certified compostable for industrial compost facilities, where they will disintegrate and biodegrade swiftly without leaving any non-compostable residues. (Check locally, however, as appropriate compost facilities that accept pet waste do not exist in many communities. Also, Flush Puppies are not suitable or recommended for backyard composting!)
If you simply want to throw away your pet’s waste in the trash, that’s OK too. Flush Puppies bags contain no polyethylene plastic. Just keep in mind that virtually nothing biodegrades in a landfill for a very long time – not even organic matter.
Q: Why should I flush my dog’s poop down the toilet, or compost it in an industrial compost facility, when I could just leave it on the ground?
A: Because as a responsible dog owner, you’re No. 1 when it comes to disposing of Fido’s No. 2, and leaving pet waste on the ground creates serious health risks:
- Dog poop ain’t fertilizer. In fact, it’s classified as a type of pollution, and it can infect surface water and groundwater.
- Doodie contains parasites including hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms, which pose a health risk, especially to kiddos – and the eggs from those parasites can live in the ground for years.
- Because of these risks, cities across the country, including New York City and San Francisco, have already enacted pooper-scooper fines. Don’t end up in the doghouse when you travel or when your city enacts the same laws.
Q: C’mon, do these bags seriously break down in water?
A: Does your dog @#*%? Yes, they break down in water. But that doesn’t mean they’re crappy construction.
- Flush Puppies are made of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) film (an alternative-to-regular-plastic material that dissolves in water).
- The key is creating the bags with a “solubility point” at which they are strong enough to hold Fido’s semi-moist poop, but soluble enough, quickly enough, that you can actually see the breakdown process start to happen when you toss the bag in the toilet. That’s where we came in.
- Water from the toilet goes through a sewage treatment plant specifically designed to remove harmful toxins and bacteria from fecal matter.
- In short, the bags won’t break down on your walk home from the park, but they will start to break down after being submerged in your toilet water.
Q: How bad can it be to just throw dog poop in the trash?
A: Allow us to give you a few facts and figures about the impact of animal doodie in American landfills:
- There are an estimated 44.8 million dogs in the U.S.
- In a city of 100,000 people, or 43 square miles, dogs can generate about 2.5 tons of feces a day. That’s almost 2 million pounds a year.
- Most of that doodie ends up in regular plastic bags, which can take up to 1,000 years or more (if ever!) to decompose in a landfill. Enough said?
Q: What if my house has old plumbing?
A: Some Flush Puppies’ users with “low-flow” toilets or really old plumbing have told us it can take more than one flush to get everything down. If that’s the case, let the Flush Puppies bag sit in the water for 10 minutes before attempting to flush again. If flushing simply isn’t an option for you, you can still put Flush Puppies in the trash or in an industrial compost facility that accepts pet waste; remember, Flush Puppies bags are certified compostable (for industrial composting only) and contain no polyethylene plastic!
Q: How big are the bags?
A: The bags are 8″x10″, which generally can accommodate a dog up to 75 lbs, depending on what you feed your dog!
Q: Are the bags safe to use in the rain?
A: Yes! The bags are made 2x as thick as normal plastic bags for that exact reason. If there’s some light rain or moisture on the ground, it should not compromise the bag. Plus, the major decomposition of the bags happens after flushing – with increased water stress, temperature, and microbial content.
The truth is, if it’s raining hard enough for the bag to really start breaking down, you’re probably not walking your dog without an umbrella in the first place.