Thanks to all the cool scoopers and bags on the market, there’s no excuse for not cleaning up after Fido. Check out these poop pickup products.
Katie loves dogs, but she’s not happy when she steps in a pile of poop someone else’s canine has left behind. “Our local park is full of it,” she says. “You really have to watch where you’re walking, and I also have to be careful that my own dog doesn’t get into it. One of these days, I expect to see a sign at the gate saying dogs aren’t allowed anymore.”
Amy Burkert, owner of the GoPetFriendly website, can sympathize. “A few irresponsible people can ruin it for everyone,” she says. “In fact, the most common reason business, attractions, and even city and state parks don’t allow dogs is that their owners don’t pick up after them.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates there are 70 million dogs living in 49 million households across the US. That’s a lot of poop in one year! And failing to dispose of dog waste isn’t just irresponsible; it’s also bad for the environment. “Pet waste left on lawns, beaches, trails and sidewalks contains pathogens such as bacteria, parasites and viruses,” says Sarah Rossetto of the City of San Diego. “When not picked up, the waste can get washed down and flow directly into streams, lakes and the ocean, creating harm to human health and the environment. Properly disposing of pet waste prevents pollutants from potentially entering the storm drain system.”
The good news is that cleaning up after your dog is a lot easier and, well, less yucky, than it used to be, thank to the growing number of products specifically designed for the job.
Even picking up poop with a plastic bag can make the squeamish shudder. And what if there’s a hole in the bag that you didn’t notice? A well-designed scooper ensures your hands don’t come in contact with your dog’s waste, even through a layer of plastic. The Easy Scoop a Poop is one example. You simply put a bag in the jaws of the scoop, secure the bag to the outside of the scoop, and place it over Sparky’s offering to pick up. Your hands are on the scoop, never the bag, so they remain clean.
For the more dexterous, the Catch-a-Poo is just what it sounds like. It’s reminiscent of a butterfly net, with a biodegradable bag in place of the net. When your dog is ready to do the deed, position the bag behind him and catch the waste. No need to bend over or handle the waste – the bag pulls off the handle for easy disposal. Your dog may take some time to get used to this method.
While a lot of people use plastic bags to pick up their dogs’ waste, many are opting for more eco-friendly options. For example, BioBag products use no polyethylene in the production process and are fully certified as 100% biodegradable by the Biodegradable Products Institute. Petco, meanwhile, has introduced Earth Rated Poop Bags, made with recycled materials (including the packaging). The bags are lightly scented with lavender to mask bad odors, and are extra thick, strong and long so your hands and sleeves don’t make unwanted contact with the waste. They are also leak proof and come in big sizes for larger dogs or backyard cleanups.
To make life even simpler, the Poop Bag Club offers a variety of plans for monthly delivery of bags complete with a dispenser. You can choose from a range of bag sizes, or create a custom plan based on the number and size of dogs in your household.
One reason some people don’t pick up after their dogs is because they don’t want to carry a bag of poop around. The sturdy Zippity-Poo-Da Portable Poo Pouch solves that problem. It dispenses bags from the lower pocket, while the top compartment holds the used bag. The pouch attaches to the leash so your dog is in charge of transporting his own waste to the trash can.
Taking poop transport to the next level, Angela Bartol designed the Poopie Purse for female dog lovers, and the Doo Doo Duffle for males. These stylish products have a pocket for hand sanitizer, keys and cell phone, another for treats – and in the main compartment, room for spare poop bags. You simply use a liner, pop in the used bag, close the purse or duffle, and no one’s the wiser. They’re washable and available in several styles and colors.
Waste cleanup is a part of life when you have a dog, but it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant part. With all the innovative new products out there, there’s sure to be something that will suit you and your dog, and make walks simpler as well as healthier and more fun!