The Best Way to Pick Up Dog Poop

If you have a dog and live in the city or in a suburb with a small yard, chances are you’ll find yourself needing to pick up after your dog when he does his duties. There are various ways you can do this and the best way to pick up dog poop is likely to depend on your situation and what’s most convenient. The following article will discuss the different ways to pick up and dispose of poop, as well as why you should consider picking up your dog’s poop every time, even if you do have a bigger yard.

Why You Should Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop

When you live in the city, the main reason for picking up your dog’s poop may simply be etiquette and the law. Often walking trails and parks specify that dog poop must be picked up and disposed of. Sometimes there are even stations with baggies and a trash can for this purpose. The following are some top reasons to pick up your dog’s poop on a regular basis:

– It’s better for the environment as rainwater can carry the poop right into the waterways

– Dog poop will add nitrogen to the water, which depletes the oxygen necessary for marine life to flourish

– Dog poop often has harmful bacteria and organisms that can contaminate the water supply

– Parasites can live for a long time in the soil after being deposited by the poop and thus be transmitted to other animals and humans

– Scooping your dog’s poop will prevent your back or front yard from stinking

– No one likes to accidentally step in dog poop and then track it into their homes or cars

– It’s easy to pick up your dog’s poop and throw it in the trash

Ways to Pick Up Dog Poop

Once you understand the importance of picking up your dog’s waste, it’s time to explore how to best do that. There are a range of options, including using bags, newspaper or pooper scoopers.

Using your hands

Probably the most common method of poop scooping is to use a plastic bag. Usually this is a plastic sandwich bag, but make sure to get a large enough size for your dog’s poop. The small size might work for a small dog, but is unlikely to be sufficient for a larger dog. Invert the bag to cover your hands, then pick up the poop. Turn the bag inside out and then tie it to seal it. You can even carry a container with you to stash the bag until you can dispose of it. Depending on where you are, there might also be special receptacles for the doggy doo.

Clean up poop

There are a lot of options for this method, including scented bags that help mask the odor of the poop while you’re picking it up. You can also use plastic grocery bags and bring disposable gloves for the actual picking up process. If you need to pick up the poop on grass, you’ll need to make a claw gesture with your hands to pull it up from the grass.

Pros: plastic bags are easy to find and easy to store in a container or on a leash with a place to store dog poop bags.

Cons: some people are grossed out at the idea of getting that close to poop and unless you’re using biodegradable bags, regular plastic isn’t much better for the environment than the poop.


If plastic is a concern, then newspaper might be a good option to pick up dog poop while you’re on a walk. Obviously the benefit of newspapers is that they’re readily available and will break down faster than plastic bags. The main drawback to using newspapers to pick up dog poop is that they don’t seal and the thicker material can make pick up messy. A few options to deal with this is to also carry paper bags and put the newspaper with the poop in the bag. You could also carry rubber bands and fashion the newspaper into a bag after picking up the poop.

The pooper scooper

Another method is the pooper scooper. There are plenty of portable versions of this tool and you can simply work the handle and pick up the poop without getting too close. However, if you’re on a walk, this might be inconvenient to carry around and you’ll still have to find a place to dispose of it or carry bags. Some scoopers do have built-in bags to make things easier. The other downside of a pooper scooper is that you will need to clean it. This might make things difficult if you have to put the scooper in your car at the end of a walk.

Scoop poop sign

Powered tools

Power tools like the Auggie Dog are another option. This allows you to easily pick up the waste, store it and then release it at your discretion. You won’t have to touch the poop or bend. The downsides to a tool like this is that you will have to clean it and make sure it’s charged before heading out. You will also have to carry it with you.

Freeze spray

Yet another option for poop pick up is an aerosol spray that freezes the poop and makes it easier to pick up. This will also eliminate the odor, which may also eliminate the gross-out factor for some people. However, you will need to then combine it with another pick-up option such as bags or newspaper. The benefits include making it easier to pick up poop on grass and also to pick up poop when your dog has loose stools.

What About In Your Yard?

Sometimes cleaning dog poop from your yard can be tricky as the waste sticks to grass and makes it harder to pick up. One option is to hire a dog waste cleaning service. Sometimes lawn care companies even include dog poop scooping as part of their services. If you decide to do it yourself, then there are a few options to consider.

Clean yard

It is possible to use the bag method for scooping poop in your yard, but you may have to wait for the poop to dry out first or spray it with freeze spray. This may not be an option if you have multiple dogs or a dog that eats poop. Another option is to use a rake specifically made for scooping dog poop. There’s two main options for this. One is a combination rake and pan so you can sweep the poop into the pan while the rake blades get it off the grass. The best way to scoop dog poop from grass is to get the blades right under it. The long handles allow you to easily sweep without having to bend. The other type of dog poop scooper is the jaw style. This tool also has a long handle, but the bottom has opening and closing jaws that easily remove poop from grass.

Another possibility for the best way to pick up dog poop in your yard is to use a miniature septic system just for dogs. This can be installed in ground and you simply shovel the poop inside and occasionally add water to help it break down. You can use any of the aforementioned methods to pick up the poop, including the flushable bags as described in the next section.

Disposing of Your Dog’s Poop

Once you’ve scooped the poop, whether in your yard or out on the street, what do you do with it? In city areas and parks, there’s often specific receptacles marked for dog poop that you can conveniently drop your bag in. If not, then there’s usually other trash bins around as well. When you’re at home, you have different options. When you’re trying to decide how best to dispose of poop, it’s good to have the facts vs any misleading information.

To start, the absolute best way to dispose of dog poop is in the toilet without a bag. However, check with local regulations to see if it’s allowed in your city. You also need to have a good, foolproof method of making it from your yard to the bathroom. You might think that dog poop is good for the soil and simply leave it if you have a big yard.

However, the truth is that it can only be beneficial if it’s composted with other normal compost items like grass clippings, coffee grounds and egg shells. You can also simply put bags of poop in your household waste, but a good idea is to only use biodegradable bags for this. Another option is flushable poop bags made from water-soluble Poly Vinyl Alcohol, which dissolves in toilet water. Be aware that these may be harder to use with larger dogs as the larger waste may not break down enough to flush.


However you decide the best way to pick up dog poop, the important thing is to have a plan. Always have your preferred method of picking up the poop handy, whether at home or on the go. By joining the crowd of responsible dog owners picking up after their pets, you can rest assured that you’re doing the environment a favor as well as the people and animals around you.

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