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Product Review: Flush Doggy Poop Bags

I have been trying to figure out what to do about the stinky trash can that results from disposing of dog poop. If I put the poop pickup bags in a trash can in the yard, I can barely stand to go out there, and I keep thinking my neighbors – who don’t own dogs – can smell it. Plus, it attracts flies and other bugs. If I keep the poop in a trash can in the garage … well, let’s just say that I live in Texas, and the temperatures are warm for nine months out of the year, with summertime temps reaching well above 100 degrees. By the time our once-a-week trash pickup comes, the garage reeks so bad that the smell has begun to spread to the house and the neighborhood.

I didn’t used to worry about it so much. I hate to admit this, but since we adults did not use the back yard, we would just pick it up before the mowers came every week. But then we added three small children and a puppy who finds these piles to be irresistible (if you catch my drift), so now we have to clean up as we go. I love having a clean yard all the time, but what to do with the poop?

It seems to me that there are three options for disposing of dog waste that you pick up on walks or in your yard.

  1. A composter like the Doggy Dooley. Cons are that you have to dig a huge hole to put it in and our ground is very hard; you have to add water every day, you have to buy and add enzymes periodically, some customers still complain of strong odor, and some say that the plastic does not withstand extreme heat and sun.
  2. Collect the waste in pickup bags and dispose of them. Cons are a strong, unpleasant odor, flies, and a not-so-earth-friendly substance that accumulates in landfills.
  3. Flush the dog waste with biodegradable bags.

I can’ t believe I had never thought of flushing my dog’s waste down the toilet. But then I found Flush Doggy, the eco-friendly, flushable dog poop bags. These white bags are the same size as other poop bags I have tried (10.75″ x 8.5″), so they can handle anything my big dogs put out. They’re water soluble, so they won’t clog toilets or pipes. Yet they don’t fall apart if you use them on walks. They’ll stay intact for about an hour, so you have plenty of time to get your little package home before the bag dissolves.

There is an art to flushing the bag once you’ve picked up the poop, however. The first time I tried, I backed up my toilet. The reason? Air got trapped inside the bag, creating a large object that wouldn’t go down. The packaging does come with instructions for avoiding this:

  • Do not tie the bag; just leave the top open
  • Flush one poop at a time (it helps to dump the poop out into the water, then drop the bag in after it)
  • Avoid flushing dry or hard feces

I have discovered my own method for flushing. I flush the toilet and the bowl begins to fill with water. I hold the bag over the water. When the water begins to go down, I drop the bag right over the hole and down it goes. I have not had another problem since I started doing this. The suction takes the bag down, ridding it of any air that’s inside. Perfect!

Flush Doggy bags are not recommended for septic systems. The company, http://www.flushdoggy.com, sells them for $19.99 for 100 bags. I have also found them on Amazon. There are other manufacturers of flushable waste bags, so you can find one that you like. Here are the ones I have been able to find:

UPDATE: Eight months later, I’m still using the bags. My yard is always clean for my mowers, my children, and my bare feet. So grateful for these. I haven’t been without a yucky back yard since I’ve had dogs. I will never be without these bags. – LW

 
 

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Neighbor’s Dog Poops in My Yard

One of my neighbors lets his dog poop in my yard almost every day. He has a medium-sized mix, so these land mines are somewhat sizable. I’m not a dog hater (I have two of my own) but I wish he wouldn’t let his dog “go” on my grass. How do I raise this topic without alienating one of my neighbors?
B.C., Carlsbad, CA

Dear B.C.

Most dog owners these days know to pick up after their dogs, whether they’re at the park, on the sidewalk or anywhere else. But there are still some who think that leaving land mines outdoors is okay.

You could try a sign in your yard. I’ve seen one that’s made of wrought iron that is very attractive and small. If you can’t find one like that, perhaps a small sign like the real estate agents place beside the road would do the trick. Be sure the wording is tactful. You might even use humor to deflect any hurt feelings. Say something like, “We love ’em too, but we don’t want ‘piles’ in our yard. Please pick up after your dog.” Or try, “Pick up after your dog, please. It’s only human.” Something that your other neighbors won’t mind seeing every day.

If you don’t want a yard sign (or if that doesn’t get the point across), you might want to have a friendly chat with your neighbor. One friend of mind with a similar situation was able to get a neighbor to stop letting her dogs pee on her grass (it was turning her yard yellow) by getting to know the offender. She’s be sure to be outside getting her mail or pulling weeds as the woman walked by. She would greet the woman, stop to pat the dog, and talk about the weather or the neighborhood or traffic … something they both shared. As they got to know each other, the neighbor stopped letting her dogs make their stop at that particular yard.

If your neighbor is more of a hard case than that (or if you don’t want to invest the time needed for that approach), perhaps a more direct chat would be in order. Greet your neighbor, compliment the dog, then say something like, “I’m trying to keep my lawn in better condition, and I’m training my own dogs not to go on the front lawn. If you could keep your dog from going on my lawn, it would be a big help.”

Your homeowner’s association may be willing to remind everyone of city ordinances concerning picking up after dogs, or even write a letter to the neighbor directly.

Of course, the coward’s way out is to leave an annonymous note at the neighbor’s house stating that dog owners are expected to clean up after their pets. I once got an anonymous note in my mailbox when my grass was pretty shaggy. The note mentioned that neglected lawns bring down everyone’s home values. I was horrified, but my lawn has been mown, walkways edged and bushes clipped ever since. (By the way, don’t put anything in someone’s mailbox; it’s illegal.)

Got a question about dog etiquette? Send it here.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2006 in Dog Etiquette

 

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