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The Fifth Paw: A Reader Review

In exchange for copious treats, fame, and glory, my 1-year-old Boston, Ace, let me stow her stool and write about it.

 |  Dec 24th 2012  |   8 Contributions


Editor's (Rather Long) Note: This post was a long time in the making, so thank you for your patience. For those who don't know, a few months ago we offered readers the chance to win our review version of "The Fifth Paw," a poop-holding leash attachment, in exchange for a review. It was to be our first reader review ever, and we were excited -- so was our audience. We got 77 responses to our offer, and in the months that followed, many e-mailed our community team wondering what the heck happened to the review. So, what happened?!

Well, we picked a winner and sent off the review unit, only to have that winner (who we shan't name) flake out (a.k.a. just stop responding to our e-mails). Lame. So we had no review unit AND no review! We felt bad for the small business that had sent us the product, so we bought a second Fifth Paw and sent it to another reader who had responded to our initial post: the awesome Ace's Mama. This is her review. -- Janine, EIC

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As Janine summarized above, after Dogster’s chosen reader couldn’t handle the pressure of such a prestigious appointment, I answered the call. And how appropriate that the No. 2 choice (heh) should review a poo bag holder! The Fifth Paw is a handy tool that clips onto your flat leash and holds as many as three bags of your pup’s crappy cargo. I was eager to see how The Fifth Paw could improve my walking experience over the course of a week on the streets of San Francisco.

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Ace takes her job as poo producer very seriously.

I recruited my 1-year-old Boston Terrier, Ace, as my companion and poo producer. In exchange for copious treats, fame, and glory, she allowed me to stow her stool and write about it. We’ve been using The Fifth Paw for more than week, and while Ace hasn’t noticed a change in the ease of our walks, I have found this little device to be well made and useful.

The instructions for attaching The Fifth Paw to the leash were easy to follow. It can accommodate two thicknesses of leash, one on each side of the device. I was concerned The Fifth Paw wouldn’t work on my small leash, as the package recommends using a medium to large width leash (mine is half an inch or about 13 mm wide). The device would be more stable on a wider leash, with occasional adjustments I found it worked quite well for me.

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It can take a few tries, but the bags are quite secure once attached.

The Fifth Paw is made of hard orange-and-white plastic. I like the cheerful color combination and would love to see additional colors. Adding it to my leash alongside the ubiquitous bone-shaped bag holder made the leash a bit cumbersome and weighty. When I removed my bag holder, the leash felt more manageable in my hand. Over time, I got used to the feeling of having both products plus a few bags of poop attached. 

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The Fifth Paw can be used in addition to a bag dispenser, but can be a bit cumbersome at first.

During walks, I found it took a few tries to finesse the bag into one of the three clips. This is because each clip is strong and rigid, which, once the bag is attached, allows it to hang securely. The easiest method was holding the knotted end of the bag in one hand and the business end in the other, sliding the neck of the bag through the clip. Be sure to leave your knot a bit loose, as the thickness of the knot keeps the bag from falling through the clip. Once attached, the bag hangs freely, straight down, no matter which clip you use, because the clips rotate with the weight of the bag.

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We make The Fifth Paw look cool.

I most appreciated the product most when Ace and I took long, rambling walks through parts of the city where garbage cans are scarce. I imagine that folks living in the suburbs or in rural areas, or people hiking with their dogs, would find The Fifth Paw a welcome convenience for this reason. If you walk more than one dog at a time, or if your dog tends to bless you with double doody (I’m looking at you, Ace), you too should consider The Fifth Paw. 

About Ace’s Mama: When she isn’t reading Dogster or evaluating the physics of dog poop transportation, Ace’s Mama blogs about Ace at chasingace.wordpress.com.

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