The Straight Poop: Part 2

Dog PoopingA while back I wrote a post called The Straight Poop and as one might guess, it was all about everyone’s favorite part of being a pet parent: poo disposal.  Well, this is somewhat of a follow-up to that post because we have recently upgraded our methods of disposing of the doggy delights.

I’m not certain why we didn’t think of it before, but recently it occurred to us to try out using a diaper pail.  Yes, a diaper pail.  Why not?  They actually make products similar to diaper pails for cat litter disposal, such as the Litter Locker, Litter Champ, Litter Genie, etc.  So I thought, why not use something like this for dogs?  Now, before I go any further, I know this wouldn’t be ideal or even logical to use for large (or even medium) breeds.  But for small dogs, it should do the trick.  I mean, shouldn’t it? *hopeful shrug*

I know what you’re thinking.  Why am I discussing this like dealing with dog poo disposal is a new dilemma?  Well, for us, it’s not new exactly, but it’s not something we always had to deal with.  To explain:  I grew up with dachshunds, but was very lucky to not really be in charge of their waste disposal.  To be quite honest, I think my memory has even completely blocked that part out, because I can’t remember exactly how my parents dealt with it.  I’m pretty sure it just got picked up and went out with the garbage.  Later, I lived in apartments for many years and didn’t have any dogs for quite a long time :(.  I met my husband in 2001, and we still lived in an apartment when we adopted LittleBear in 2004.  When we would walk him around the apartment complex, we would pick up his doodads in a baggie and throw it conveniently in the apartment dumpsters.  Easy peasy.  So we never really had to contend with what to *do* with it before we moved into a house.

When we first bought our home in late 2008, we still only had just LittleBear at the time.  No biggie, he doesn’t poop much.  But a short two months after moving in, we adopted Li’l Girl.  Hmm… two dogs’ worth of poo now.  I’ll admit, we sometimes put off cleaning it up, especially in the winter months.  It would dot the backyard like landmines, little brown frozen landmines.

LittleBear passed away in October 2012, and while we knew we’d eventually adopt another dachshund, we planned on not doing so until after a long period of grieving.  But you know things just happen sometimes… and happen, they did.  We ended up adopting Austin in December, right before Christmas.  So after a short period of being back to just one small dog’s poo, we were back to two again.  [Edit – added later: We also adopted Ginger in November 2013, so now we’re up to three].  But really, more like three and a half.  Austin is large for a dachshund – he is 18 pounds and is not overweight.  He has a classic dachshund body, but his legs are much taller than average.  And he makes a lot of poo.  A LOT.  It really seems like his output is much more than he takes in.  At first, we thought he might have digestion or malabsorption issues.  But we had our vet run blood and stool tests and nothing was amiss.  Nevertheless, he still gets added enzymes and probiotics with every meal, just in case.  His stools are firm and normal in appearance – there’s just a whole lot of them.

Austin, Li’l Girl, and Ginger do most of their business in our backyard… only rarely making a deposit on walks.  So our challenge has always been where to keep it in between picking it up and trash day.  Previously, we would pick it up with small bags, which would go into a larger bag (such as a shopping bag), which would get tied off and stay in a “special spot” outside until trash day.  But even inside the bags, it would stink enough to attract flies.  We don’t smell it, but the flies seem to know it’s there.  There’s got to be something else we can do.

As discussed in my previous post, I know that some folks use a Doggie Dooley, which is basically like a septic system for dog waste, but we’re just not ready to try that.  I don’t know why… we’re just not.  Something about being too lazy to dig the hole for it, probably.

Doggie Dooley

Just not ready to bury one of these.

So looking at other options… I find flushable poo bags!  Superb idea!  These seem like the perfect solution!  Wait.  I don’t want to bring bags of poo inside the house to flush.  I know, that seems weird… but I just don’t.  Something about bringing poo INTO the house just hits me wrong.  Now, if you’re using flushable bags, more power to you.  I applaud your ability to carry poo into and through your house to flush it.  Letting the municipal wastewater system handle the business is probably the ideal thing to do.  Probably even the most environmentally friendly.  But I just can’t do it… at least not yet.

Flushable Dog Poop Bags

Bags good… just not ready to tote them through the house and flush them.

So, what else? And that’s when the diaper pail idea hit me.

Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin

I kind of want to hug this thing… kind of.

I first looked at and compared all the cat litter disposal products I mentioned earlier, then I researched and compared 4-5 diaper pails.  I don’t have any children, so I’ve never used a diaper pail before and didn’t have any personal experience to go on.  After much deliberation, I went with the Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin.  The moment I took it out of the box, I knew I’d made the right decision.  The clouds parted.  The hallelujahs started.  It’s a brand new day!  My poo problems are solved!  Okay, not really.  But I was… and I really hesitate to admit this… I was anxious for the dogs to poop next so I could try it out.  This is where you understand that not much excitement happens around here when I’m thrilled about something like a diaper pail for dog poo.  Now, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, so you’re not willing to carry bags of poo through your house, but you’re willing to have pail of poo sitting around?”  No… we’re actually keeping it outside.  If it begins to rain, we simply pull a trash bag over it to protect it from getting water inside.

Below is a video to show how it works.  Just pretend that the folded up diaper she’s putting in is a small bag of dog poo.
** I thought about making a demonstration video of my own… and I still might later.  But this video gives you the idea without having to see me mess with actual dog poo. 

You can’t see it very well in the video, but every close of the lid causes a set of interior flaps to rotate, which twists the bag and seals off odors.  Not only does the pail not stink while sitting there, but you don’t get a lovely blast of odor each time you open it.  About the baking soda: honestly, it’s a nice touch but I don’t know how much it’s really contributing to odor control since only a little sprinkles out with each use.

In summary, while our method of poo disposal (and temporary storage until trash day) is essentially the same as before: small bags inside of a larger bag; using the diaper pail is a much cleaner, more organized, less stinky system.  It really just feels more sanitary, whether it truly is or not.

Because I know that many of you reading have much larger dogs and perhaps even more than one, I’m really very curious how you handle disposing of what I can only assume is much more poo than we have to deal with.  Do you throw it away with the garbage?  Where do you put it all until then?  Do you have a Doggie Dooley?  Do you use the flushable bags?  Do tell.

Top Photo Credit: ButterFunk

Disclosure: There are a few affiliate links in this post.  If you make a purchase through those links, we may receive a small commission.  25% of all commissions received goes to animal rescue.

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22 Responses to The Straight Poop: Part 2

  1. Feel the same way. Don’t really believe in that flusable poop bags. “Old School” is our way. We don;t have issues on flies as our trash bin is inside our garage (very common in our area). We wash it and air it out regularly. Happy Weekend. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
    SUGAR: Golden Woofs recently posted…Summer Fun With Your DogMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      Thanks for the input that you still handle things the “old school” way. It’s not a pleasant topic, by any means, but something all of us pet parents have to deal with.
      We have had discussions about having larger dogs in the future, so I was/am curious about how those with larger breeds handle it because I’d like to be prepared.
      I’d certainly like to start keeping our trash bin and recycling bin in the garage, but the hubs needs to clean out some of his junk… err… stuff first.

  2. houndstooth4 says:

    Ha ha ha! I’m laughing out loud about several aspects of this! We just throw ours away…I think. I’ll be honest, hubby is in charge of that and I don’t ask questions about where it goes! The poop fairy just takes it away!

    • Pam says:

      Ha! The poop fairy!! I’m the poop fairy around here! OMD, that’s right… you have five… FIVE!!! I don’t want to even think about that! Your poor hubs… lol!

  3. Taryn says:

    I walk my dogs around the neighborhood a lot so most of their waste gets distributed far and wide. Fortunately my neighborhood has poop bag dispensers with trash cans stationed throughout the area. You never have to walk far to find one and leave your baggie behind. On the rare occasion my guys actually poop in the yard, I get it with one of the bags. I have a large pot in the yard where the bags collect for a few days until garbage day….
    Taryn recently posted…Black and White Sunday – The Center of the Universe…..My Profile

    • Pam says:

      They only sometimes go while on walks, but I wish our neighborhood had those dispenser stations for when they do. My husband walks them by himself sometimes, and he *always* forgets bags. Fortunately, they usually go in this area that’s kind of across from our actual neighborhood and no one walks over there. So if he leaves one behind now and again, it’s not too big of a deal.

  4. tylersat99 says:

    We have had lots of large dogs and three children so it doesn’t really bother me. If we are walking by neighbors we use bag and toss in garbage can in garage. In the back yard, we have a small wooded area. Woods dispose of things themselves. We just scoop up and throw it in woods and it breaks down no smell. With Newfs can’t leave in yard or you can’t walk around .
    tylersat99 recently posted…Black and White Sunday – FunMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      Hmmm *ponders moving near a woodsy area* One more vote for doing things the “old-fashioned way” – either tossing it in with the garbage or letting nature take care of it.

  5. I’m lucky, since moving to the country a year ago I can just chuck my dog poop over the fence into my hedge. When I lived in town I used to collect it all up and put in plastic bags and hide it down the bottom of my rubbish for collection. I like the theory behind the flushable poop bags but I’d be worried they’d stuff up my septic tank.
    Greyhounds CAN Sit recently posted…Black and White Sunday – Smile and SparkleMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      Chucking it over the fence, eh? Maybe we need to move out in the country… just let nature take care of things! Yes, I’m still wary of using the flushable poop bags… I feel like they’re just a clog waiting to happen.

  6. That’s all good to know but I’ll just bury it. Love Dolly

  7. We mostly take care of it in one of 2 “old fashioned” ways. (1) When she poops in the yard, we live on a canyon w/ most of our yard being unusable and quite steep. She poops in the steep part and there’s no way I’m going down there to hunt for poop, so it just does it’s ‘circle of life’ (or I guess this is the ‘circle of poop’) thing. (2) If she *does* poop up on the level part of the yard, or when out on walks we toss the bags in the big trash bin, which sits on the side of our yard where it’s not visible. That side of our yard (really just a narrow path, don’t even have any “real” windows over there) is pretty much ignored except when we are taking out the trash once/week. We cant fit our cans in the garage cuz our 2 cars take up almost all the space.

    The diaper pail sounds like a good idea. Can’t imagine flushing it…
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Is My Dog Dumb, Or Just Not as Bored as I Thought?My Profile

    • Pam says:

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who isn’t keen on flushing it. And while I can’t say I’m “glad” to see that others are still handling things the “old-fashioned” way(s), I am kind of relieved. I felt like I might be missing out on some great secret. I kept thinking that everyone with big dogs must do things differently… I don’t know how… but they must have some magical way of getting rid of the… stuff. Now I’m finding out that there’s no secret. Most of us deal with it the same way, just in varying amounts. It’s a gross topic… it is. Which is exactly why I want the least gross way of dealing with it. Rita’s smart. I should’ve know she’d have some clever way to deal with it herself… and she does… by taking care of business in the steep part of the yard. So apparently, I either need to have a steep part of my yard or live near the woods. Can’t there be some hole that goes to the molten core of the earth that I can just drop it in?

  8. Jodi says:

    We’re pretty lazy and have a very wild, forest like type back yard. While I truly want to go out there and pick up the poo, it just doesn’t work for me. Of course having the yard fenced in so the big dogs can go out by themselves makes it easy to adopt this attitude.

    When we DO pick it up, we have a little bucket lined with a bag that we fill up. But I do like this idea. If Hubby ever gets the yard clean and I can actually pick up poo, I just might steal this idea. 😉
    Jodi recently posted…Just One DayMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      Hmmm… “It just doesn’t work for me.” I like that. “It just doesn’t work for me.” I like to keep saying it. That line alone solves at least 50% of my problems.
      You can’t steal this idea. A diaper pail is not going to cut it for two Labs, lol. You just keep making those Chinese Poo Stars. 😉

  9. We do the pick-the-poo-up-in-bags-and-set-it-next-to-the-garbage-can-until-trash-day method and don’t have any problems. It doesn’t get all that hot here tough. I have looked into EVERY poo disposal method out there in my water quality career. No method is perfect, unfortunately. The flushable bags sound good but, even if you can get over the ick factor of carrying it though the house, these bags are not made for home septic systems. I have talked with municipal waste treatment facilities and they do not like to encourage flushing dog poop down the toilet. They have found that the bags do not always dissolve by the time they get to the facility, More than that though, these facilities have a hard enough time keeping up with the human poo load that they don’t want to encourage people flushing their dog poo too. In the case of Seattle, if everyone flushed their dogs poo it would increase the waste load on the facility at least by another third! Don’t get me started on “biodegradable” poop bags that you throw away and end up in a landfill……
    Jessica@YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner recently posted…When You Reeaally Want Your Dachshund to Do SomethingMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      Thank you SO much for chiming in with your professional experience! What you said about the waste treatment facilities makes perfect sense to me – that they wouldn’t want even MORE poop coming into the system than they already have to deal with. Certain flushable poop bag producers, however, point to a EPA page stating that flushing it is the best way to dispose of it. I really can’t see how. I mean, I don’t think there really is a “best” way, but if there is… I just can’t see how flushing it all would be a good idea.
      Oh, and I didn’t mention it in my post, but our trash doesn’t go to a landfill here… at least not anymore. It all goes to the trash-to-energy plant. So, I get to pretend that my dogs’ poo is helping, in some small way, to power the city :).

  10. GizmoGeodog says:

    Great minds and all that…Back when I lived in a small apartment complex and didn’t have access to an outdoor trash can I stuck a diaper pail in the far corner of our yard…it was the perfect solution…
    GizmoGeodog recently posted…All the Poop That’s Fit to ScoopMy Profile

    • Pam says:

      OMD, I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who thought of this! When I originally posted it, I actually had second thoughts doing so (well, after the fact… which was a little late). I thought to myself, “Oh Lord, people are going to think I’m crazy… or weird… or gross… or all three… for using a diaper pail. Why oh why did I post this? Should have just kept it to myself.” It makes me feel so much better to hear that someone else has done it.

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