Dog walking can provide many health benefits – It’s great exercise, burns off pent up energy, and strengthens the bond between you and your pup. But those benefits seem to quickly be forgotten when your dog stops to pop a squat.
The dog waste bag has been the most common method of poo pick-up for the last number of decades. Although not necessarily offering the most pleasant experience, nothing seems to be more efficient. Determined entrepreneurs have been trying to create a better way so that dog walkers can avoid having to feel the vile squishiness of poo in the palm of their hand only to be separated by a thin plastic barrier.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of the top ten alternatives to the standard dog waste bag.
This product focuses on solving one simple, yet very important problem for dog owners – the feeling of dog waste in your hand when picking it up. Natalulu’s “The Easy Scoop a Poop” is a hard shell case that features side pockets to slip your fingers and thumb into. You can then open and close the case like a clamshell – open first to grab a poop bag from inside and wrap over the case, then open a second time to actually pick up the doggie doo. It also comes attached with a clip and is small enough to fit in your purse or roomy pocket.
- Carry in your pocket/purse (when empty)
- Features clip to attach to leash or belt
- Stores roll of dog poo bags inside
- Case may tear plastic on harder surface
- Case opening is narrow
- Hard with wet or larger stools
- Still in close vicinity of dog waste
The Poop-n-Scoop unfolds to 31” in height (folded 16.5”), weighs less than a pound, and possess a convenient clip to hook onto your belt – all features that makes it easier to carry along on a dog walk. By pulling a trigger on one end, it pushes together two metal spades on the other end. Throw a plastic grocery bag over the spades, snatch up the poo, then you can lock the trigger in place while you deal with tieing up the bag. You can keep the bag locked within the device until you find the nearest trash bin.
- No need to bend down
- Nothing to clean
- Folds in half
- Clip for belt
- Only holds one pile/bag at once
- Hard with wet or larger stool
- Requires larger bags
The PooTrap is far different from any of the other products out there as it prevents the dog poop from ever even reaching the ground. This elaborate apparatus is a special dog harness that straps a u-shaped magnetic band around the tail that adheres to another u-shaped band that secures a plastic bag to your dog’s…ummm…. butt area… in order to catch any poos that come out. The nice advantage is not worrying about leaving a single remnant of your dog’s poop on the ground, but unfortunately that might be outweighed by the number of downsides including stripping your dog of his or her dignity.
- Fits most size dogs
- Adjusts to most plastic bags
- No residue left on ground
- Nothing to clean (and nothing to pick up)
- May be uncomfortable for your dog
- Can miss the bag if not on just right
- Still need to hold dirty bag after deed is done
- You may receive a lot of strange looks
Paws & Spots Waste Scooper is an innovative little product that is small enough to carry with you on a walk, but big enough to handle larger messes. The scooper adheres a snack bag-like clip to a container with serrated edges to produce an open & close functionality similar to that of a jaw scooper. It also comes with an attached carabiner that clips onto your belt, allowing you to bring it along on your walk completely hands-free.
Wrap a bag over the scooper, pinch the clip to open the container, snatch up the poo pile, then quickly release the clip to seal the container shut. Is the pile too big? You’re in luck! One of the sides is expandable to accommodate the more hefty plops.
Bonus! The other side features a waste bag dispenser fitting average size poop bags.
- Carabiner attachment
- Expandable for larger messes
- Includes waste bag dispenser
- Stores waste inside until you find a trash bin
- Nothing to clean
- Only stores one pile at a time (in most cases)
- Difficult with loose/wet stool
- May not conceal odor
The Poo Puck is an interesting tool that aims to use your feet to capture your dog’s poop instead of your hands.
The puck is made of a paper lid, a honeycomb patterned piece of cardboard, and a bottom plastic base. When your dog has made a poopie during the walk, take the lid off the puck and throw the rest (honeycomb facing down) directly onto the pile… then STEP on it! The poop will become embedded into the honeycomb’s holes. You then put the lid back on and store the waste until you get home to empty the puck into your trash.
- Feet do most of work
- No plastic bags
- Waste safely stored
- Not great for wet stool
- Less effective on soft surfaces
- May get poo on outer puck (or shoe)
- Awkward to carry
- Have to wait to get home to dispose
Sort of a scissor crossed with a shovel, the Alfie Pet Waste Scissors acts as a small extension to your hand, furthering the distance between you and the poo when picking up. First throw a small piece of tissue or plastic bag over the poop, then like using a normal pair of scissors, use your fingers to spread the handles apart to open up the plastic blades. Place the blades around the waste and squeeze the handles back together to cup the waste and pick it up. You would want to have a plastic bag on hand to dump the contents into before emptying in the closet trash receptacle.
- Easily separate from gravel/mulch
- Gentle on grass
- Can also use in cat litter
- Hands still in close proximity with waste
- Awkward to carry around (and you might look weird)
- Have to use tissues and/or multiple bags
The Dispoz-a-Scoop is a simple yet clever invention where a cardboard handle attaches to a standard size poop bag via a metal frame, widening the bag’s opening and transforming it into a type of small shovel. Scoop up the pile into the bag while your hand is only on the cardboard piece the entire time, then push the cardboard down to close the opening. The entire contraption can be disposed of.
- Handle for carrying to bin
- Nothing to clean
- More expensive than regular bags
- Can’t fold or fit into pocket
- Hard to pick up large or wet poos
The Handiscoop is similar to the style of a jaw scoop, but a bit smaller in size at a mere 18″ in length and ½ lb in weight (note that a longer one is available for those who have trouble bending over). It has serrated teeth attached to a hollow plastic container on each side that tightly close together with the pull of a trigger. You can fasten up to three bags over the end allowing you to scoop up to three piles on your journey without rebagging. Align the scooper over the the droppings and pull the trigger to trap the poo in the top layered bag. When ready to dispose of the waste you collected, remove the outer fastener and flip the device around to access the bag and tie it shut.
- Pick up multiple piles
- Smaller size to carry around
- Nothing to clean
- Must bring fasteners with bags
- Jaws might perforate bag
- Must hold down trigger to keep jaw closed
The Poopsta might look like a small alien spacecraft, but it’s actually a smartly designed product that can both pick up and store dog poop while on your daily walk. The Poopsta contains a one-push action that when applied over your dog’s plop, will snag it up into a small bag and store in its inner compartment. What’s more, a rubber band can be wrapped around the bottom allowing you to repeat the same process again (if you are lucky enough to have to pick up a second poo).
- Carries multiple pick-ups
- Has handle & shoulder strap
- Odor-minimising lid
- Can use foot instead of bending down
- Need to also carry bags & bands
- Pick-up size limited to diameter
- Tricky on curved surfaces
- May not work on softer surfaces
The Poof is a fabricated disc (about the size of a frisbee) that you can easily scrunch up into your pocket or bag before going out with your pup. The idea is that when your dog first brings himself into the squatting position, throw the disc underneath his butt area to catch the doo. Once the deed is done, you can fold up the edges to form a bag-like structure and tie the end together with the attached cord. With your new bag in hand, continue your walk until you make it back home, then empty your Poof’s contents into the toilet. Due to its nylon material, any residue can be easily cleaned off and you’re ready for another use. Whether or not this pick-up method works for you, you have to admire the effort towards creating a reusable bag.
- Blocks out most of the odor
- Drawstring for carrying
- Fits in pocket when empty
- Works on any surface
- Have to carry until you get home
- Pick-up size limited to diameter (although diameter is fairly large)
- Only captures one pile
- Hard to catch your dog in the act