With the huge selection of dog waste bags available to consumers, we issued five different dog owners with a challenge. We gave each of them 5 different poop bags. The dog owners received zero information about our suppliers but were issued one simple rule: test each bag for a whole week and report back on which was the best. What happened? Lets find out.
As most dog owners are aware it is an offence to allow your dog to foul in a public place. Whilst this law has been in effect since 1997, it is only more recently that it is been enforced with heavy penalties for those dog owners who allow their dogs to take a poop in a public area and walk on without cleaning up after their pooch. Most dog owners however are responsible enough to carry biodegradable bags on their person and as we dog owners say “scoop that poop”. Yet there are still a number of issues to deal with. Firstly, the lack of bag dispensers in many towns and cities causes a problem for those dog owners who do not have their own bags with them. They are hardly going to pick it up with their hands are they? Whilst many people would suggest this to be fair, as a dog owner, I must say myself that this is in no way an option unless you want to carry a bottle of disinfectant around with you. Of course there is also the lack of bins in many areas. For example, on a recent trip to Limerick city centre, on a walk along the beautiful new riverfront promenade, I was actually shocked at the lack of bins. Yet I was shocked to hear a sensor activated audible alarm with a message encouraging dog owners to clean up after their dogs. The mobile devices which are attached to lamp-posts in the city play the message: “Do your bit to keep Limerick clean. Stop Limerick Dog Litter. Use any bag, any bin – please pick up after your dog”. This is indeed a great use of modern technology but the fact remains that unless dog owners have the necessary bags to pick up after their dog, they are not going to use their hands to do so. And if the necessary bins are not provided, dog owners are not going to carry a bag of dog poo around the city in order to find the nearest bin. This is not only unhygienic but it is embarrassing for many dog owners when there are other people around staring at you. So, instead of erecting mobile audible devices that shout at every random passer-by whether they be a dog owner or not, a simple solution would be the provision of bag dispensers with bins to dispose of your poop. The biggest issue though is actually not the lack of bins or the fact that bag dispensers are not widely available (Lets face it, at some point or other as a dog owner, you have forgotten the bags). The larger issue here is the quality of a lot of these bags. Subsequently, we decided to hit out and test a different poop bags, testing each bag for a period of one full week. The bags which were chosen were
– Poop Scoops
– Pet Outside bags
– Playful Pets
– Bob Martin
– Mutt Mitts
We compared each of the five bags on the basis of Price, Durability, Hygiene and Ease of use.
Whilst this particular bag is now used in dispensers across many of the towns and cities throughout Ireland, It definitely was not our favourite. At a price of £36.47 for 200 scoops, it is not a bad buy. The scoops are probably the most bio-degradable out of all which we have reviewed and are made from recycled paper and cardboard. Despite being environmentally friendly, what good is a paper bag to any dog owner on a wet day? As most dog owners will be aware, dog poop is not completely dry. The dampness of the poop or water on the ground on a rainy day renders this bag absolutely useless. On the one wet day that I used this bag, it fell apart in my hand. There is also the problem that unless you have a third hand to hold your dog (because to be perfectly honest my dog is quite strong and need to have a strong hold on her), the possibility is that you may lose hold of your dog trying to use this bag. The reality is you need to use two hands to use this bag due to its design. You need to hold the scoop from either side and push down on the cardboard sides which then scoop the poop into the bag. Whilst the idea behind this is quite practical, it is the least easy of the five bags to use. Available from: http://www.poopscoop.biz/
For a poop bag that was purchased from a discount retailer, these are actually pretty decent. Whilst the main concern would still be for hygiene with the chance of poop spilling out onto your hands, these bags are very durable. The structure of these bags would appear on first look like that of a bin liner but on a much smaller scale. On a price level, these bags are very affordable. As I mentioned, I purchased these from a discount retailer. Availability however is a difficult enough issue. I have only ever come across these particular bags in one retailer so they are one you need to keep your eyes open in order to find. The bags, like most poop bags are easy enough to use provided you are able to keep your hands relatively free. This is not always the case with a hyper dog but assuming you have a good handle on your pooch, these bags are a good choice.
Available From: Mr Price Discount Retailers
Playful Pets – Mittens:
Playful Pets offer a good product selection. Apart from just having your normal poop bags, they also sell fragranced bags and poop Mittens. To be perfectly honest, stick with the bags because the mittens are a waste of money. They would remind me of XL disposable gardening gloves more than Mittens. Whilst the idea itself is good the mittens lose big marks for hygiene. The mittens tear easily when you are attempting to reverse them inside out to securely store the poop. There is also the problem that as you are trying to complete the storing process, the poop will fall easily onto your other hand, not something you really want to happen. Again Ease of use rates average at best because you need two completely free hands here to be able to turn the mitten inside out. Price is pretty good retailing between €1.50 and €3 for 50 mittens but I would definitely recommend sticking with the bags.
Available From: Most discount stores:
A well-known brand, Bob Martins is probably one of the better poop bags available on the market. Available from most pet shops this bag is durable, easy to use and hygienic. The bag is stronger than your average poop bag but yet not as strong as the Pet outside brand.
The addition of tie handles makes it slightly more preferable on a hygiene level and also for ease of use as it is much easier to close the bag, particularly useful if you have to walk a bit of a distance to your nearest bin. The bags are also fragranced which would appear to be an added bonus.
Bob Martins are quite affordable and come in packs of 40 and 60. The RRP is €2 but this will vary depending on the store in which you purchase the bags.
Available from: Maxi Zoo and most major pet stores
I have definitely saved the best until last. Mutt Mitts are without doubt the best poop bag on the market. The mutt mitt is made up of a strong biodegradable bag with a scoop attached the bottom of the bag.
The scoop itself is actually part of the bag. These bags are very easy to use as all you have to do is to put your hand into the bag and place the black part of the bag (the scoop) over the poop and you are easily able to pick up the poop with your hand. Whilst many bags may be awkward to pick more than one piece of poop at a time, these mitts are able to scoop many pieces using the same bag. It is an extraordinary concept on a hygiene level also. There is no fear whatsoever of poop dropping onto your hand or any part of your body for that matter. Mutt Mitts are very strong due to the fact that they are double layered so this makes them very weather resistant also. The bags themselves are not the cheapest and this is likely to be the only reason to deter people away from them. My argument however is that these bags are worth every penny as you are paying for the fact that these bags are so hygienic, of excellent quality and are so easy to use. As a dog owner who would go through the bones of 20 or so poop bags on a weekly basis, it’s a bit of an increased cost for me but it is a cost I am willing to pay rather than using paper bags which break with the smallest drop of water or light plastic bags which are not able to hold much weight without falling apart. Mutt Mitts are definitely worth the money.
Available From: www.muttmitts.ie
So there you have it folks, Mutt Mitts win out in this competition by a mile – easy to use, durable, very clean and excellent value for money.
To hear more from Ciaran about the products Mutt Mitts offer and about his adventures with his dog pepperoni, be sure to tune into Episode 4 of The Big bark podcast over at thebigbark.ie
To order from muttmitts – contact Ciaran at firstname.lastname@example.org