Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pooper Scooper Tips

          Pooper scoopers aren't the most exciting or glamorous thing, but if you own a dog they are certainly a very helpful tool. Buying pooper scoopers for use in the dog yard will save your back and knees from needless bending over to bag poo the old fashion way. There are also so called portable style scoops that are marketed for when you take your dog for a walk....what I say is save your money when it comes to that type of scoop. Just do the old school way of putting your hand inside a bag (like a puppet), grab the dog poop, then pull the bag off your hand and tie up the bag. This method is much more portable and less cumbersome then dragging around a scoop.

          There are different types of materials the scoops can come in, such as plastic, wood, aluminum, and steel. I've tried all but the plastic type scoops, so those will be the only type I can't give any helpful tips or opinion on. There is also a variety of types, with plastic scoops having the most options. In the other materials there are basically two types scissor and separate/single. Scissor types look and work much like the name suggests, both the spade and scoop are riveted together to create the scissor action. The Separate type have single spade and scoop that are not attached to each other. Personally my choice is the separate style, I like the versatility being able to operate each piece independently. Then we come lastly to style, which are either spade or rake. I've used both styles and they each have their uses, but I'll choose the spade for its all around use. Not to get to graphic, but if your dog has a loose stool at some point you'll have a much easier time collecting it with a spade. Also if you live in an area where you get snow and ice I recommend going with the spade style.

The scoop with the red cap is made from aluminum, the other scoop and 2 spades are steel.

Wooden Type Dog Pooper Scoopers
          This material does best if stored inside out of the elements such as a shed or garage. If you live in a climate were you get snow and ice I would avoid this style, you'll want something hardier. The pros to this material is it is fairly lightweight and is often inexpensive. The cons to this material is that it can splinter or break if not properly used or cared for.

Aluminum Type Dog Pooper Scoopers
          If you have no place to store your scooper inside, or if you just find the thought of storing a pooper scooper inside yucky then this material is a good one to go with. In the photo above the scoop with a red cap is aluminum and the other pieces are steel. All four pieces have been stored outside leaning up against my garage through all manner of weather for years. As you can see from the photo only the aluminum scoop is not damaged by the weather. The pro to this material is it is very lightweight, which will make it perfect for anyone who can not wield heavy or cumbersome scoops. The con to this material is it can be easily bent and misshapen. If you anticipate having to chip frozen dog poop from the snow you'll want some thing sturdier.

Steel Type Dog Pooper Scoopers
          Steel is my choice material to look for in a pooper scooper, I like its strength and durability. It will rust if left outside in the elements as you can see mine has in the photo above. If you live in a climate that gets snow and ice then you may want to choose steel for its sturdiness. Steel keeps it shape much better then aluminum but that is not to say with the right amount of force you can't warp or bend the spade head. The cons to this material is it is heavy and the handles are often a larger diameter then the wood or aluminum scoopers. So if you have dainty hands or can not wield a heavy scoop you may want to pick a different material to go with. Lastly steel scoops often cost more then the other kinds.

Face your pooper scooper like this during the winter.

Winter tips
          If you store your scooper outside during the winter you will want to make sure to face your scoop like I've done in the photo above. Having it stored this way makes it harder to get completely frozen to the ground. I find I run into the problem more often when the weather warms up enough to melt some of the snow then drops back down to freezing causing any pools of water to turn into ice. Also if they are stored like this when you are expecting snow will make it easier for you to extricate them. Most likely were ever you store your scoops, whether inside or out, they are wont be in warm temperatures. This means the scooper will be cold to freezing so wear gloves to handle them. I also found that if you throw a thin layer of snow into the bottom of the scoop before you try and pick up fresh dog poop it tends not to stick to the cold metal.

Summer tips
       If you store your steel scooper outside and you know you will be getting lots of rain turn your scooper over (like I do for wintertime, see photo above), this will keep water from sitting in the scoop for long periods of time which can cause rust. I'm often lazy and will let the rain wash out the pooper scooper for me.

Do you have any tips or advice you would like to share about pooper scoopers? Have you used any of the plastic scoops and want to share your knowledge? Do you have a funny pooper scooper story? Just add your comments below, I would love to hear from you.

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