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Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for best poop bags

Your dog’s waste needs a sanitary, puncture-proof method of disposal. A tough poop bag prevents nasty messes and helps reduce permeating odors. When you have quality poop bags on hand, you can toss your dog’s waste in the trash without care.

As a dog owner, you know it’s your duty to clean up after Spot and Fido. Some poop bags are frankly better for the job than others. We’re here to discuss the issues related to dog excrement removal, including what type of poop bags are best and which you should consider buying.

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While composting dog feces is possible, you should never spread compost made from dog poop in your edible vegetable garden. Even once decomposed, bacteria and other harmful pathogens may still be present.

Why pick up dog poop?

There are plenty of reasons not to leave pup excrement behind … and plenty of reasons why you should never leave poop bags at home.

You avoid fines and public embarrassment. Many municipalities have laws or bylaws mandating that you pick up after your dog. If you’re spotted walking away from the scene of the crime, you could incur a fine.

Dog poop isn’t eco-friendly. Leaving feces on your town’s sidewalk or on nearby beaches could contaminate water supplies and transform nearby bodies of water into dirty, smelly, unusable areas. As the waste leaches into adjacent ecosystems, dog excrement could also harm habitats that support local wildlife.

It’s the neighborly thing to do. Have you ever stepped in dog poop while running errands or even in your own lawn? While there’s little chance that the dog in question was targeting you personally, it’s hard not feel offended. Picking up poop is the neighborly thing to do.

It’s not natural. Dog poop isn’t a amenable to lawns and gardens. Don’t assume that your pooch is fertilizing while pooping. Dog excrement is actually more likely to burn plant life than it is to feed it. Never put dog feces in compost, either. It may contain parasitic organisms and harmful bacteria.

It takes five seconds. A simple scoop takes mere seconds with the right kind of poop bag! You’ll feel better knowing you took the time to do the right thing.

Key considerations

The number and size of your dogs

If you have multiple pups, consider buying poop bags in bulk to save money. Big dogs create a more substantial and stinkier mess. Don’t skimp; use thick, high-quality bags for large and extra-large pets.

How you prefer to dispose of the bags

Where to put that stinky poop-filled bag? The trash is the most likely place for dog waste. If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your pup’s poop bags, though, consider flushable bags.

Poop bag features

The best poop bags are thick, tear-free, easy to open, and easy to tie. Tear-free bags won’t accidentally spill all over your hands should you accidentally knick them. An easy-to-open top makes handling bags a cinch, even with gloves on. Easy-tie handles prevent accidental drops and awkward overflow. And a thick material prevents odors from filling your nostrils as you finish your pleasant stroll with your dog.

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Did you know?
Having trouble opening your dog poop bags? The trick is to rub the top of the bag together to unstick the two sides from one another. It may be harder to open bags in the winter. If it’s too cold to remove your gloves, consider prepping a few bags before you go outside.

Poop bag material

Plastic: While most dog poop bags are made of eco-friendly materials, there are still a few brands that sell non-recycled plastic options.

Recycled: Many consider recycled bags to be the better option. You can find dog poop bags made of recycled plastic and other recycled materials. Check the fine print to see what percentage of the bag is made of recycled materials.

Flushable: Flushable bags are composed of water-soluble materials that won’t clog your pipes.

Biodegradable: These bags are typically made of plant-based materials and are sometimes labelled as compostable. Some municipalities have compost programs, but many don’t allow citizens to throw compostable bags into their brown bin.

Scented vs. unscented

Scented bags help mask the odor of dog poop. You can choose from options like mint or chocolate. The bad news, however, is that the scented material usually isn’t enough to completely hide the smell of dog waste. A better choice for downplaying the smell might be a thick-walled bag.


Poop bags are packaged in multiple ways. If you prefer to stuff several bags into your pocket before a walk, consider a large roll of bags — you can just tear off a few at a time. If you own a bag dispenser, a mini roll would probably be the perfect fit. Don’t yet have a dispenser? Pick a box of dog poop bags that includes one.

Easy-tie handles

Have you ever used easy-tie bags for your kitchen trash can? It’s a lot harder to touch the trash accidentally with an easy-tie bag. The same goes for dog poop bags with easy-tie handles. You’re less likely to soil your hands, and you can quickly deal with waste — even if your hands are outfitted with thick winter gloves. If you’re prone to fumbling with bags of poop, choose bags with longer handles that can be tied in a flash.

Poop bag prices

Consider the price per bag when buying dog poop bags in bulk. If you walk your dog every day, it makes sense to buy large boxes of dog poop bags. If there are multiple rolls in a box, check how many bags are included in a roll. Standard plastic dog poop bags are inexpensive and, when purchased in bulk, will cost you less than $.02 per bag.

Poop bags made of recycled materials are slightly more expensive, costing $.04 to $.05 per bag. Compostable and biodegradable bags fall on the higher end of the price scale, costing at least $.05 per bag. Poop bag bundles that include accessories or features (like a dispenser) may have a slightly higher price tag, too.

"Dog poop bags aren’t just for walks with your pet. You can use them to pick up poop around your yard, too."


  • Keep up. If your dog does most of their business in the yard, schedule regular poop cleanups to maintain cleanliness and reduce odors.
  • Accessorize your dog’s leash. Attach a permanent dispenser to the leash, and you’ll never forget poop bags at home again.
  • Have extras on hand. Always keep a few in your pocket just in case you run out of bags in your dispenser. It’s good practice to bring more than you need. You never know when Fido might have an upset tummy and poop more than once on the walk.
  • Be extra good. A few extra poop bags are useful for picking up stray messes you spot on your walk. It’s not technically your problem, but you’ll feel good cleaning up your town.
  • Avoid perfumes if they bother you. Don’t choose scented poop bags if you’re sensitive to perfumed products.
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Always check to see if you have a few dog poop bags before you head out the door with your pooch. You’ll avoid an embarrassing and potentially stressful situation if you’re prepared.


Q. I hate carrying full dog poop bags for the rest of our walk. What can I do?
If you’re not keen on toting around smelly, hot poop for the rest of your walk, try to plan a route that passes trash cans. Not enough bins in your neighborhood? Contact your city to ask for more disposal options, or consider a looped walk route.

Q. I use leftover grocery and produce bags to pick up my dog’s poop. Why should I buy dog poop bags?
In a pinch, grocery and produce bags are fine, but there is always a chance that these repurposed bags could have tiny holes in them. They’re also larger and more difficult to stash in your pockets. Dog poop bags are designed with leak-proof materials to contain waste and prevent seepage.

Q. How long does it take for biodegradable poop bags to decompose?
A long time, unfortunately. The term “biodegradable” doesn’t refer to a specific timeline. The time it takes depends on the condition of the compost or trash heap. Unless your town has a composting program that accepts dog waste, consider choosing poop bags made of 100% recycled materials over biodegradable options.

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