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 dog waste management industry, the terms dog waste station bags, pet waste station bags, and litter pick up bags are all used to describe bags that fit in pet/dog waste stations.
Pet waste station bags are designed to fit in pet waste bag dispensers that are generally installed in public areas such as parks and along paths. Pet waste station bags and dispensers are used by homeowners associations (HOA’s), apartment communities, and cities to make it 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 >>
Pet Waste Station Bag Construction
Pet waste station bags are most commonly made 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. Roll bags and header bags are designed to each fit in a different type of pet waste bag dispenser.
Roll Pet Waste Bags
Bags on a roll are connected together and are torn apart along a perforation that is between each bag. Pet waste bags on a roll may be less expensive than header bags on a per bag basis, however, we have found them to frequently be a more expensive solution in use. Because all of the bags are connected to each other 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 non-coated 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 dispense. DoodyCalls only sells roll bags in water resistent boxes.
Header Pet Waste Bags
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 pull one bag at a time from the dispenser. 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.
Pet Waste Bag Composition
Pet waste bags are generally made of a combination of different types of plastic. 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 polyethylene) plastic, LDPE (low-density polyethylene) plastic, recycled plastic, non-recycled plastic, color additives, sometimes scents and other additives. 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 bag is damaged it is more likely to tear like a garbage bag (with stretch).
At DoodyCalls we worked very carefully to create a bag that has the right combination of these materials to create a bag that is very durable and easy to use.
Because most factories and bag suppliers keep their unique “formula,” confidential, it is unlikely that you will be able to get significant useful information about their bags before making a purchase.
While the plastic formula plays a large role in the performance of the bag, as a general rule, we believe that 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 which 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 dog waste bags it is important to work with a company that stands behind their products and carefully monitors quality.
California and General Disclaimer: We do not make any claims regarding our bags in terms of “biodegradable” or “degradable” or “compostable” or in any way imply that the bags will break down in a landfill. In addition, these bags do not meet the California ASTM D6400 standard for biodegradable plastic bags.