The 10 Best Pooper Scoopers
This wiki has been updated 34 times since it was first published in September of 2015. It's the most unpleasant part of owning a dog, but being a good citizen and cleaning up after your pooch doesn't have to be a messy endeavor. Something from our selection of pooper scoopers will take a lot of the unpleasantness out of picking up your four-legged friend’s waste, while making the whole process a lot more sanitary. Your yard and neighborhood will be clean and odor free. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 25, 2021:
We're highly confident in our existing selection, and therefore haven't made any recent changes. The PetMate Arm & Hammer is surprisingly well-crafted considering its low price and the Dog Buddy Portable is our favorite choice for taking with you on walks. The Four Paws Easy Scoop is the most straightforward option, and the same manufacturer has a variety of other products in the Four Paws pooper scooper line, all of which reasonably effective. The Dara Giants Combo is the best choice for cleaning up after large groups of dogs, although it is relatively bulky and expensive.
February 01, 2020:
When evaluating the best pooper scoopers, we selected options that work with a variety of mechanisms so that most pet parents should be able to find something here that suits their needs.
Clamping options like the Bodhi Poo Pack and the Pet Select Handi Scoop are quite popular because you an stay pretty far from the waste and then it's locked away, out of sight, with just a simple pull of the trigger.
This style may not be useful for someone with weak hands because of arthritis or other ailments, and for them we included options like lightweight and versatile the Arm & Hammer Swivel or the Nature's Miracle Advanced. The Nature's Miracle model gives the user both a rake and spade attachment.
We also added the Dog Buddy Portable to our list because the pooper scoopers designed for cleaning up the yard are to bulky to take on a walk, unless you really can't bend over to pick up one poop. The Dog Buddy takes the place of picking up the waste with just a thin film of plastic between you and the mess.
Scoop In The Name Of Society
The pooper scoopers on our list seek to make what could be a rather unpleasant chore into something simple and painless, so each of us can do his or her part.
Unless you feel the slip of it, or you or somebody with you sees it happen, there's liable to be a gap between the moment you step in dog droppings and the moment you realize it. It's usually the smell that gives it away. I wish there was some manner by which I could fix a camera on the face of someone who stepped in it but didn't know it yet, just to capture that instant of recognition, that flash of shame, and fear, and begrudging certainty that we've all felt when we realized the source of that suspicious aroma.
Of course, all of this pain and strife could be avoided if everybody just picked up after their pets. This is a utopian concept, I know, but change starts with each and every one of us doing what we can. The pooper scoopers on our list seek to make what could be a rather unpleasant chore into something simple and painless, so each of us can do his or her part.
There are people out there who practice the inverted bag method, by which they reach through a plastic bag with their otherwise bare hand and grab the remains right off the lawn, pulling them up and turning the bag inside out, trapping the stuff inside. Not only is this method unnecessarily unsanitary (one hole in that bag is all it takes), it also does nothing to save you from feeling the warmth of the material as you pick it up, and just typing that makes me squeamish.
A pooper scooper puts a safe distance between you and the offensive pile in question, either cleanly raking the leavings directly into a bag or bin, or grabbing them up in a long plastic device that marries the design of a backhoe and a pair of forceps.
Methods Of Disposal
I've never met a pooper scooper I would describe as durable. For 15 years I had a fantastic little beagle names Lwpos (a private initialism pronounced like Lupus, the Latin for "wolf"), and he was nothing if not an excrement machine. We burned through an average of two scoopers per year, though, to be honest we didn't take very good care of them.
Instead of a C-shaped clamp at the end, though, these devices have two rounded shovels that slide underneath the target, effectively scooping it up.
If you live in an area where there is a lot of rain or snow come winter, or a lot of intense shifts in temperature and humidity over the course of a single day, your pooper scoopers may not last as long as you like. I was notorious for leaving our pooper scooper out in the snow and allowing its metal hinges to rust. A modicum of care ought to get you a few more years out of your pooper scooper than I could muster, but don't expect them to last forever.
Without placing a huge emphasis on durability, then, you can make your decision among the pooper scoopers on our top ten list by considering a couple of other variables. First, do you prefer the clamp or the rake? The clamp design works a lot like those reach-and-grab devices you sometimes see the elderly or the vertically challenged using at the grocery store to reach the top shelf. Instead of a C-shaped clamp at the end, though, these devices have two rounded shovels that slide underneath the target, effectively scooping it up.
The rake works more like a push broom with its very own dust pan. Unlike the clamp design, these require two hands to operate, so if you prefer a method that allows you to Instagram your scooping operations, you'll want the clamp.
Next, you should ask yourself if you plan to use bags at all, and if you want a bag directly involved in the scooping. This question really depends on how often you scoop. I was a weekly scooper, so I'd carry a bag with me and load up on the whole week's worth. Daily scoopers, or those of you who work on a walk-by-walk basis could get away without any bags, dropping the goods in a neighbor's trash can instead.
A Pile On The Political Landscape
Before the turn of the 20th century, there wasn't much dog training to speak of in the United States. During the Second World War, the American military trained and employed a significant number of soldiers to teach field animals how to sniff out bombs and mines, as well as how to cohabitate with their fellow soldiers. After the end of the war, these trainers returned home and put their newfound knowledge and skills to work, professionally training dogs to live more sweetly among us.
In short order, Brooke Miller of Anaheim California invented the first pooper scooper, a small scooping mechanism much like the rake and pan models on our list.
Still, despite this increase in training, the general attitude toward anything these dogs might have left behind was one of avoidance. What the dogs did outside was their business, not ours. If there's anybody that can find the value in a pile of you-know-what, however, it's a politician, and in the 1960s, politicians with specific agendas would hide bits of personal legislation in the fine print of bills directed at ridding their municipalities' streets of poop.
The measures were immensely popular among city-dwellers tired of scraping the stuff off of their shoes, and almost nobody looked into the other provisions set forth in the bills. In short order, Brooke Miller of Anaheim California invented the first pooper scooper, a small scooping mechanism much like the rake and pan models on our list. By 1978, curbing laws had taken hold in San Francisco, New York City, and a slew of other cities across America.