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Choosing the Right Pet Waste Bags

To help you make the best decision for your community, the following is a comprehensive guide to help you understand the differences between the purpose, construction, and composition of different types of pet waste bags.

Types of Pet Waste Bags

There are two main types of pet waste bags

  • Leash dispenser pet waste bags
  • Pet waste dispenser/station bags

Leash Dispenser Pet Waste Bags

Leash dispenser bag pet waste bags fit inside dispensers that are designed to make it easy and convenient for pet owners to bring their own bags with them from home when they take their dog for a walk. These bags generally fit in small dispensers that fit on a leash.

Pet Waste Station Bags

In the industry the terms dog waste station bags, pet waste station bags, litter pick up bags are all used to describe the bags that fit in pet/dog waste station.

Pet waste station bags are designed to fit in pet waste bag dispensers that are generally installed in public areas. Pet waste station bags and dispensers are used by homeowners associations (HOA’s), apartment communities, and cities to make convenient for dog owners to find bags when they need them and pick up after their dogs.

To learn more about choosing the right pet waste station for your community please read our guide: Choosing the the right pet waste station for your community >>
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Pet Waste Station Bag Construction

Pet waste station bags are most commonly found on a roll or header. Roll bags may be sold in a box or not in a box. Header bags may or may not have a strap to dispense the bags. Each of these types of bags are designed to fit in a specific type of pet waste bag dispenser.

Roll Pet Waste Bags

roll pet waste bagsRoll bags are connected together like a roll of paper towels and are torn apart along a perforation. Pet waste bags bags sold on a roll may be less expensive than header bags per bag, however, we have found them to frequently be more expensive per use. Because all of the bags are connected they are more susceptible to vandalism where, for example, somebody may pull one bag and run across the park – emptying the entire roll out. Additionally, even well meaning users may be more likely to accidently dispense multiple bags at a time.

Roll bags are frequently sold in boxes designed to make the roll bags easier to dispense as well as to tear the bags off of the roll. Some roll bags are sold in coated cardboard boxes and others are available in plain cardboard boxes. Pet waste stations and dispensers are generally exposed to rain and moisture. As a result, it’s important to use boxes that have a water resistant coating. Boxes without a water resistant coating are more likely to fall apart if they get wet and make the bags difficult to use. DoodyCalls only sells roll bags in water resistent boxes.

Buy Roll Pet Waste Bags at DoodyCalls Direct >>

Header Pet Waste Bags

Header Pet Waste Station Bag with Strap

Header pet waste bags are sold on headers. Header bags are secured to a tear tab (plastic or cardboard) on the top of the header rather than to each other.

Header Bag Strap

Some header bags have a strap secured to the bag and others do not. The purpose of the strap is to make it easier for users to use the strap to pull one bag at a time. Bags without a strap require the user to “pinch,” a bag to pull it out. During the “pinching,” process it is more likely the user will pull out multiple bags than if the bag uses a strap to dispense the bag. DoodyCalls header bags use a strap to dispense the bags.

Buy Header Bags Pet Waste Bags at DoodyCalls Direct >>

Pet Waste Bag Composition

Pet waste bags are generally made of different types of a combination of plastics. Plastic bag composition is a complicated topic and we don’t pretend to be expert plastics engineers. The purpose of this section is to share our knowledge with you to help you better understand pet waste bag composition.

Plastic pet waste bags generally have some mix of HDPE (high-density polyethelyne) plastic, LDPE (low-density polyethelyne) plastic, recycled plastic, non-recycled plastic, color and additives such as EPI. The unique combination of these items impact the cost, look, feel, durability, strength and overall usability of the bags.

  • HDPE plastic is more shiny and crinkly than LDPE plastic. If the bag is damaged it is more likely to “tear cleanly,” like a sheet of paper (without stretch).
  • LDPE plastic is duller in appearance, softer and has more stretch than LDPE plastic. If the bags is damaged it is more likely to tear like a garbage bag (with stretch).

Some bags contain additives such as EPI. The EPI additive is designed to shorten the lifetime the plastic (http://www.epi-global.com/) without significantly impacting the cost of the bag.

Because most factories and bag suppliers keep their unique “formula,” confidential, it is unlikely that you will be able to get too much information from companies about their bags before making a purchase. Most – but not all – companies will disclose whether or not they use an additive intended to control or manage the lifetime of the bag.

While the plastic formula plays a large role in the performance of the bag, as a general rule, bags that contain more plastic on a per bag basis will be stronger than those that contain less plastic. To determine the quantity of plastic used to manufacture the bags look at the weight of a case of bags.

We found from personal experience that production runs may have quality differences. To name just a few issues, the perforation on a roll bag may not be ‘perforated enough,’ to allow the bags to separate, the seams that turn the blown plastic tube into a bag may not be fully sealed and the point at with a header strap is secured to the bag may not be fully secured. These items make a huge difference in the usability of the bags. When selecting a dog waste bags it is important to work with a company that stands behind their products and carefully monitors quality.


The San Francisco Chronicle: January 18, 2011 Peninsula cat owners who are squeamish about cleaning out the litter box have reason to rejoice! Bay Area business owners, Rick and Paulette Nava of DoodyCalls have officially extended their pet poop-removal business to include cats. It’s a savvy move considering that felines outnumber their canine counterparts by READ MORE>>

“When Doody Calls called, we answered! The local owners are terrific...”
- Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA