Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Product review: A Dicky situation

The Dicky Bag - a revelation
The Dicky Bag has come as a revelation to me. As a dog-owner of some 25 years and currently with three dogs who like to do extra poos if possible while out for a walk, I’m no stranger to dog-poo-related anxiety. I always pick up after my dogs, but the big question is, what do you do with your bag of doings if there isn’t a bin nearby?

Do you put it in your bag? I certainly wouldn’t recommend it – at best, it smells and at worst, a hole in the bag could spell disaster.

Do you carry the bag of poo in one hand until you find a bin? This leaves you with only one hand to use for dog leads or anything else you need to do and often results in a rather jolly swinging action that makes you look as if you enjoy carrying bags of poo around. Recently, a bag I was carrying caught on a roadside bramble and burst, so I had to pick up the poo all over again. Not nice.

Do you walk around with it for a bit and then decide to throw it in a bush? You’d be surprised at how many people do this, and conservation volunteers can testify to how horrible it is when they’re trimming the hedgerows and unwittingly catch a bag of poo, spraying it all over themselves. Please never do this.

The answer to the poo dilemma seems so simple that it’s a wonder nobody’s thought of it before – what’s needed is an airtight container that you can use until you find the poo bin. Preferably one that can also store your poo bags and a small bottle of hand cleanser.

I’d seen the Dicky Bag in various magazines and it seemed like a good idea, but I also had some questions.  Was this just another fad? Would it be big enough for the output of my three dogs? Is it really airtight?

The Dicky Bag stores bags and hand cleanser in its lid
I found out the answers to all these questions when I visited the Dicky Bag stand at Crufts, where the company owners were happy to talk about the problems faced by dog-owners and give realistic advice on how the Dicky Bag can address them.

So, is the bag airtight? I’ve been using mine for a couple of weeks now, and it does indeed seem to hold in any smells. It will itself start to smell in good time, I’m sure, but that’s OK because it’s washable.

Is it big enough to cope with the load? I got realistic advice about this from the people at Dicky Bag, and I bought the large size. It’s coped admirably with a three-poo load and it’s good to know that, if I’d had more or bigger dogs, there’s an extra-large size that could cope with their output too.

Is it just a fad? The answer is an emphatic no – although it does come in a variety of different patterns and colours with an optional shoulder strap, so you can make sure you’re on-trend. I bought my Dicky Bag thinking that I’d use it mainly for holidays and walks in the country. I live in a city and we’re never far from a bin on most of our daily dog walks. Only after I bought the Dicky Bag did I realise quite how much I’d been retracing my steps to get to the nearest bin, or how much I hated carrying the bag of poo even for a short time until we reached the next bin.

And when I finally set up my dog poo wormery this spring, I can empty the contents of the Dicky Bag into that when I get home from walks (as long as I use starch-based bags). I can’t recommend the Dicky Bag highly enough. It’s the most useful product for dog owners that I’ve seen in years.

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