Dealing with your dog’s waste is definitely one of the less glamorous parts of pet parenting. But it’s got to get done, so you may as well make it as tolerable as possible, right?
While the plastic bag has long reigned supreme as the picker-upper of choice, it’s not the only option available when it comes to waste removal. If you’d rather keep your distance—or just outsource the task entirely—you can do so, thanks to some interesting products and services.
Do keep in mind that, however you do it, it’s important to always pick up your dog’s poop. Dog waste is both a human health hazard and an environmental pollutant, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and if you leave it (or worse, bury it) it can make its way into the water supply. With that in mind, here are six ways to scoop the poop that require minimal effort to get the job done.
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Keep a Waste Bag Container on Your Leash
Instead of having to remember to bring a bag along every time your dog goes out, get a waste bag container that you can keep right on your pup’s leash. This way, you can guarantee that you’ll always have bags on hands, and you’ll also know when you’re about to run out.
As for the bags themselves, look for biodegradable varieties made from corn, which are produced using tougher standards than ones made from petroleum. This should help you feel a bit better about sending your dog’s waste to the landfill.
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Use a Pooper Scooper
Pooper scoopers are a great choice for anyone who wants to keep their distance from their dog’s waste, or who has physical limitations that make bending over to pick up poop a difficult task. They’re also a good option if you wait a day or two in between backyard pick-ups since you can easily go around and collect waste without having to use multiple plastic bags.
From there, you probably won’t want to just toss the waste in your normal garbage can. Keep a separate can with a bag in your yard or garage where you can deposit the waste, then tie up the bag on garbage day to have it picked up with everything else.
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Do a Daily Pick-Up
The more often you pick up your dog’s poop, the less of a hassle it becomes. You obviously need to pick up every time your dog does his business if you’re out and about, but in your own yard, it’s easy to let a lot of time pass in between tackling this to-do. This can often make it seem a lot harder to manage than it actually is. It also reduces that chances that your dog will make a mess, or that you’ll miss a pile and end up stepping in an unwelcome surprise later on.
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Another option if you’re using a pooper scooper: flush the waste instead of sending it to a landfill. The EPA endorses this method, since the waste water will go to your municipal water treatment plant where it will be treated to remove most of its harmful pollutants.
Do double check with your local water treatment plant before doing this, since some systems aren’t designed to handle this type of waste. And don’t flush the waste in a bag unless it’s a bag designed to be flushable (and in the latter case, make sure your septic system can handle the extra material).Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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No, we’re not advising you make some DIY poop-sicles. At least, not exactly. Certain aerosol sprays are designed to freeze dog waste upon contact, which can make a pile of poop a lot easier to pick up. This method has other benefits too, including reducing—or even eliminating—the smell. You’ll still need to pick up the poop, but it won’t be such a… sensory experience.
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Outsource the Job
Just as you might pay someone to do any other job you don’t like, such as washing your car or packing up your house for a move, you can also pay someone to take over poop pick-up duties. Professional dog waste removal companies have been popping up all over the place, providing a reliable and totally hands-off approach for those who are willing to shell out the cash.
So how do they work? Most of these companies offer service packages where you choose to have them come by once a week, twice a week, or on some other pre-determined time period. The more often you’ll need them to come by (and the more dogs that you have), the more you can expect to pay.
You front the fee and provide access to your yard, and in return, you’ll get a 100% guarantee that all the poop will be taken care of on your behalf. Not too bad of a deal if it’s in your budget.
Poop happens, but it doesn’t have to be a pain in the you-know-what to take care of. Figure out what works best for you, and take solace in the fact that the love you get in return from your furry friend is more than worth a couple poop pick-ups a day.