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Dogs are awesome, and there’s no better way to get unconditional love and cuddles on the couch. But there’s no way around it: They also poop. Cleaning up dog poop isn’t fun, but having the right tool can make it easier. It’s key to choose a product that’s portable (if you’re taking it on walks) and that’s the right size for you. If it’s too short and you’re tall, you’ll be stooping as you pick up piles all over the yard.
Here are some of the best pooper scoopers we’ve found to make the job quick and clean so you can spend more time with your BFF.
Best Overall: Nature's Miracle Advanced Pet Waste Scoop
Works on any surface
Easy to clean
Comes in two sizes
Needs a separate container
This sturdy scoop lets you pick up waste from any type of surface and then deposit it into another container. Just squeeze the grip and pick up the deposits with the jaw-like bucket, and close. Ease of use makes it our top pick.
Some dog owners keep a special trash can just for dog waste and then toss it once a week. Others use this to gather waste into a doggy septic tank system. It comes in two sizes (medium and jumbo). The medium is best for small and medium sized dogs, while the large is best for larger breeds and deposits. The larger size can be unwieldy for smaller people and harder to use.
Made of hard plastic, it has a non-stick surface that is easy to hose off. The scoop has an antimicrobial treatment to help with germs and smells.
Best with Bag: Petmate Arm & Hammer Swivel Bin & Rake Pooper Scooper
Works on all surfaces
Handle extends to 32 inches
Don’t need special bags
Not for large dogs
You don’t need a separate bag when you go to clean the yard with this pooper scooper. It includes a rake and a swivel bin that snap together for easy storage. The rake works on all sorts of surfaces including grass, pavement, and dirt. Just line up the bin like you would a dustpan and rake in the deposits.
The bin has hooks on both sides so you can securely attach bags. You can buy special ones sized to fit or use the disposable plastic bags that come from grocery stores. Once you’ve filled it up, just tie it off and toss it away. The handle extends as long as 32 inches, so there's less stooping for taller pet owners.
Best Portable: DogBuddy Portable Pooper Scooper
Attaches to a leash
Comes in two sizes
Can use grocery bags
Harder to use in grass
If you’re kind of icked out by the idea of using a poop bag and want an added layer of separation, this portable scooper works kind of like your hand. Wrap a poop bag around the plastid mitt, scoop the poop, and then pull the bag out and knot it. The DogBuddy hooks on a leash so it’s easy to take along on walks. You still have to bend over but you don’t have to get so close to the pile or feel it.
There are two sizes and both are very lightweight. Medium is for small and medium breeds and uses standard-size poop bags, while large is for larger breeds and requires larger bags. It comes in light gray or neon green. Regular plastic grocery bags also work for both scoopers. However, because it has no teeth, it can be harder to use in grass.
Best Budget: Four Paws Wire Rake Scooper
Good for grass and sand
Easy to clean and store
Doesn’t work on concrete
If you’re only picking up poop in grass or on sand, this simple metal rake is an easy solution. Just run it through the grass, then scoop and lift. It works best on flat areas and can’t be used on concrete. It’s also not ideal for grass with vining roots because the tines will get caught on it.
The rake is easy to hose off and clean and is rust-resistant. It has a padded rubber grip to make cleaning up easier and more comfortable. It may not work as well for the tiniest of dogs because small deposits might fall through the cracks, and taller dog owners may have to stoop a little because it’s just under 30 inches high. But it’s lightweight, slim, and easy to store.
Best for Large Dogs: Activedogs Best Ever Dog Poop Scooper
Family-owned, U.S. business
Have to choose between flat or rake
This heavy-duty hinged pooper scooper is manufactured in the United States by a family-owned business in Wisconsin. The company got started when one of the owners had their welding shop make this scooper to clean out 18 dog kennels daily, and it’s been going strong for years. One of the best features is that you can open it as wide as you need to and the shovel can handle even the largest of deposits.
The scoop is made of no-rust aluminum with 38-inch handles so there’s no stooping. You have to choose between a teeth-style edge for surfaces like grass, dirt, or gravel or a flat style for hard surfaces like concrete or wood. The handles are covered with molded rubber for comfort and there’s a bucket sold separately.
Most Unusual: Doody Digger Pooper Scooper
Can use any bags
Made of recycled material
No moving parts
Doesn’t work well on hard surfaces
With no moving parts, the concept for this scooper is pretty simple. Use the business end to pick up piles, then hoist the contraption until it’s almost vertical. The piles slide down the tube into the bag that’s Velcroed on the other end. It relies on gravity to do the job.
The plastic is made from recycled material. You can buy bags specifically designed for this product, but pretty much any type of bag fits. Because of the pointy plastic end, it works better on grass than hard surfaces. You can squirt it with the hose if it gets dirty, but fans say there’s little contact so it stays relatively clean. Depending on how much cleaning you’re doing, it can get unwieldy if you try to use just one hand for a long period of time.
Best Litter Box Scoop: DuraScoop Jumbo Cat Litter Scoop
Cool retro look
May have rough edges
If the only poop you’re scooping is in a litter box, this is a very popular choice. Made of hand-polished cast aluminum, the sturdy scoop is extra large so you’ll make quick work of your kitty business. Because it’s solid metal, it’s hard to break or bend it. It’s also resistant to rust and flaking.
The ergonomic design and soft, non-slip handle makes it easy to use. Plus we like the retro look and the cool colors. Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose between mint green, watermelon pink, and sky blue. The company will just send you a random color. Just note that this scoop is on the large side.
What to Look for in a Pooper Scooper
If you don’t want to bend and stoop, choose a device that is long enough for your height. It may not matter if you’re picking up the occasional pile. But if you have a week or two’s worth of deposits from a couple of dogs, you’ll be glad you have a product with a long handle.
Are you planning on using the scooper to take on a walk or to use in your backyard? Some products are heavy and awkward and would be way too bulky to take with you. Others are lightweight and easy to clip to a leash.
How do you clean a pooper scooper?
By the very nature of its function, a pooper scooper is going to get dirty. Some scoopers don’t make direct contact with piles, however, because they have a bag in the middle. Others do a lot of dirty work. In most cases, they just need to be squirted off with a hose. You can let them air dry or pat them dry with an old towel, especially if they’re metal and you want to make sure they don’t rust.
Do pooper scoopers work on grass?
Scoopers with rake-like edges work better on grass than those with flat sides. That allows the tool to reach down between the grass blades to grab piles. However, some types of runner-type grasses like St. Augustine can be a little harder because the runners get caught in the rake.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
This article was researched and written by Mary Jo DiLonardo, who has covered animals and pets for several decades. Mary Jo has fostered more than three dozen puppies and is always searching for the healthiest and most effective products, foods, and treats for them. She has also cleaned up after all of them!