Common Dog Poop Scooping Tools and How to Use Them
What makes a good dog poop scooping tool? It’s a great question, if not one we think about often. But no matter where you live, if you have a dog in your life, you’ll at some point need to purchase a great dog poop scooping tool.
There are a few things that will make scooping up dog poop a little easier. Perhaps the most important is picking out the perfect tool. So, let’s consider what makes a great dog poop scooping tool and where you can find the right one for your home.
Criteria for the Best Dog Poop Scooping Tools
Ultimately, finding a scooping tool will depend on your specific needs. If you’re going to be transporting the tool, you’ll want something lightweight and easy to carry with you. If you’re looking for something long-lasting, you might want to go with a tool that’s heavier and more durable.
The size of your scooper may also depend on the size of your dog. If your dog is smaller, they’re naturally going to pass smaller piles of poop. Picking a smaller tool for your smaller dog will probably work best, while if you have a large dog you’ll want more space to carry larger poop piles.
Here are some criteria you may want to look for in determining the best overall dog poop scooping tool:
- Weight. You don’t want something too heavy, but you also don’t want something that’s flimsy and will break after one or two uses.
- Size. The best dog poop scoopers are going to be tall so that you don’t have to bend over every time you pick up a pile of poop. If you’ve ever tried that, you know what a pain it is on your back!
- Flexibility. If your dog likes to poop in hard-to-reach places like the corner of your yard, you’ll want a tool that isn’t hard to manipulate into tight spaces. Ideally, your poop scooper will come with a shovel or rake to make this process a little easier.
- Cleanliness. The whole point of picking up dog poop is so that you, your neighbors, and your own dog aren’t stepping in it by accident. You want a scooper that will get the whole mess out of the grass without a hassle.
- Comprehensiveness. Some of the best poop scoopers out there come with bags, ties, and other nifty tools included. This can be super helpful if you’re wanting to save time and money by purchasing a pre-packaged product.
- Cost. You never want to cut costs when it comes to taking care of your precious pet. However, you might not want to spend a fortune on a poop scooper either. The best scoopers out there will come at a great price for the value included.
If you can find all of these qualities in a dog poop scooper, then you’ve probably found the best around. But there is more we can look at when determining what tools will work best for your specific needs.
What Should Come with the Best Poop Scooping Tools
While each poop scooper solves the same basic problem, not all tools are created equal. When you’re shopping for the best tool, make sure it includes these key components:
- A scooper. This component could vary significantly depending on what you’re looking for. Your scooper may come with a small shovel, a rake, or nothing at all if you want to use your hands (with gloves, of course!).
- A container. Some of the more common scoopers come with a shovel or rake and a small sideways bucket or pan at the end of a long handle. This makes it easy to slide the poop into the bucket. However, you may also find scoopers with a claw-like bucket that picks up the poop itself or created with a bag attached so that you can easily dispose of the poop.
- Bags. As mentioned, some bags come attached to a scooping tool and can be detached easily. Others may come on the side so you can line the bucket or simply dump everything in the bag when you’re done.
- Carrying case. Some nicer scoopers come with a small carrying case you can place bags in to keep the smell at a minimum.
- Gloves. Some scoopers will come with a pair of gloves to help you avoid picking up any bacteria. Even if you don’t get these with your scooper, it might be a good idea to grab a pair of gloves on your own.
These are the necessary elements of a good poop scooper for your dog. Now, let’s take a look at some of the best tools available on the market to meet your poop scooping needs.
The Best Poop Scooping Tools for Dog Poop
The most common poop scooping tool model is a rake and a swivel bucket. This tool makes cleanup easy and quick with minimal effort on your part. However, while the rake and bucket is the most popular type of poop scooping tool, there are many other models that may work well for you.
Below, we’ve categorized each type of poop scooping tool and added a few of the top-rated choices on the market today so you can see the options available to you.
The Rake and Bucket Model
In this model, both the rake and the bucket are attached to a long handle so you can hold the swivel bucket to the ground, rake the poop right in, and move on. This bucket is usually lined with a plastic bag you can remove and throw out immediately to minimize poop mess.
This model is one of the most common available on the market and is the model we use at Idaho Poop Scoop. Here are a few of the top-rated rake and bucket tools out there.
- Petmate Arm and Hammer Swivel Bin and Rake Scooper. This tool comes as a 32-inch handle attached to a large bucket with capacity for lots of dog poop. The provided garbage bags are twice as thick as those you might buy for your trash can, making them extra safe for poop scooping. Hooks at the bottom of the bucket help keep the bag in place while you’re using the tool. This tool is also easy to disassemble if you want to put it away in a smaller space. Overall, the lightweight, easy to use swivel bin and rake from Petmate is a great tool for scooping poop quickly and efficiently.
- Petmate Clean Response Waste Management System Swivel Bin & Rake. The clean response model is similar to the arm and hammer model. However, the handle is longer (about 42 inches), and the basket is made to fit with common grocery bags. Otherwise, this tool is also easy to store and offers another great, lightweight option for poop scooping.
- Pawler Dog Pooper Scooper. The Pawler scooper has super high ratings on Amazon. This tool is equipped with a flat metal tray (about 9×9.5) with tall sides to make it easy to fit a lot of poop at once. The handle is about 37 inches tall to make for easy scooping. This tool does not come equipped with bags but is easy to dump into a trash can and easy to clean with its rust-free metal surface.
- Niubya Dog Pooper Scooper. This handy tool comes equipped with a high-sided metal tray, a metal rake, and a flat metal spade to provide plenty of scooping options. The tray comes at 9 x 8 x 2.8 inches with a handle of 38 inches. The non-stick surface makes it super easy to clean even without using bags to gather the poop.
- Snagle Paw Dog Pooper Scooper, Tray, Rake and Spade 3 Pack. Just like the Niubya, this scooper comes with both a spade and a rake so you can use whatever works best for the consistency and amount of poop you’re working with. The 38-inch handle and non-stick tray make scooping poop a super quick and clean affair. Each piece is easy to detach from the handle if you need to keep it in a tight storage space. You can choose from a smaller or larger model, depending on your needs.
The Claw Model
The claw model comes as a long-handled bucket that opens and closes around poop like a claw. Most come with a trigger of some kind on the handle so you don’t have to bend over to use the claw. The bags come on the side with this tool so you can dump the poop from the claw to the bag and then dispose of it.
Here are a few top-rated claw scoopers you may want to consider.
- Living Express 28″ Jaw Scooper. This handy scooper is equipped with a grip handle you can press to close the claw over a pile of poop. The claw itself has pretty sharp teeth to make grabbing easy from both hard surfaces and grass. You can also line it with a bag to minimize mess, though some customers maintain that this is more difficult in the long run. Overall, it’s a great all-in-one tool for grabbing dog poop from wherever it lands.
- Balhvit Non-Breakable Pet Pooper Scooper. This cheap but sturdy tool is also made with a grip handle and claw with teeth to grab poop from anywhere. This one has the added benefit of folding in half easily to fit better in small storage spaces. You can place a bag over the claw or a paper towel/newspaper over the poop to minimize mess, but the plastic claw is easy to rinse off if you don’t want to deal with that hassle.
- Bodhi Dog Complete Poo Pack. This claw scooper comes with a 24-inch handle, a handy roll of extra bags, and a carrying case to place full bags in so you don’t have to carry them around on your walk with you. The grip handle is fitted with finger slots and the claw fits well under the provided bags. It’s a great option for an all-in-one tool that’s easy to use and clean.
- PPOGOO Non-Breakable Pet Pooper Scooper. Overall, this tool is similar to other claw scoopers on the market. However, it comes in a smaller size with a super sturdy build that makes it perfect for children who want to help out their parents with cleaning up after their pets.
- Yeuca Pet Pooper Scooper. This super sturdy tool is easy to fold and carry along or store in tight spaces. It comes with the same easy-to-clean claw and long, finger-fitted grip handle to make grabbing and cleaning up a smooth and easy process. This tool doesn’t work well with plastic bags but is fairly simple to clean up with a little water.
The Spade and Bucket Model
While not much different than the rake and bucket model, there are a few poop scooper models that use a spade and a bucket to help you pick up poop. In this model, you use a spade to scoop or push the poop into a tray or bucket.
Some of the most highly-rated spade and bucket models include:
- Snagle Paw Tray and Spade Set Poop Scooper. This model comes with an adjustable long-handled tray and spade that reach up to 38 inches. Made of aluminum, both the spade and the tray are resistant to rust and easy to clean. You can choose from large or medium, depending on how big you’d like the tray. Overall, this choice is sturdy, lightweight, and easy to use.
- Flexrake Standard Poop Pet Scoop/Spade. This set comes with a three-foot handle and molded non-slip vinyl grips to make handling easier. It’s a small scooper, though you can purchase it in a larger size if necessary.
- SCENEREAL Pet Poop Tray & Spade Set. A 37.4 inch handle is attached to both tray and spade, both made of the typical easy-to-clean aluminum with a non-stick coating. The handles are adjustable and this product comes with a 100% guarantee so you can replace it or get a refund within two years if you are dissatisfied.
- Heeyoo Dog Poop Scooper. This durable, lightweight set comes with an adjustable 17-inch handle and includes a tray, spade, and rake. It also comes with a three-year warranty in case you run into any problems. Customers love the sturdy set for its endurance and easy-to-clean surfaces.
- Akcmpet Dog Pooper Scooper. Also equipped with both a spade and a rake to use with the tray, this set comes with a much larger tray than most you’ll find on the market at about 10.23”×9.25”. It’s rust-proof and comes with a detachable handle equipped with clips to make it easy to hang. You’ll also receive gloves, bags, and a dispenser when you order this dog poop scooper.
Nearly all of these tools come in bigger or smaller sizes so you can choose what works best for you based on how many dogs you have and the sizes of your dogs, since these factors will impact how much poop you can expect to pick up on a regular basis.
Many pooper scoopers also come with a warranty so you can be sure you’re only purchasing and using a high-quality piece of equipment. If you run into problems, you can contact the customer service teams from these companies to request a refund or a replacement.
Picking the Best Dog Poop Scooping Tool for You
The best scooping tool for your home is really going to depend on a few factors:
- What can you afford?
- Where do you use it?
- How often do you use it?
Most dog poop scoopers are pretty cheap. However, do keep in mind the quality of the tool you’re purchasing. Don’t pick something made of flimsy plastic that will fall apart within a few uses. If you do, you’re likely to end up spending more replacing your broken tools than you would have simply buying a higher-quality option in the first place.
Also consider where you’re most often picking up poop. Do you pick it up in your yard? Or is your dog in the habit of pooping on the patio or the sidewalk? Maybe you have gravel or bark in your yard and your dog likes to hide their waste there.
Consider the surface when you’re deciding what kind of tool to buy. A rake will work well in the grass, but may not be as useful on concrete or gravel. You may want a spade for those harder surfaces. And the claw scooper will probably be a lot less effective in the grass where it might get caught than it would be on a smooth surface.
Finally, think about how often you use the poop scooper. The more you use it, the sturdier you’ll want to get. If you’re in the habit of taking a lot of walks, you might want to find a lightweight poop scooper equipped with bags that can be easily and cheaply replaced so you can maintain cleanliness with a lower cost.
Why You May Need a Dog Poop Scooping Tool
There are several reasons why you may want or need to purchase a dog poop scooping tool. For one thing, a tool will make it much easier to pick up poop in your yard, which is important for maintaining a clean yard and a healthy dog.
In addition, you may want something portable to carry with you when you take your dog on a walk around the neighborhood or in a nearby park. A poop scooping tool can make the process of getting poop off of public ground much easier and quicker.
Legal Reasons for Picking Up Dog Poop
Dog ownership became popular in the 1950s, when the rise of wealth for many families made a home and backyard possible. By the 1970s, however, cities and towns were beginning to see poor results from dog poop being left out on the streets.
In a small New Jersey town, the first dog poop scooping law was passed in 1971. In 1978, a similar law was established in New York City, and the idea quickly spread around the United States.
The Boise Code of Ordinances in Title 5-1-7 dictates that “Any person having the care, custody, possession, or control of a dog shall immediately remove the dog’s feces deposited on any public property or private property not owned or possessed by the owner or custodian of the dog, before leaving the immediate vicinity of the deposited feces. The dog’s feces must be disposed of in a sanitary manner.”
Not every city or municipality has created laws around picking up dog poop within city limits. However, most cities and municipalities have. If you’re in the Treasure Valley (Boise, Garden City, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star), picking up poop is required by law. Nampa and Caldwell don’t set specific laws regarding picking up poop but do require owners to ensure their dogs are not acting as a nuisance to the general public.
Health Reasons for Picking Up Dog Poop
While the legal requirements for picking up poop are important, equally or more important is the necessity of picking up dog poop to protect your dog and other animals or humans from the dangers that dog poop can bring.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), young children, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to certain diseases that household pets may carry.
Such disease-causing bacteria include roundworms, hookworms, parvo, corona, giardiasis, salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis, and campylobacteriosis. While humans won’t catch diseases from all of these bacteria, most will affect your dog and could lead to serious illness or death.
There are other dangers to dog poop as well. Not only can it bring diseases into your yard, but it can attract other pests who will cause more harm than good when they’re in your yard or your home. Here are a few common dangers dog poop poses if left in the yard indefinitely:
- Attracting rats. Rats are used to living off trash, so they don’t mind eating dog poop. In fact, they even enjoy it. Rats may come into your yard and start eating the dog poop, which could lead to a serious pest problem. Rats are also generally riddled with diseases that could easily spread to you and your pets.
- Attracting other pests. If rats enter your yard, they could bring with them feral cats or snakes, both animals that like to eat rats. While this issue usually only occurs if things get out of control, it all starts with leaving that dog poop out as an attractive meal for nasty rodents.
- Attracting parasites. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, and giardia are all common parasites that infest dog poop, especially if it’s left out for a long time. While whipworms and tapeworms are not very transmissible, humans can catch roundworms, hookworms, and giardia fairly easily. Besides, any one of these parasites can make your dog quite sick.
- Causing illness. Some people like to use dog poop as fertilizer in their gardens. However, while this works fine with manure from horses or cattle, dog poop really provides no benefit to your garden soil. Instead, it could spread illness if you ingest the vegetables that grew in the infested soil.
- Hurting your dog. Some dogs eat poop, probably due to boredom, nutrient deficiency, or an intestinal illness of some kind. While they can usually handle eating it better than a human could, they’re much more likely to pick up parasites and other diseases after ingesting poop. If you notice your pet out eating their own waste, you probably need to talk to a vet to address any issue they may be dealing with.
Courtesy Reasons for Picking Up Dog Poop
No one really likes seeing poop. It’s safe to say that dog poop is one of those things that most people around the world find revolting. It smells bad, it looks ugly, and it can easily attract parasites if it’s left laying around.
If you want to show common courtesy to people walking near your home or spending time in your yard, pick up your dog’s poop as often as possible. You’ll find that everyone appreciates this small step of courtesy.
Lawn Care Reasons for Picking Up Dog Poop
While many kinds of poop can act as fertilizers, dog poop is not one of them. In fact, if you leave dog poop out in your grass, it’s likely to do more harm than good.
Unlike poop passed by vegetarian animals like cows, dog poop comes out highly acidic. The excess of acid can quickly kill your grass, leaving ugly brown dead spots where poop has been sitting.
Dog poop is high in Nitrogen, but the Nitrogen in dog poop does not have the same benefits as the Nitrogen found in fertilizers. Nitrogen in dog poop is highly concentrated and can cause an overload in your grass. Think of it as “too much of a good thing.” The extra nitrogen in concentrated areas on your lawn will end up killing the grass and damaging the soil.
The Environmental Protection Agency has categorized dog poop as a hazard–one gram of dog poop can contain as much as 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. If you’re leaving dog poop out in the grass, you’re polluting your yard and exposing yourself and your family to some serious and dangerous bacteria.
As you can see, picking up dog poop is important for many reasons. If you want to keep yourself, your family, and your pets in the best health possible, don’t leave dog poop out in the yard or in public areas. Always pick it up as soon as you can.
Best Steps for Keeping Your Yard Clean of Dog Poop
As a dog owner, you know how important it is to maintain a healthy living space for your pet. However, you probably haven’t had a lot of training, and your dogs can’t tell you what they need. How can you best keep your yard clean so your dog can enjoy a healthy environment?
There are a few main steps that you can take to help keep your dog safe out in the yard.
- Keep the grass trimmed. Keeping the grass shorter will help you see poop more easily, ensuring you can get it picked up and out of the area as soon as possible. Shorter grass will also discourage other pests, which could pose dangers to your dog and your family, from spending time in your yard.
- Clean up after gardening. Don’t leave piles of soil, weeds, or dead plants laying around the yard. These may attract pests, for one thing, but can also prove a huge temptation to dogs who want to roll around in the piles or use them as toilets. You might find an unwelcome surprise if you come back hours later! To help your dog stay clean and to prevent having to leave poop in your compost, clean up piles of debris as soon as you’ve created them.
- Keep trash out of the way. Dogs enjoy making messes and will probably try eating anything that smells like food. Keep your trash as far away as possible from your dog to keep them from getting into anything that could get them sick. If you don’t, you may find unwelcome vomit and diarrhea filling up your yard.
- Consider a dog toilet. If you want to minimize the amount of waste in your yard, you could try training your dog to do their business in one specific corner or area. This will work a lot better with a puppy or young dog that you can train by rewarding them with treats when they use the right area.
- Clean up poop often. If you have time, you can be out there in your yard picking up poop every day. But, let’s face it–most of us don’t have that kind of time. To make sure your dog’s poop gets picked up regularly, you can always hire a professional dog poop scooper who can scoop the waste up for you in no time.
How Weather Affects Your Dog’s Poop
On a warm, sunny day, you probably won’t think much about the dangers of dog poop. If your dog is healthy, they’ll pass nice round logs which will dry slightly in the sun and probably won’t even be noticeable. But if the weather is inclement, you’ll pretty quickly notice how nasty dog poop can be.
Have you ever seen dog poop after a rainstorm? The poop gets soggy and starts decomposing, spreading around the yard. Not only is this disgusting, it’s harder to clean up and can more easily spread diseases and parasites around your yard.
Snow can have a similar effect if it’s wet and heavy. Colder, icier snow will simply freeze your dog’s poop. In the winter, that’s fine–but what about the spring when the snow begins to melt? You’ll see tons of piles of partly frozen but quickly melting poop gathered around your yard. It’s not going to be pretty.
The best weather for picking up dog poop is going to be dry weather, either sunny or cold. In such weather, you can take your handy poop scooping tool and rake those piles of poop right into your bucket.
However, the longer you wait, the higher the chance that you’ll end up with soggy poop, frozen and melting poop, or much more poop than you want to deal with at once. It’s important that you get your poop scooping tool out right away and start picking up poop as soon as you can.
Tips for Scooping Poop with Your Poop Scooping Tool
It’s a fairly simple process to pick up poop. However, there are certain ways you can make the poop scooping process easier. Here are some tips for getting the best use out of your poop scooping tool as you work to keep your yard clean.
- Pick up regularly. We’ve mentioned it before–don’t leave your dog’s poop out in the yard for long. You don’t want parasites, diseases, and pests gathering around dog poop in your yard. Get it picked up as soon as possible.
- Pick up with a bag. If your poop scooper comes with a bag, use it! If it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to invest in some bags to have on hand whenever you pick up poop. Whether you fit them into your poop scooper bucket or simply hold on to them to dump the poop into, your life will be a lot easier if you have a bag to tie off the smell and germs as soon as you get the poop picked up.
- Pick up with the right tool. We already looked at the best tools for scooping poop. Choose the one that will work best in your area–if you have a typical lawn, you’ll probably want a rake and/or spade with a bucket. However, if you have a lot of concrete in your yard, a claw may work as well. Make sure you pick one that’s a comfortable height for you so you don’t hurt your back.
- Pick up with gloves. You may never get a disease from your dog. However, if you do, it will probably be because you weren’t wearing gloves. Keep disposable gloves on hand (literally) so you can avoid the germs that dog poop can carry.
- Pick up in good weather. Make it a priority to check your yard every day to make sure that you can pick the poop up when it’s dry out. If you know it’s going to rain or snow, you may want to double-check the yard before the precipitation hits to make sure you get everything out of the grass before the rain or snow comes to make a mess.
Pick up with help. You don’t have to do this job alone. If you’re too busy to pick up poop or really just hate the smell and sight of dog poop, you can hire someone to help you. Plenty of people offer poop scooping services so you can get someone else to regularly pick up your poop and get rid of it without you having to get involved.
Finding Help to Scoop Your Dog’s Poop
Don’t feel bad if you don’t really want to scoop your dog’s poop. It’s a nasty, smelly task. While you’ll absolutely need a poop scooper of some kind for taking your dog on walks (unless you hire that task out as well), you can easily hire an official poop scooper to take care of cleaning up your yard for you.
When looking for a poop scooper who will help you, find answers to a few key questions:
- How do they pick up the poop? Make sure they use a good tool that will get all the poop off of your lawn. You don’t want any residue left in your yard to damage your grass.
- How do they communicate? Yes, poop scoopers will be coming to your yard. You want to make sure they communicate when they’re coming and when they’re leaving. If you want them to schedule a time with you in advance, make sure they are willing to do that before you hire them. Find someone who keeps you up to date on where they are and how your yard is looking.
- How often do they scoop? Most poop scoopers can’t come clean your yard every day. However, you want to find someone who will at the very least work weekly so that you can ensure your yard is as clean as possible.
Once you find a good crew, you can hire them to come out to your yard every week or so and clean up any poop that they find in your yard. This will help keep your yard clean for your dog and your family so you can relax in the grass anytime.
If you’re interested in hiring someone to help you pick up poop in your yard, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Idaho Poop Scoop. We are proud to serve our community by taking care of a mundane task you don’t really enjoy. Our goal is to offer this service to keep our community clean and safe for all beloved dogs and their families.
To find out more about our poop scooping services, come and see what we have to offer.