Three Things You Need to Know About Poop Bags

What you need to know about scooping your dog’s poop, and how to choose the best bag for you and your pet.

Roll of poop bags
Wherever you walk your dog, make sure you’re armed with the right type and quantity of “doggie bags” to tackle any accidents along the way.AmazonBasics

When it comes to choosing a poop bag for the dog you own, there are three things you need to know before buying:

  1. Poop size matters. This is not true simply because of the weight, but because of the need to spread your fingers wide to grasp it all. Stretching a bag causes weak spots, which can lead to tears.
  2. Surfaces matter. If you’re picking up poop on paved surfaces such sidewalks or streets, or on mulched areas, you can abrade the bag or even cause a puncture.
  3. Closures matter. Even if you get all the poop inside the bag without a problem, you need to knot it shut without having any poop above the knot. Poop has a way of spreading itself where it’s not wanted, including near the opening of a poop bag, which can get on your hands when you’re knotting the bag shut or carrying it afterward.

All this means that you shouldn’t take a poop bag purchase lightly. Here’s a set of rules to help you choose the best bag for you and your dog:

Small Dogs

AmazonBasics Dog Waste Bags with Dispenser and Leash Clip
AmazonBasics dog waste bags measure 9x13 inches and come with a dispenser that you can clip onto a leash.AmazonBasics

You have a small to medium size dog and walk it on grass or otherwise soft surfaces. A basic poop bag should work fine in this situation, but look for one that has enough room to fit your hand and is long enough to tie a knot completely above the poop you scoop inside of it.

Average-sized Dogs

Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags
Earth Rated 9x13 inch poop bags are thick and have an odor-blocking lavender scent.Earth Rated

If you have a small to medium size dog that you walk on a paved surface, or you have a large dog and walk it on grass or an otherwise soft surface, picking up poop from a rough-surfaced, gritty sidewalk or street can tear holes in a thin-walled bag, so don’t skimp on strength. Go with a bag that’s thick and strong. The same is true if you have a large dog. While a standard 9x13 bag may be large enough to pick up a large dog’s poop, you may have to make more than one scoop to get all the poop off of the ground—which can put stress on the bag’s wall.

Large Dogs

Earth Rated Extra Large Poop Bags
The extra-large poop bags by Earth Rated measure 11x13 inches—two inches wider than standard poop bags—and are guaranteed leakproof.Earth Rated

No matter where you walk the dog, you’ll need a bag that’s both strong and large enough to pick up all the poop. (This is especially true if you need to use two hands to get it all. Go with an extra-large bag that’s strong enough to handle the job.