9 Tips, Tricks, and Ways to Pick Up Dog Poop

Lauren Murphy
Written by Lauren Murphy
Updated September 7, 2022
A young woman walking her dog in the park
Photo: Oscar Wong / Moment / Getty Images

Being a pet parent isn’t all cuddles and cuteness

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Picking up your dog’s waste is a simple, although smelly, solution.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, dog poop is a human and environmental health hazard. Let’s review a few different ways to pick up your dog’s poop and go over nine tips on how to make the job more bearable.

4 tools for dog waste cleanup, including plastic bags or composting
Photo: Petra Richli/iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

1. Use Plastic Bags

The most common way pet owners pick up their pooch’s poop is with a plastic bag. You can purchase ones that are specifically designed for dog poop at your local pet store or online. Some come with a dispenser you can easily clip to a leash or carry with you on walks. Others come in bigger boxes you can keep near the door so you can grab one when nature calls.

2. Try a Pooper Scooper

If your nose instantly wrinkles at the thought of picking up dog feces in the yard, a pooper scooper is the tool for you. Pooper scoopers are handheld tools that allow you to pick up and dispose of the poop without getting close to it. They also work well for people who have back problems and can’t bend over easily.

3. Freeze It

Freezing your dog’s poop makes it easier to pick it up. But don’t put it in your freezer. You can purchase aerosol sprays that instantly firm up the poop. If your dog has tummy issues and produces loose stools, this is a great solution. Once it’s frozen and firm, you can easily pick it up with a plastic bag or pooper scooper.

4. Try Composting

While you can compost dog poop, it should be kept separate from your regular food waste compost pile if you have one. Dog waste can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can live in the soil, so keep it out of your garden. Establish a dog-specific compost bin to break it down safely.

5. Scan the Yard Regularly

Contrary to popular belief, dog poop isn’t a natural fertilizer like cow manure. It has a high concentration of nitrogen, thanks to their high-protein diet. While grass does need some nitrogen to grow lush and green, too much can actually burn it if it sits for too long. Do a scan of the yard at least once a week, more if you have multiple dogs. If you see a pile and you’re unsure if it’s dog poop, pick it up anyway. It’s too risky to leave it.

6. Keep a Poop Bag Dispenser on Your Dog’s Leash

When you buy a pack of dog poop bags at the pet store, a bag dispenser is often included. Clip this dispenser on your dog’s leash, and remember to refill it when it runs out so you’ll always have poop bags handy when you go for a walk.

7. Put More Poop Bags Near the Door

A man walking his dog in his neighborhood
Photo: Maskot / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Some dog poop bags work like tissue boxes, allowing you to rip out a bag when you need one. These are great to keep near the door to the yard so you can grab a few when you’re on pickup duty.

8. Throw It Away

You’re probably well aware that dog feces is stinky. As such, it doesn’t belong in your household trash can. After you pick up your dog’s poop with a bag, pooper scooper, or another tool, dispose of it in a garbage can outside. Try not to bring it inside at all, even when it’s bagged up, to eliminate the risk of it stinking up the house.

9. Outsource the Job

Picking up your dog’s poop is a stinky and time-consuming job, but it’s the most responsible action you can take as a pet owner to protect your family and community. Whether you don’t have time to dedicate to cleaning up the backyard or you just despise doing it, you can hire a pooper scooper to take care of the dirty work.

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