Here’s What We’re Talking About:
- Pick Up
- Fake Grass
- Toss It
- Flush It
- Septic System
- Sewer Drain
Dealing with dog poop is probably the biggest issue (although exercise for dogs is a big one too) and the ickiest one… facing dog owners in limited spaces. How to handle dog poop.
I’m pretty sure we put off getting that evil 2nd dog for a while because the boss couldn’t get this one figured out.
Living without a big yard can pose special problems because you can’t let your dog’s poop sit in the backyard until the end of the season. Well… you can, but you will probably get really nasty letters from your association and/or neighbors.
The two main problems related to pet waste disposal are how to pick up the dog’s poop and how to store/dispose of it.
Dog Poop Pick Up
You generally have a couple options on how to pick up your dog’s poop.
Dog Poop Bags
This is one of the more popular options for pet waste disposal. You can pick it up with a bag. By now everyone should know about the trick of turning the bag inside out, putting your hand inside, picking up the dog’s poop and turning the bag back right side out.
The number of options these days for Dog Poop Bags is pretty astounding. I’m impressed by the number of options, and I’m a dog.
Be careful of the scented ones. We found that the scent of the bags combined with the odor inside the bag can sometimes combine to make an unpleasant combination.
These started out by just being a plastic bag that you could tie up and toss in the trash. Now they have all kinds of colors and textures. There are also options for how to carry the bags. We really like the ones that attach directly to the leash. That way you never get caught “bag-less” and unprepared.
We’ll cover the flushable kind below.
Biodegradable Dog Waste Bags
If you’re throwing the your dog’s poop into the trash, you really should be using a Biodegradable Dog Waste Bags.
There are a lot of pet waste scoopers available. We found that the ones that work best are the kind with two separate pieces that operate like a broom and dustpan.
The ones that are connected (like the first one shown on the side) sometimes make it difficult to pick up the entire deposit.
The other problem is that when you’re trying to scoop up dog poop with the first one, it only works if the dog poop is all in one place… and um… pretty solid. I personally like to leave my deposits in different places so the second option below works much better for us so we like the one with the rake the best.
This is the discovery that really allowed anyone to have a dog… regardless of where you live. The options range from just a square of fake grass to a full blown pet waste disposal system.
You can use this grass for so many different reasons:
- Balcony of an apartment because you don’t have a yard.
- On a deck or front porch so the dog doesn’t have to use stairs.
- On a deck or front porch so you can limit how far the dog can go (if you block off the stairs).
- To avoid the dog from having to use the stairs in the winter or because they’re a senior dog.
- To avoid having to go search for your dogs poop before you can pick it up.
- Inside the house for like a litter box.
We really, really like the fake grass. Well… to be truthful, the boss really, really likes this. I don’t really care so much.
We got a couple squares of this and put it right next to the patio door. When the new puppy came, we taught her to poop on the fake grass instead of the real stuff. (Well I really didn’t have much to do with it… I mostly ignored the puppy.)
It’s easier to keep the snow off a small area, it’s all in one spot, you can see it in the dark, the boss doesn’t have to go too far outside to pick it up (because she’s kind of a wimp), and it’s really, really easy to just scoop it up right after she goes.
Keep in mind what kind of maintenance it will need. You may need to rinse off the grass. Depending on where you put it (and whether the dog needs to pee on it too) you may need to empty it and will need the ability to rinse/clean it.
There is a whole industry built around this. You can spend anywhere from $50 – $300. The low end is just a square of fake grass that you can put next to the patio door. The high end is an elevated, indoor potty that lets the dog go on the grass and then the urine is collected into a container that is easily emptied.
There really is something available for everyone regardless of your situation. The introduction of these products really allow anyone (as long as it’s allowed) to have a dog… even if you live in an apartment without a balcony.
When finding your pet waste disposal system, you first you need to decide what you’re going to do after you pick up your dog’s poop. You have a several options.
- Store it then toss it
- Flush it
- Use an in ground septic system container
- Put it in sewer drain
Store It Then Toss It
If you chose this as your pet waste disposal system, you’re going to need a small trash container designated to store your dog’s poop for the week. Line it with trash bags so each week you can throw out on trash day.
You need a trash can and it needs to have a fairly tight cover to help contain the odor. Make sure the lid of the container has a lip that will keep the water out when it rains.
In the warmer months it will not completely contain the smell. You will need bags to use daily as you pick up your dog’s poop. If you are going this route and the odor is still a problem, double zipper Ziploc Freezer bags will completely contain the odor… but we all know that isn’t a great environmental answer.
Everyone is talking these days about how plastic bags stick around for like 6 trillion years. Biodegradable dog waste bags are obviously better for the environment because they are…. Biodegradable dog waste bags. Pretty self explanatory, right?
In the colder months you won’t need the individual bags because the pet waste will freeze and therefore it won’t smell.
If you do use biodegradable dog poop bags, you are saving the plastic from going in the trash, but the dog waste is still being put in the trash.
Some cities are starting to make rules about throwing pet waste in the trash. The movement is gaining momentum so keep your eye on the local papers to see if this issue is a hot topic in your area.
Another options for pet waste disposal is to flush it. There is the ick factor of taking it in the house, but this is one of the best environmental answers. They have special bags now so that you can pick up dog poop from the yard and put it right in the toilet.
The flushable bags won’t clog your system, although you may want to pay attention to the size…
In Ground Pet Septic System
The option of in ground dog septic systemis gaining traction in the world of pet waste disposal. These units allow you to pretty easily create your own septic system. You basically dig a hole in your yard, insert a container, add the dog’s poop and occasionally add a special digester powder.
The pet waste is broken down just like a regular septic system and is washed way into the ground.
In theory, this is a great idea, but it didn’t work that well with our 10 x 10 yard because of the slight odor. The odor wasn’t all that bad, just enough that we didn’t want to annoy the neighbors with it since there are several within 50 feet of us.
If you have a larger yard and can put the system away from your door (and your neighbors), it would work really well.
One other note: if this is how you choose to handle your pet waste disposal, you will need another option in the winter if you live where it’s really cold.
Put It In Your Sewer Drain
This is probably the best environmental answer for pet waste disposal. Put the dog’s poop directly into the sewer line for your house. This attachment easily connects to your clean out drain. All you have to do is open the lid and drop in the dog’s poop.
There won’t be any odor at all and the dog’s poop ends up in your septic system to be handled like it should be.
We haven’t tried this yet but the boss is very excited about experimenting with it this spring. (I think there is something wrong with her.) If you subscribe to our list, (top right hand corner of each page) we will let you know how it works for us later this spring.
Are there other ways that you handle this problem?