Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Pretty Crappy (Pun Intended) Pooper Scooper Rake From Four Paws (My 15 Minute Challenge)!

The Good: Nice enough handle.
The Bad: Short, Not terribly durable, Tines are too far apart
The Basics: A disappointing pooper scooper, the Four Paws Wire Rake allows poop to fall through the tines and seems to rust remarkably quickly.

Every now and then, I challenge myself to do something different. As my time in the library is rapidly running out, I am now challenging myself to write a succinct review. This review will take me fifteen minutes and that's all. I'm hoping to see if it is possible for me to be thorough and concise. Fortunately the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper does not require a lot of eloquence to discuss. Moreover, this fits perfectly in the pantheon of my reviews as earlier this year, when I reviewed the cat litter scoop.

My wife works at a pet store and a few weeks back, she brought back the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper and she had such a look of pride on her face. She announced I no longer had to use my nice shovel to remove Mitzie's (our geriatric cocker spaniel) poop from the grass in the yard. One look, however, told me the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper was not going to be the answer to the dog defecation nightmares which had pitted a few sections of my mother's lawn. I could tell from the design that this was not an ideal product and, unfortunately, using the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper only reinforced my fears about it.

The Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper is a rather short green enameled steel rake used for removing dog poop from grass. It is only two feet long with a 3/4' width at the bottom where the tines are. The tines of the rake are perpendicular to the handle and extend only four inches out from the base. The tines are spaced an inch apart and if that sounds odd, you now realize the first problem with the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper; dog poop from anything other than a large dog will fall right through the tines. Mitzie is a medium sized dog and many of her poops fell right through.

To use the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper, one needs only to grab it by the rubber handle at the top and maneuver the pooper scooper to beneath a pile of dog poop and lift the rake. The rake acts almost like a comb through the grass, pulling the dog poop out of the grass, while leaving the grass intact. Unfortunately, things seldom go as planned. First, if the grass has recently been mowed or one's dog likes to put their butt to the ground or if the turd is especially heavy for one reason or another, the dog poop will not be lightly floating at the top of the grass. As well, the steel does not bend or move, which is nice, but fresh dog poop often does. As a result, any sort of softer stool is just as likely to be split by raising the rake properly as it is to be lifted by the rake. This makes the tool very dirty very quick. Mitzie is not a big dog, but unless I waited three or four days for her poop to get solid, the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper often split the poop.

Unfortunately, dry dog poop leads to another problem with the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper. When the poop is big enough to not simply fall between the tines, the rake has no way of easily keeping it from rolling off the tines either. A solid plane tends to contain dog poop better and this rake gets messy quickly. This leads one to clean their pooper scooper off. Sadly, I used this for a week and I washed the tines off each time. Now, a month later, the places that were in contact with dog poop appear to have eroded and rusted. The paint - which did not seem chipped before - is gone from a few of the tines and they have rusted, so this is not very durable at all.

All that the Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper seems to have going for it is the handle. The handle is made of a light rubber that is soft in one's grip and that makes it easy to hold, so one is not going to get their hands dirty when cleaning up dog poop with this tool. Unfortunately, the grip is also flat and wide, so it's not oriented in the ideal way to make one truly comfortable using the rake.

The Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper seems to be more worried about protecting the lawn than actually picking up dog poop and in addition to the fact that ours has begun to rust after only two months, this is in no way an ideal product for a serious pet owner.

For other dog product reviews, please check out my takes on:
Flexi 10' retractable leash
Vroom Around The Room Dog Laser toy
Miller's Forge 2-in-1 Adjustable Pet Comb


For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page for a nice, organized listing of them!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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