Dry pet food contains proteins and nutrients. Even the cheap stuff contains micro-nutrients. But beware of additives. Look at the ingredients list on the package. If there are excessive chemicals, fillers, salt or corn products in the mix, it might not make sense to apply it to your plants or the compost. Small amounts of dehydrated meat are ok. Grains are good.
Why might pet food be good for the garden?
Dry pet food is usually a source of nitrogen and micronutrients. It can be mixed with water to make the nutrients more water soluble. Using pet food in the garden is more of a recycling exercise and compost acceleration method, rather than a soil management best practice.
Where do I find extra pet food?
There are many reasons why pet owners end up with leftover food. Sometimes pets simply don’t like the food offered to them or it goes stale.
Combine pet food with…
Compost. Pet food in the compost will break down quickly and help heat up the pile for faster decomposition. Make sure that the food is combined with lots of brown materials like dried leaves and other dead, organic matter. You can add an entire bag of pet food to a pile or large tumbler if combined with other materials to encourage decomposition. Just make sure to cover the food to prevent animals from being attracted to your pile.
Pet Food Quick Tips
- Your pet food soil amendment may not be organic depending on the pet food you use.
- Sometimes grain stores will sell pet food for cheap or give away spoiled grains.
To discourage wildlife from foraging through the compost for pet food, position it deep within the pile until the food decomposes. Keep moist.