How to Pick Up Dog Poop: 13 Simple Ways

The plastic bag may be king, but there are other ways to get the job done; here are some of those.

Man picking up dog poop.
Man picking up poop. Photography by By Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock.
Last Updated on November 23, 2023 by Dogster Team

If you have a dog, you have dog poop to deal with. There aren’t any good reasons for not picking up the poop –- ignoring it invites germs and pollutants, never mind the occasional messy misstep. It’s also bad for the environment, annoys your neighbors, and gives our lovable canines a bad name.

We all have to make a habit of scooping dog poop. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to get the job done, and clever inventors come up with new solutions all the time. Here are 13 ways to scoop dog poop:

The 13 Ways to Pick Up Dog Poop

1. Plastic bag

Earth rated dog poop bags.

Perhaps the most common method; you simply slip a inverted plastic bag over your hand, pick up the pile, and then tie the bag shut and toss into the trash.

Pro: Plastic bags are free and easy to wad up to fit in a pocket. Or you can buy a style of leash that incorporates a stashed bag, such as Kinn’s Kangaroo Plus leash.

Con: Your dog’s plastic-sealed package may sit in a landfill for several years, as it’s slow to decompose.

2. Pooper scooper

If you don’t like to get up close and personal with the poo, or you have difficulty bending over, a pooper scooper is for you. They’re sold at most pet stores; you simply squeeze the handles to scoop up the dog poop, then deposit it into a more appropriate place.

Pro: A touch-free, no-contact method.

Con: You’ll need to carry your pooper scooper along on walk, as well as a bag to collect the waste.

3. Flushing dog poop

Many cities ban flushing of pet waste down the toilet, so check your local regulations first. Also, do your research for your home’s specific septic setup. Once you get the okay, flushing can be one of the more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to clean up dog poop.

A dog standing among an unrolled toilet paper roll.

Pro: Safely eliminates smell, germs; doesn’t end up in the landfill.

Con: You need a foolproof method to carry the poop into the house to the nearest toilet.

4. Flushable poop bags

Again, check your local regulations and do your research first, but if flushing pet waste down the toilet is acceptable, flushable poop bags, such as Flush Puppies, make the job easier. Collect the dog  with the bag and flush both down your toilet.

Pro: Safely eliminates smell, germs; doesn’t end up in the landfill.

Con: Buying flushable bags can be costly.

5. Indoor potty

Indoor potty areas designed for dogs, such as the Potty Patch, are good alternatives for high-rise apartment dwellers or those that spend long hours boating or away from land.

Pro: Convenient when your dog can’t easily get outside.

Con: Needs to be emptied and sanitized regularly.

6. Designated doggie corner

If you’ve got a spacious yard, you can train your pup to go in an out-of-the way corner of the yard.

Pro: If you choose a little-used area, you eliminate worries about stepping in the poop.

Con: Germs, odor and environmental problems persist. Resulting parasites, such as ringworm or roundworm, can cause human illness.

7. Burying dog poop

Scooping up the poo with a shovel and burying it in your yard can be a good way to get it out of sight.

Pro: Eliminates the poop.

Con: Labor intensive; environmental issues may remain.

Note: avoid burying near vegetation intended for human consumption.

8. Wrapping dog poop in newspaper

If you oppose plastic bag use, you could wrap your collected waste tightly in newspaper before disposing of it.

Pro: Repurposes old newspapers, which decompose faster than plastic.

Con: Can be messy since you can’t completely seal the newspaper; needs to be coupled with a pickup method such as a scooper or shovel.

9. Power pickup

A dog owner users an Auggie Dog to pick up dog poop.

New solutions hit the market all the time, such as Auggie Dog, a power tool that picks up the pile for you then releases it at your discretion. We road-test the Auggie Dog here.

Pro: You don’t have to touch the waste or do any bending.

Con: Product needs to remain charged and kept clean.

10. Freezing dog poop

No, not in your freezer. Aerosol sprays, such as Poop Freeze, will firm up the poop, making it easier to pick up.

Pro: Eliminates odor; helpful when your dog has loose stools.

Con: Costly to keep up with; needs to be coupled with another pick-up solution.

11. Dropping dog poop in a methane digester to power a streetlight

Collected dog waste can be converted into methane gas, which can be used for fuel. Methane powered streetlights have been established in dog-populated areas, where owners drop waste into a methane digester, which does the rest.

Pro: Safely eliminates the poop and creates an alternative fuel source.

Con: You’ll need time, effort, and a financial plan to convince your town to set up methane digester.

12. Compost the dog poop

If you have the space in your yard, you can purchase a dog-specific compost bin such as the Doggie Dooley, which acts like a canine septic tank and breaks down the waste safely.

Pro: Eliminates germs and pollutants.

Con: Some cost and effort to set up; doesn’t solve the problem when on walks or outings.

Note: Never add dog waste to a compost bin that’s intended for garden use; only use in a dog-specific bin.

13. Call a specialist

You can sign up with a dog-waste removal company, which will send someone to your home at whatever interval you specify and clean up.

Pro: You don’t have to do it!

Con: Expensive to keep up with, needs to be coupled with another method when you’re on walks or outings.

Have we missed any? What dog poop pick-up methods do you like to use? Let us know in the comments!

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