Cleaning dog poop during winter?
December 10, 2006 1:07 AM   Subscribe

Dogpoopfilter: what to do with dogpoop on a lawn that gets no sun? Now with Mea Culpa inside!

Mea Culpa: we should be picking up the poop every time. I know this. I do.

But: in the summer, the sun bathes my yard in warm, dogpoop drying, vitamin d producing goodness. Making it easy to pick them up in a batch every few days. But in the (san francisco wet) winter, the sun misses my yard almost entirely. They stay wet and smeary for days on end.
This makes the onerous chore even worse; it should be obvious that we're already having trouble taking care of it in a timely fashion, and this is making it worse.

Inertia is a terrible thing, even worse may be that I'm looking for suggestions that will help me to perpetuate my family's inertia.

Oh well.

*side comment: nobody could have possibly prepared me for how great it is to have a dog! Found mine at Berkeley Humane and he's the coolest dog in the world (in case you were wondering where he was...)
posted by asavage to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe some poop-freeze would help?
posted by wfrgms at 2:03 AM on December 10, 2006

Seconding the poop freeze. I've never used it (the poop scoop method works just fine here in New York), but I have friends who swear by it.

My dad has a dog at his auto shop, and uses that Oil Dry stuff. He sprinkles the stuff on to the poop, leaves it for an hour or so (sometimes covered with a disposable cloth or bowl to keep other people from stepping in it) then shovels it up. Rice or cat litter would probably work, too, if you don't have a bag of the Oil Dry.
posted by Verdandi at 3:04 AM on December 10, 2006

I can't find a link to the exact one we bought, but my husband picks up the dog poop in our yard with a device with a long handle and two jaws on the end to pick up the poop. You can use regular grocery store bags in the device, and after you scoop up the poop, it just slides into the bag. This is perfect if you tend to wait...ummm...a few days to pick up after the dog, as you can just fill up the grocery bag without detaching it from the device.
posted by gokart4xmas at 5:41 AM on December 10, 2006

You could always hire it done. It appears to run around $12/week to make it someone else's problem (or $20ish if you want them to come twice a week).
posted by katemonster at 6:33 AM on December 10, 2006

Maybe throw some kitty litter over it, and pick up yesterday's after it has a chance to set up. They make a paper towel thing with nylon mesh in it and a plastic lining at the pet store. (Also good for wiping muddy windshields.) But I'd be tempted to hire it done, twice a week if it's a small yard.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 8:24 AM on December 10, 2006

I just use a couple of grocery bags - one wrapped around my hand to pick up, and the other hanging to receive it. I mean, is it really that hard to pick up dog doodie?

I've never even conceived of the idea of using some sort of Rube Goldberg device in my yard. There's something kind of cool/weird/pleasurable to hold warm dogpoop, separated from your skin by only a thin layer of plastic.

Jesus, did I just say that out loud?
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:30 AM on December 10, 2006 [2 favorites]

There's something kind of cool/weird/pleasurable to hold warm dogpoop, separated from your skin by only a thin layer of plastic.

We have a small dog (small poos! yay!) and I have a little roll of doggie doo bags that attach to the retractable walkies leash. I use the one-bag method (pick up using bag as glove, turn inside out. Tie. Feel warm, firm dog poo through plastic, marvel: I'm almost touching POO! But I'm NOT! Ha ha, poo! Tuck in pocket. Discard when home.

But, yeah. When she poos at home, I pick up immediately, again using a one-bag method (uses up the excess grocery bags we accumulate.) Small dog, smaller poo--I don't want to go on a poo-hunt every few days. This is one case where procrastination really doesn't pay.
posted by Savannah at 9:14 AM on December 10, 2006

Make it easier to pick up the poops. Keep a container of plastic grocery bags near the door, or, even better, on a covered porch. Maybe a covered coffee can of bags? Just make them super-easy to get to, and have a container for the filled, tied bags, so they're easy to sling in the garbage weekly. I find that makes me much likelier to clean up.

I'm glad you and your great dog found each other!
posted by theora55 at 9:27 AM on December 10, 2006

At least get to it before it rains or something so that it hasn't started to melt into the grass. I take a hoe in one hand and a big, flat shovel in the other and use the corner of the hoe to "flick" each turd onto the shovel. Works fairly well so long as you have a distinct pile or set of turds that haven't fused with the grass. If you can't stash the hoe and shovel out of the way, then give em a quick spray from the hose.

When I lived in the city, and the poop went into the trash can, I used a trowel (Mr. Shovel--this was his only job) and a plastic bag. Fill the bag, then put into the outside trash can. Again, the key is to get it before it's become one with the grass.

And diarrhea? Oh, boy.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 10:39 AM on December 10, 2006

Feed a quality dry dog food.

Everything will come out well-formed, not ploppy or smeary, and easy to pick up even if rained on.
posted by sageleaf at 11:25 AM on December 10, 2006

You might consider adjusting the inputs to get more desirable outputs. When we switched our dog to an ultra-premium kibble, his poops became smaller and firmer and easier to pick up. We realized that rawhide not only gives the dog room-clearing gas but also resulted in nasty poops that you could only get rid of with a spray from the garden hose, so no more rawhides for the dog.

Living in Berkeley I understand completely about the sunshine making nice dry poops that are like picking up baked poop cookies and the rain making an unpleasant task worse. I just watch the weather and try to get all the poop up before the rain starts. And I use two plastic grocery bags: one for the hand, one for the poop.

If you do try the poop-freeze stuff, please let us know how well it works.
posted by ambrosia at 12:00 PM on December 10, 2006

I don't pick up dog poo on my lawn. I just dump a garden scoop of sawdust on top of it and leave the rest to the earthworms. Poo+sawdust+worms = healthy lawn.
posted by flabdablet at 2:25 PM on December 10, 2006

Response by poster: May I just say again how much I love askmefi? And thanks to all who resisted calling me a lazy bastard.
posted by asavage at 6:51 PM on December 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

Given your experience in prototyping and improvised mechanical devices, perhaps you could hack up a Roomba into an industrial strength autonomous lawn-crawling crapdrone.

You lazy bas--oh, sorry.
posted by Danelope at 8:22 PM on December 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've got two large dogs. I have used one of these for years: Allen's Spring Action Scooper

It saves your back and it picks up anything regardless of consistency. One of the 10 most useful gadgets I've ever purchased. Ever.

Good luck,

posted by jpozadzides at 10:44 AM on December 15, 2006

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