Having two large dogs and boarding dogs in my home as part of my business, I have to poop scoop my backyard once or twice a day for the safety of their health (see our Poop Scooping section), my back and my shoes. Because of this, I’ve tried numerous poop scoopers on the market and have found one that is by far the best. There are 3 main designs with different companies tweaking them all slightly:
The Claw Scooper
This one has a long enough handle so that those of us with bad backs don’t have to bend over too much to get the poop. I have a neighbor that walks his dog with it. The problem I had with this one is that it only works great if the dog’s poop is hard. If there is any softness to the poop, it gets stuck in the teeth. Your choice is to try to knock most of it off on a bag and then hose it off. If you have more than one dog or don’t scoop too often, then that’s going to be time consuming and more bending. It’s made out of plastic and parts can break very easily.
This one is another good one for your back and does better with loose poops. Once you learn how to get under the poops and can “flick” it into the pan piece, you can get more in there without a mess. The only issue with this one is that it only holds a small amount of poop before you have to bend over and put it into a trash bag. If you only have one small dog and don’t scoop often, then this would be fine. Again, however, the smeary stuff has to be cleaned off when you are done.
In my opinion, this is the “cat’s meow” of scoopers in several ways. First and foremost, it is made to insert/attach plastic grocery bags to scoop the poop into…no more having to transfer it into a bag yourself and risking getting any on you. I highly recommend using 2 grocery bags, as the amount of poop this thing can hold gets very heavy. After you have it filled up, you just turn the basket up, undo the bag handles, tie them up and right into the trash the whole thing goes.
The basket part also swivels, so it can adjust to any angle that the poop is located. Again, once you learn how to wiggle the rake underneath the poop…even soft stools…you can flick the entire blob into the container and not have to worry about getting it dirty. You can also wipe any excess from the rake right onto the bag without ever having to bend over.
There’s only one negative I’ve had with this scooper (and only on 1 of 2 that I own). Because it is assembled by screwing the handle sections together, they sometimes come loose as you are working. It’s easy enough to tighten then as you go or even tape the joints together. I’ve found this scooper at PetSmart, both in-store and online, but it’s also available on several pet websites. The manufacturer is Petmate.