Brace yourselves — it’s another product review involving the management of something gross. Today’s review is of a device designed to make it physically and emotionally easier to manage dog and cat poop. Besides having an awesome name, the PoogoStick ($39.99) has an awesome story. Designed by a family based upon a wood-and-nails prototype the father had created to help pick up after their Newfoundland, the PoogoStick caught the attention of the folks at PetSmart. PetSmart liked the PoogoStick so much that it sells them in all its stores and online.
The PoogoStick looks like a cross between a broom-and-dustpan set and one of those grabbing claw tools you can use to pick up items from high places. To use, you squeeze the handle on the scoop, opening up the space on top of the plastic tines where the poop will go. You then scoop up the poop while you continue to hold the scoop open. To get the poop into the pan, you simply release the handle, and the scoop pushes it into the pan. You can even line the pan with a plastic bag, allowing you to throw the poop away without ever getting near it. Here is a video that shows the PoogoStick in action.
The PoogoStick promises it will improve your poop-scooping experience in several ways. You don’t have to bend over when picking up waste, which is particularly good for folks with mobility limitations. You don’t have to touch the poop or get close to it. Also, the PoogoStick is made of easy-to-clean plastic, its two parts clip together to store upright easily, and it works on a variety of surfaces (grass, cement, sand, gravel) and in cat litter boxes.
When I first read about the PoogoStick, it took me a minute to understand why someone would want to purchase a device to help them pick up poop. I had to think outside my own experiences as a dog owner: I live in a city with one small dog. I don’t foresee anyone taking her dog for a walk down a city street with the PoogoStick in hand! But if you live in a suburban or rural area with a yard, and especially if you have more than one dog or a very large dog, I imagine the PoogoStick could be a useful tool. For example, perhaps you have a dog door to your yard, which your dog uses freely while you’re at work, and you pick up your dog waste every few days. The PoogoStick would make that type of task much easier because you could pick up all the poop in one bag and would not have to keep bending down.
The PoogoStick is easy to assemble. It comes in a flattened state that requires a few twists and turns to put it together. As a person with less-than-reliable spatial perception I greatly appreciated the clear instructions and photos attached to the unit. I also like the green-and-gray color scheme, which I think will conceal the kind of stains that come with the territory of a product that picks up poop.
I tested the PoogoStick in my grass “yard,” which is a tiny patch of grass behind my apartment. Ace was a little confused and perhaps excited to be asked to do her business in this unusual location. Fortunately, when Ace was a puppy, I trained her to respond to a few useful commands. One of these commands is for her to defecate. Unfortunately, I taught her a command that I thought was cute and funny at the time: “Make poops.” Now, when Ace is dawdling on her walk and I have to hurry her up so I can get to whatever I have to do next, my neighbors give me questioning looks as I quietly hiss “Make poops!” on a public sidewalk. Luckily, there was no one to hear me behind my apartment, and after a few encouraging requests to “make poops,” Ace complied.
The PoogoStick really was easy to use. I had a somewhat comical fear that I would accidentally release the handle too soon and the poo would become a projectile, but I never came close to such an atrocity. The grass in my “yard” was pretty overgrown, and Ace’s poo was the texture I privately refer to as “soft serve.” This combination usually means I’m combing at the long grass with my bag-covered hand, trying to get all the poo I can off the grass. The PoogoStick made quick work of this task, effectively picking up the poo and depositing it in the bag with ease despite its semi-solid state. I imagine that totally liquid matter would be beyond even the PoogoStick’s capabilities, but for your everyday softer-than-you’d-like stool the PoogoStick worked like a champ.
I would recommend following the suggestion to use a plastic bag to line the pan, as otherwise you would have a bit of an awkward time shaking out all the poo into a trash can. However, if you were trying to be a more environmentally-conscious dog owner, using the PoogoStick would be a really easy way to pick up poo and deposit it directly into your toilet without adding more plastic bags to the landfill.
As a former cat owner (and current cat lover, from afar), I think the PoogoStick would be an absolute dream for cleaning out litter boxes. Especially if you are using clumping litter, you could remove all the waste really easily without the unpleasantness of getting your face close to the box and breathing in all that grossness.
Dogster Scorecard for the PoogoStick:
Quality: The PoogoStick is lightweight but well made of easy-to-hose-off plastic.
Style: I like the color scheme: poo-masking yet cheerful.
Function: Despite my trepidation, the PoogoStick was easy to use and worked smoothly.
Creativity: I love the story of the PoogoStick’s creation as a response to a family’s need for a better poop-scooping tool.
Value: At $39.99, the PoogoStick is not for the casual user. However, if you plan to use it daily to pick up cat or dog waste, you’ll find it is worth the investment.
The PoogoStick makes cleaning up dog waste from your yard as painless as possible. It also seems like a great tool for scooping cat litter boxes.
Dogster readers, have any of you tried the PoogoStick? What was your experience like with this unique tool? Do you have other tricks for keeping your yard clear of pet waste efficiently? Share your thoughts in the comments.
About Ace’s Mama: This East Coast transplant enjoys the bounty of San Francisco, including its microclimates, farmer’s markets, and secret stairway walks. When she’s not walking with, talking about, or kissing the face of her Boston Terrier, Ace, she blogs about Ace’s adventures. Product reviews writer and guinea pig at Dogster.