Should I Buy a Pooper Scooper Device?
Every once in a while, I get the pleasure of testing or trying out new contraptions and devices designed to make our lives easier. Especially when it comes to picking up pet waste. Having been in the pooper scooper business for over 35 years, I have become somewhat of an authority on the subject.
In the past I have tried the Scoop n Go, which is really a piece of PVC pipe attached to a handle. You have to scoop quick to lift up the poop. Kind of like when you flip a pancake. Later, I was given a scooper called Doggy Dun It® Pick-Up Scoop. It’s a device that gives you the ability to rake the poop into a bag from an erect or upright position. That means you don’t have to stoop down to pick up the poop.
I will say right from the get go, that I have never seen a product that would be suitable for the professional pooper scooper. We usually deal with huge volumes of waste throughout the day so, most products I test are for home use. Those of us in the industry have a phrase for newbies who want to use the old scissor action pooper scooper called Dogit Jaws. You know the kind that when you squeeze the handle, the two buckets on the end of the spring-loaded arm opens up. Once you set it over the dog pile and let go of the handle, it closes and grabs the poop.
It’s called “Popeye Arms”.
We call it that because if you were to use that device all day, every day, you would have the forearms of Popeye! If you’re too young to know who that is, just Google it and you’ll see what I mean.
The Doggy Dun It
The Doggy Dun It operates a little differently. It looks like a standard pooper scooper and rake. Only the rake is attached on one arm, and the receptacle is attached on the opposite arm. Both arms are attached and pivot at the top. When you squeeze the handle, the rake side grabs the pile and swings it in the bag lined receptacle. When the bag is full, or you want to remove it, simply take the bag off of the hooks, tie it off and toss it in the trash.
This device actually worked OK for home use, but certainly not for commercial use. I tested it on several poops around my community. I even had my then 7-year-old granddaughter try it out. I didn’t force her, she wanted to try it out on her own. She actually did OK with it. Took her a few tries to get it right though.
Ultimately, this product didn’t work out too well as their website is no longer active and neither is their Amazon listing. Oh well, there will be others. Which brings me to my second latest trial run of a new pooper scooper device, the Alpha Scooper (www.alphascooper.com). They tote it as “The best damn pooper scooper on the market!” And all along I thought I was.
The Alpha Scooper
Much like the Dogit Jaws mentioned above, it too has a spring loaded set of aluminum jaws that grabs the poop when you squeeze the handle. The difference is the type of handle to squeeze and it’s made of aluminum instead of plastic. It also has a wider set of teeth for grabbing. Again, not for commercial use in my opinion. You know, Popeye arms and all. But for home use, it’s not that bad. It will scoop through cat litter, it can be used for picking up trash around the yard and yes, for picking up solid dog waste.
Speaking of solid pet waste, the next part is kind of gross, but y’all know the subject has to come up. What about stool that is a “little loose”, sloppy, liquidy, or let’s just call it what it is… diarrhea? All I can say is, I didn’t find any to test it on. (Thank goodness!) But my guess is that it would rake through it, leaving streaks of pet waste where the claws did not have contact. It may take several attempts to get it all because of that, then it would involve a bit of cleaning up. And speaking of cleaning up, since it’s made of aluminum, it rinses off pretty easily.
The Latest Pooper Scooper Device
The latest product to come my way is called the Magic Grab. Also known as a Portable Pet Pooper Scooper, Portable Dog Excrement Shovel Picker, or, as I like to call them, a waste of money. What can you expect from Temu?
I watched the video and it takes more time to load the device. Reassemble it. Manually pull a bag out and wrap it around the prongs. (They don’t show that part in the video, it just magically appears that way.) Grab the “perfect poop.” (In this case it was a small orange.) Manually unwrap the poop bag from around the “poop.” (Or the orange.) Tear off the full bag from the rest of the roll. Then set the device down to free up your hand so you can tie off the bag of poop!
Phew, that’s a lot of work just to pick up poop. That seems like a lot of trouble to go through just so you don’t touch the poop. But guess what? If you simply remove a dog poop bag from the roll, tuck your hand in it and grab the poop and tie it off, you’re still not touching the poop! And you did it in a fraction of the time.
I’ll conclude with this. Many of these devices are OK for home use or occasional use. I’m not knocking them for that. But that Magic Grab? If you feel the need to go through all that trouble to pick up dog poop, you’ll be better off calling a professional pooper scooper company like Scoop Masters to take care of that for you. I’m really looking forward to the next “great” pooper scooper device to test out. Maybe I’ll fill you in on the robotic pooper scooper that I was asked to consult on with some tech students in Los Angeles. Happy scooping!