Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mutt Mitt Dog Waste Bags vs Plastic Bags: What is the Best Way to Pick Up Dog Waste?

Mutt Mitt Dog Waste Bags

Mutt Mitt on hand like a mitten
Mutt Mitt- The Easy Way To Pick Up Dog Waste
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

I first encountered Mutt Mitts when walking in a city park.  There was a sign encouraging dog owners to pick up after their pets.  Next to this sign, there was a dispenser for dog waste bags.  The type of dog waste bag being dispensed was Mutt Mitt.  I didn't have a dog with me, but this sounded interesting enough that I took a Mutt Mitt to try out later.

Green Mutt Mitt dispenser, looks like oversize parking meter
Mutt Mitt Dispenser at City Park
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Mutt Mitts are made of biodegradable materials and break down within a year, unlike regular plastic bags.  The shape of Mutt Mitts is much better than a rectangular plastic bag for picking dog waste.  The Mutt Mitt is shaped so that your hand can easily pick up the dog waste by grabbing it from both sides.  You then turn the Mutt Mitt inside-out so that the dog poop is contained neatly inside for easy disposal.

Shows the opening of the side of the Mutt Mitt used to pick up dog waste
How to Use a Mutt Mitt- Wear the Mutt Mitt like a Mitten
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Shows how to pick up dog waste in grass with a Mutt Mitt
Use a Mutt Mitt to Pick up Dog Waste
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

The Mutt Mitt I picked up at the park was constructed with 1-ply plastic.  You can also get 2-ply Mutt Mitts that provide more isolation than thin single ply plastic bags.  This means that it feels less like you are touching dog poop, which can be a good thing.

How Much Do Mutt Mitts Cost?

Of course the Mutt Mitt I picked up at the park was free.  If you want your own supply of Mutt Mitts, they cost about 10 to 20 cents each, depending on the quantity you order.  You can get less expensive single ply Mutt Mitts (called Singles).  Organizations like cities and park departments, dog parks, and campgrounds can order dispensers, signs, and bulk supplies of Mutt Mitts.

Mutt Mitts vs. Plastic Bags

The most popular option for picking up dog waste seems to be rolls of small plastic bags.  The plain ones cost about 3 cents per bag.  I find the bags that come on rolls are difficult to dispense and open, especially in really cold weather.  I can remember a number of times standing in a snow storm trying to get a dog poop bag open.  The sides stick together, and when the bags and your hands are cold, it is sometimes almost impossible to open the bag.  Sometimes I rip the bag a little bit to get it started- and sometimes this ruins the bag.

Roll of Plastic Dog Waste Bags- Bags can be hard to open in cold weather
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

You can get biodegradable dog waste bags on rolls for about 5 cents per bag.  Greenbone Biobase Pet Waste Bags come on rolls like the cheap plastic bags, but they are much easier to open and are thicker.  High quality biodegradable dog waste bags are better choice all around than the cheap plastic dog waste bags that come on rolls.  They work better than the cheap plastic bags, and they are biodegradable just like your dog's waste.

Greenbone biodegradable dog waste bags- much easier to open than cheap plastic bags, and biodegradable too
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincer

Using Recycled Plastic Bags for Dog Waste

Another option for plastic bags for dog waste disposal is reusing plastic bags that you get for other purposes.  I find that Subway sandwich bags work great- they are the right size and the plastic is strong enough for the job.  Newspaper bags also work well.  Our newspaper comes in a small plastic bag on rainy days- I always save these for dog duty.

You can also use plastic shopping bags to pick up dog waste.  I don’t like to use shopping bags- they are too big.  They take up a lot of room in your pocket, and there is a lot of wasted plastic since the bag is much larger than necessary.  Also, the cheaper shopping bags tend to have small rips and holes- this is not desirable for a dog waste bag!

Recommended Reading:
Dog Sunglasses Buying Guide
Pet Food: Why is dog food and cat food so expensive?

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