You know that adorable Labrador Retriever puppy you picked up from the local shelter? Turns out, he poops. A lot. Like every day, multiple times a day, sometimes at the worst possible times. That's the bad news. The good news is responsible dog owners have a new option for cleaning all that poop up. The Poo Puck aims to make waste clean-up and disposal a quick, pain-free affair.
Any dog owner that's ever watched the 2004 Jack Black/Ben Stiller flick Envy (not one you need to rush out to watch if you haven't already seen it) has been crossing fingers for the arrival of a real-life version of "Vapoorizer" spray to come along. And we really don't care where the poo goes, so long as it goes.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
In the meantime, manufacturers and inventors are forced to devise other solutions. Dog poo may not be a topic we go out of our way to zero in on, but we have still managed to see plenty of innovative solutions here at Gizmag. Over the years, designers of products like the Pet Pooch vacuum and AshPoopie have worked to make strides over the run-of-the-mill pooper scooper and basic plastic bag. During that same stretch, public works projects have repurposed poo into usable energy and even public Wi-Fi.
Man's eternal mission to create the perfect dog dirt clean-up system continues. The Poo Puck is a simple alternative to the plastic bag-mitt grab. It consists of a permanent base and disposable honeycomb cartridges. After your dog does its business, you simply put the cartridge-filled puck on top of the poop, step down and the poop mushes up into the cartridge. If you're at home, you can just dispose of the cartridge directly in the garbage by pushing it out through the holes in the base. If you're out walking the dog, you can use the included cardboard lid to package it up for later disposal.
The advantages of the Poo Puck over traditional disposal methods is twofold. You don't have to handle the poop with your hands, as you would when doing the plastic bag grab, or carry around a big scooper that's covered in poop residue. The system also eliminates the reliance on slow-to-decompose plastic bags, purportedly biodegrading in about two months.
On the other hand, the system isn't without its pitfalls. What happens if you're out on a walk and you misalign the puck or that poop is larger than you thought? Suddenly you're stuck figuring out how to carry a poop-smeared puck home and maybe dragging your foot along the sidewalk the whole way. And what if your dog's stools are looser than usual and don't properly stick inside the cartridge?
An even bigger issue is cost. Like we said, dogs poop a lot. That's why using the plastic bags that you get for free or a few cents at practically every retailer you ever shop at is a cost-effective solution. Having to buy a cartridge, and possibly lid, for every poop could get expensive quickly.
Cartridges are listed at US$12.80 for 56, which sounds affordable enough. However, if you want to add lids, and you probably do since cleaning up dog waste on a walk is more of an issue than cleaning it up around the house, that price doubles to $25.80. Poo Puck reckons that 56 is an eight-week supply, but the dogs I've had often poop more than once a day – sometimes even multiple times on the same walk. And what if you have more than one dog? Suddenly you're spending tens or hundreds of dollars a month on something that could be close to free.
We appreciate innovation being directed into eliminating the need to grab warm, fresh poop with an ultra-thin layer of cheap plastic, but we're not sure the Poo Puck is a great solution for all dog owners. The slow start it's off to on Kickstarter suggests our hunch might be correct.
If you decide it's right for you, you can get the puck and a few cartridges for pledge levels of $15 and more. Pledges of $40 and up secure a "Poo Bin," which works to separate the cartridges from your other garbage, dry them out and deodorize them, preventing the smell from taking over your garbage can.
The Poo Puck video pitch can be viewed below.
Source: Poo Puck