As a dog sitter, I deal with a lot of poop. My preferred poop-removal device, the plastic shopping bag, isn’t great for the environment, I know, and I should be a better person and switch to more earth-friendly ways to dispose of dog waste, but I haven’t yet.
I use one bag as a glove and the other as a poop catcher when cleaning my backyard. With those in place, I scoop up the unwanted piles before tossing the two bags in the trashcan. I actually consider those bags of poop a protection policy against identity theft. If you rummage through my garbage looking for personal information, you’re going to be very unhappy with the smelly surprise you will find!
While on the trails, I use the poop bags that claim to be “biodegradable.” If they really are or not depends on your definition of “biodegradable.” In Feb of 2015, the Federal Trade Commission warned 20 dog poop bag manufacturers that the claims they were making about the earth friendliness of their products may be deceptive.
If a gal can’t trust her poop bag company, who can she trust?
With all of the above in mind, I went searching for alternatives to the traditional poop bag and found these five candidates:
The folks at Poof sent over one of their products for me to try. Poof isn’t biodegradable, it’s reusable. You heard me. YOU REUSE IT.
I carried the Poof around in my purse awhile before taking it with me on a hike. Anyone who saw me during this time was told how it worked.
“You see,” I’d start. “You push this nylon disc under your dog’s bum while he is pooping. Then, you pull the drawstring, and it gathers up and makes this little bag. When you get home, you open it up and plop the poop in the toilet, rinse, and ta-da! You are done.”
Not a single one of my friends or family members were buying into it. They pointed out how I would get poop on my hands when I clumsily pulled the drawstring, or how it would smell horrible because it didn’t close tight, not to mention how the size wasn’t going to work for a big dog poop — like so many poops from my pack.
Two of my friends did decide that the Poof would make a very nice hat (we may have had a glass of wine or two at the table).
Even with all the naysaying, I was going to give it a shot. I headed out for a hike with a friend and a few pups. I immediately realized there was no good place to put the Poof, so I tucked it into the waistband of my hiking pack. Every once in a while I’d scream, “That dog is about to poo,” and grab the Poof, ready to slip it into place. After a few false alarms, I went to grab for the bag again, and it was gone. The Poof had fallen out on the trail. I tried to go back and find it, but, alas, it was lost forever to me. I can only hope an earth-conscious dog owner found it and put it to good use, because let’s be honest, it wasn’t for me.
The nice folks who invented the SCOOPEASY sent the Dogster office info about their product. They offered to send a sample, but after my total fail with Poof I decided it was best just to tell you about it.
This product is a funnel made of recycled cardboard with a built-in removable scooper. To use it, you bend down and put the big funnel part next to the dog’s poop and then use the little scooper to push it all in. When you are finished, you fold the funnel closed, much like a takeout Chinese food box, and carry it to the nearest trashcan.
The inventor is pretty confident in his product, so much so he put it up to the mayonnaise test. What is that? Well, that is when you plop some mayonnaise on the counter and then use the SCOOPEASY to remove the mess (therefore making it a viable option for dogs with stomach issues and the poop consistency that comes with them).
Although I didn’t try the SCOOPEASY, I’m pretty confident I’d be covered in poop and that any “mayonnaise”-style waste would remain embedded in grass and dirt.
Check out SCOOPEASY’s Indiegogo fundraising campaign.
The Mutt Mitt is the best dog-poop bag I’ve ever used. A client passed some to me when he dropped off his dog, and I immediately fell in love. The place where your hand goes is double-lined, the bag is big, and it can be tied easily. The maker’s Facebook page says they are “earth friendly.” I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I think we have established that when it comes to dog poop, I don’t care.
Flush Puppies, per its website, are the “official dog doodie bag of mother earth.” If there was such a thing, they might actually win that honor. You just pick up your dog’s poop using a Flush Puppies bag, and then you can toss the entire thing in the toilet!
Honestly, though, if I did that I have a feeling I’d get a scolding from my plumber the next time he came out to clean the mainline sewer.
There are professionals who will come to your house and pick up the dog poop for you! Isn’t that amazing? Who knows what they do with it, but it’s no longer your problem.
What kind of bag do you use to clean up after your dog? Let us know in the comments!
Read more about dog poop on Dogster:
About the author: Wendy Newell is a former VP of Sales turned Grade A Dog Sitter. After years of stress, she decided to leave the world of “always be closing” to one of tail wags and licks. Wendy’s new career keeps her busy hiking, being a dog chauffeur, picking up poo, sacrificing her bed, and other fur-filled activities. Wendy and her dog, Riggins, take their always-changing pack of pups on adventures throughout the Los Angeles area, where they live together in a cozy, happy home. You can learn more about Wendy, Riggins, and their adventures on Facebook and Instagram.