It’s hard to look dignified when “scooping the poop.”
Your dog likely eliminates outside, whether it’s in your yard, on the sidewalk, on the beach or anywhere else you take him for a walk. And dignified or not, cleaning up after your dog is a necessity. In most cases, other people also use the space that your dog thinks of as his own personal bathroom.
Although you may not feel entirely elegant when cleaning up your dog’s business, know that other people will thank you for being classy — and noble.
Don’t Ignore It
The first thing to remember is that you actually have to scoop the poop. It’s tempting to pretend that your dog didn’t just make a little — or big — fecal deposit on the sidewalk, but it’s not very classy. Imagine how you would feel if you were innocently walking down the sidewalk and then suddenly…squelch…poo on your shoe.
Plus, someone is bound to have seen you. People generally notice when dogs are eliminating — the dogs assume a distinctive position when pooping. Leaving the waste lying around is guaranteed to offend your neighbors.
In short, don’t be that person.
Single-use gloves are a great solution. You can buy them almost anywhere. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive — you’re just looking for something to protect your hands. Gloves are especially useful if you’re a dog walker or a pet sitter.
Waste Bags Are a Must
You can buy dog waste bags online or in a pet store. Some are more durable than others, so if you have a large dog, you may want a stronger bag (trust me on this one — there’s more to pick up).
But how do you use the bag? It’s easy:
- Pull the bag over your hand like a glove.
- Pick up the poop with your “gloved” hand.
- Using your other hand, grab the open end of the bag and pull the bag inside out.
- Knot the bag and toss it into your trash.
If you run out of these specialized bags, try plastic bags from the grocery store. They won’t be as durable or block odor as well, but they’ll do the job in a pinch.
The downside of plastic bags, unlike poop bags, is that they are not usually biodegradable.
Dog Poop Scoopers
If you only need to scoop in your yard or a small area, invest in an actual scooper. These look like dustpans and have a little rake-like tool that you use to sweep the poop into the scooper.
These are fine for short distances, but they are difficult to carry when walking your dog, so they’re not ideal in every situation.
Perhaps humming “Poop Scoop Boogie” can help us get through picking up our dogs’ waste more gracefully:
Service Dog Handlers Are Not Exempt
Remember — most cities and towns do not exempt service dog handlers from having to clean up after their service dog. Servicedogcentral.org states that there is “no need for an exemption because blind people are just as capable as sighted people in doing most things, including cleaning up after their dog.”
If you have a disability that prevents you from cleaning up after your dog, call town hall, explain your situation and ask if you are exempted from the law. It most likely won’t be an issue, but being proactive will help ensure that you don’t have any entanglements with fines down the road.
So while you and I may not look entirely dignified, scooping the poop does make us classy people and good neighbors. You can’t beat that.
- Huffington Post: It’s Been a Really Great Year for Poop Bags
- The Housebreaking Bible: What to Do With Poo — The Art and Science of Dog Poop Disposal