Here at Dogster, we talk about poop often. Dog poop, that is. With International Pooper Scooper Week behind us, I wanted to keep the dialogue going, because as dog owners know, scooping poop is a year-round job.
And thanks to the magic that is connecting with people on Twitter, I was sent a neat new product to try out: The Doggie Doo All.
It’s the first lightweight dog-leash attachment that dispenses poop bags as well as sanitizing wipes, the latter safe for both you and your dog. Its zippered pouch, which comes in a variety of colors, is made of sturdy nylon and can be thrown in the washing machine.
I was planning a trip to Paris for a few days, and I was going to be taking my dog, Pinch, with me on the 300-mile journey from our place here in the French Alps. It was the perfect opportunity to try out the Doggie Doo All.
A whole lot of high speed trains, subways, metro stations, and walks in Paris later, I was so thankful to have had the Doggie Doo All with me. Because my dog is a tiny little thing, I found it a bit too big to clip on his harness (which is camo-colored like the Doggie Doo All I was sent), so I clipped it to my own purse, which meant easy access when I needed it. There are 15 poop bags in each roll, so I had more than enough on hand for the long weekend I was in Paris, and the pack of 15 wipes that tuck into the attachment came in very handy for wiping Pinch’s paws after he walked through a puddle of (human) pee on a subway platform, and for me to give my hands a quick sanitizing wipe down after touching the poles in the Paris metro.
I found the Doggie Doo All to be a lot more stylish and practical than other dog poop bag holders I’ve used in the past, and I love having wipes on hand as well. And even with the two rolls of bags and the wipes zipped up in the leash attachment, I still had room to tuck in my hotel key card, some change, and a couple of dog treats when we left the hotel to go for walks.
And when I got to chatting a bit with the creator of the Doggie Doo All, professional dog walker and pet sitter Laura Vorreyer, I found myself inspired by the perseverant single mom behind this innovative and affordable product. She has really put her heart into making her entrepreneurial dream a reality, and she proves that where there is a will, there really IS a way.
Dogster: How did you come up with the idea for the Doggie Doo All?
Laura Vorreyer: I’ve been a professional dog walker and pet sitter in Los Angeles for over the last 10 years. I love walking with the dogs and being outside with them, but one of the biggest issues I had as a dog walker is not having a quick and convenient way to clean my hands or my dogs. Then the unthinkable happened. One day, on a very hot and dusty hike, one of my dogs did his business on a trail, and as I went to pick it up, the bag I was using had a hole in it. I wound up completely grabbing the dog poop with my bare hand and, as you can imagine, was utterly grossed out and disgusted. I thought of the idea of putting a wipe on the typical dog-leash dispenser because it would solve a problem I had and assumed many other dog walkers were probably having.
Similar type products already exist on the market, but what makes the Doggie Doo different or unique?
We are the first-ever leash attachment with bags and wipes. The addition of the wipes is a real problem solver for both the human and their dog, and they are made from natural, alcohol-free ingredients, which means they are completely safe for humans and pets. The Doggie Doo All is a complete system and allow for a hands-free dog walk while you are out with your dog. My friends who work in rescue and pet adoption tell me that the wipes have been a lifesaver for them because they make crate messes easy to clean up, too.
You came up with the idea for the product and decided to design, manufacture, market, and distribute the Doggie Doo All yourself despite the many challenges. What words of advice can you offer to people who might want to try becoming a small business owner?
The first piece of advice I would give to anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur and start their own business is, “Don’t Give Up!” Get involved in the industry you want to work in. Find a mentor if possible. Do a lot of research and ask questions. I often would daydream about seeing my product on pet store shelves and solving this worldwide problem for dog walkers. I left my abusive husband and moved in with my sister, feeling completely lost and depressed. I had no idea the steps to take to get my product to the market so I began to research inventing topics on the Internet after my son had gone to sleep. Once I was reasonable convinced that there was no other product like mine on the market, I set about building a prototype in 2010, which lead to a few years of trial, error, and disappointments before we [Vorreyer and her business partner, Lawrence Jordan] had the finished, product ready to purchase.
Some people don’t pick up after their pets. Why should everyone be concerned with cleaning up after their dogs?
Dog poop, besides being a sidewalk hazard, is very bad for the environment. It is the No. 3 cause of water pollution. One gram of dog feces contains 23 million fecal bacteria. According to the EPA, dog poop is as toxic to the environment as chemical and oil spills. Wastewater treatment systems are not designed to filter dog waste, and poop carries dangerous pathogens and pollutes our freshwater supply. Disease, bacteria, and pathogens seeping into our beaches, lakes, and streams can make the water we drink undrinkable.
Doggie Doo All is committed to helping shelter animals. Can you tell us how you are doing that?
One of our long-term goals is to open an animal shelter of our own. We would love to rescue abandoned and homeless dogs and give them the home I believe all dogs deserve. Our wipes are called rescue wipes because as soon as we start turning a profit, a portion of our proceeds will go to various shelters and rescues. In the interim, what we do is donate product. We try to say yes to every rescue organization that asks us to participate, by donating Doggie Doo Alls to charity fundraisers and raffles, and anything else we can do such as volunteering and fostering dogs when possible. So far, we’ve worked with organizations such as Barks of Love, Cooper’s Legacy Foundation, St. Martin’s Animal Rescue, and Pet Project LA.
Thanks, Laura, and happy scooping!
The Doggie Doo All is available for purchase at DoggieDooAll.com and on Amazon. It is also carried at specialty pet boutiques in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, along with a few select stores in the Chicago area.
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About Crystal Gibson: A child-sized Canadian expat in France who is fluent in French and sarcasm. Owned by a neurotic Doxie mix, a Garfield look-alike, and two needy Sphynx cats. An aspiring writer and pet photographer with a love of coffee and distaste for French administration, she can be found as @PinchMom over on Twitter.