More and more homeowners are crossing another dreaded item off their to-do list, this time pet waste removal. Besides convenience, pet waste removal services offer a spotless lawn, improved sanitary conditions and peace of mind!

At Purgula, we enjoy discovering new forms of innovation that make the lives of homeowners more enjoyable and healthy. When it comes to outdoor maintenance for your home, there are tremendous amounts of resources for landscaping and gardening, such as tips, tools, products and services. But with over 54% of US households owning dogs, how much do you really know about Pet Waste Removal Services?

We are happy to report that pet waste removal service is now being considered part of on-going lawn maintenance – not just a luxury, but a necessity for many homeowners.

However, many dog-loving homeowners are still unaware that they no longer have to worry about cleaning up after their dogs – no matter the number, no matter the mess, no matter the weather, no matter their health, nor how busy their schedules may be.

With the spread of convenient on-demand home services, early adopting dog owners have naturally followed this trend by signing up for various types of pet waste removal services. Here’s what you need to know.

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Yes, There’s a Service for That

With the proliferation of ever-varied, popular on-demand services, entrepreneurs are quick to test and launch new versions, especially for services that can eliminate annoying and dreaded recurring household chores. Enter Pet Waste Removal services.

Here are a few quotes and data points to put this enormous market potential into proper perspective:

  • 54% of US households have at least one dog (APPA.org)
  • US pet owners were projected to spend $9.7 Billion on pet services in 2021 (APPA)
  • 32% of Pet Owners are Millennials (APPA)
  • 70% of Pet Owning Millennials who shop online purchase pet products via subscriptions (APPA)
  • 25M dog owners stay with their dog at pet-friendly hotels
  • “If everyone had thought this was an awesome idea, it would have been done 100 times already, but when 40% of the population is out there doing something they don’t want to do, it’s a business opportunity.” – Jacob D’Aniello, co-founder of DoodyCalls
  • In 2020, the top performing DoodyCalls franchisee earned $1,279,771 in revenues
  • In 2020, 46% of DoodyCalls franchisees attained or exceeded the average gross sales of $443,454

Highlights from the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey

2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey


 

The Benefits of Pet Waste Removal Services

On one hand the benefits of paying for a pet waste removal service are self-evident – e.g. time-saving convenience and consistently, well-kept, sanitary properties.

On the other hand, some observers may feel that a pet owner (AKA pet parent) who outsources this vital part of pet care is lazy or irresponsible. Taking care of a family pet is also a great learning experience for children, as well – but who wouldn’t want to be spoiled by an affordable pet waste removal service???

Regardless of cultural perceptions, we are in favor of these services, as they can help homeowners and communities maintain cleaner, healthier yards and common areas reliably. Clean lawns are also helpful for the health of dogs.

Pet waste removal companies can help combat irresponsible residents who won’t clean up after their pets, with pet waste stations strategically placed in common areas of communities. For example, pet waste removal service firms can contract with HOA-managed communities to maintain sanitary pet waste stations, which will foster a culture of responsible pet waste removal.

Putting aside the perception of “lazy” pet owners, these services can also help homeowners that are incapable of maintaining their lawns by themselves (e.g. aging persons, immobile persons, physically handicapped persons, etc.). Subscribing to a pet waste removal service, for example, can make it possible for an aging or disabled resident to have much-needed pet companionship.

Here are a list of benefits that pet waste removal services can provide for both pet owners and their communities:

  • Improved health for their pets, as prompt and consistent waste removal helps prevent the spread of germs and disease. Some services will also report back if they see issues in a dog’s stool.
  • Flexible and affordable services plans: one-time; recurring; year-round; twice-weekly; weekly; bi-monthly; monthly
  • Year-round availability through all types of weather and climate: rain, shine, hot, cold, snow, and mud
  • Additional services: e.g. yard deodorizing; brown spot treatment; installing pet waste stations; cat litter box services; pet trainers; products & supplies; pet sitting; doggie daycare; kennels; dog walking; grooming; dog clubs; pet taxi service; photography
  • Services can be contracted for communities: e.g. HOA common areas; installing, maintaining and resupplying pet waste stations
  • Valuable on-demand services for outdoor event planning
  • Environmental & Wellness Benefits: this type of service is making communities cleaner and more sanitary, as unabated pet waste spreads disease and pollutes waterways
  • Improved Property Value: dog waste can be a food source for rats and other rodents
DoodyCalls Smiling Dog with Boy in Yard

Photo courtesy of DoodyCalls


 

Pricing for Pet Waste Removal

Pricing for pet waste removal services will vary dramatically depending on the following criteria:

  • Type of Service
  • Number of Dogs
  • Frequency of Pickups
  • Size of Yard
  • Time of Year

Pricing per pickup visit can range anywhere from $10 to well over $100, depending on the type and frequency of a visit. More frequent visits (e.g. twice per week) have a lower average cost-per-visit and involve less time and labor. Special one-time cleanups, such as spring cleans after a long winter, will often cost over $100, depending on the market, yard size and number of dogs.

Types of Pet Waste Removal Services

  • Regular scheduled pickups (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.)
  • Spring Cleans (post-winter cleanup)
  • Bag Pickups (accumulated waste bags)
  • Initial Cleanups (1st cleaning at the start of service, if there are 3 or more weeks of accumulated dog waste)
  • One-Time Cleanups (3 or more weeks of accumulated dog waste)
  • Brown Spot Treatment
  • Yard Deodorizing

Size of Yard

Most pricing is based on an average yard size in the 5,000 to 6,000 square feet range. If you have an unusually small or large yard, or need both your front and backyard cleaned, be sure to get confirmation of the pricing upfront prior to commencing the work.


 

Keys for a Good Pet Waste Removal Partnership

Pet Waste Removal Service Providers

  • Service providers should be insured and bonded
  • Service providers should follow documented terms of operation for the safety and wellness of all parties involved (e.g. pets, service personnel, pet owners, and neighbors)
  • Service providers should have access to secured areas and not resort to climbing over any fences or locked gates
  • Service personnel should be identifiable with uniforms and branding on their service vehicles and some kind of name badges
  • Service providers should proactively communicate when a cleanup cannot be done due to extreme inclement weather conditions
  • Service personnel should treat your property and pets with respect

Pet Owners

  • The yard should be easily accessible at the time of a scheduled cleanup
  • If not otherwise specified, pets should not be in the yard during a cleanup, and should be effectively restrained from entering the area being serviced
  • Pet Owners should confirm beforehand if the service personnel do not mind if their pet is outside during a service visit. Many service personnel enjoy this aspect of the job, when the pets are friendly and well behaved.
  • Pet Owners should clarify all questions about pricing, terms and services prior to hiring a service provider

 

Leading Pet Waste Removal Companies


 

DoodyCalls Clients Toddler and Black Lab on grass frontyard

DoodyCalls

DoodyCalls was founded in 2000, by Jacob and Susan D’Aniello, in Northern Virginia, outside of Washington DC. In 2004, the company began franchising its pet waste removal business nationwide to fuel its growth, from its new headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Today DoodyCalls is one of the largest national network of pet waste removal services, offering a wide variety of services, with presence in 22 states, plus Washington, DC. The company currently has independently owned and operated franchise businesses in over 57 local markets throughout the US. Each franchisee is trained and branded to maintain DoodyCalls’ high standards of operation and quality.

DoodyCalls is part of the Authority Brands family of home service franchise businesses, adding stability and consistency to its independent business owners. The combined family of Authority Brands companies is in over 1,900 locations throughout the US.

For residential properties, DoodyCalls offer the following services:

For commercial properties, community common areas and parks, DoodyCalls offer the following services:

Here is what makes DoodyCalls one of the leaders in the “pooper scooper” industry:

  • Each DoodyCalls franchise location is fully insured, carrying both workers’ compensation and liability insurance
  • They walk each yard twice, walking in a grid-like pattern scanning back and forth
  • Every gate they open is carefully checked when they leave to make sure it’s closed
  • They carefully disinfect their tools between each yard
  • Their vehicles are marked and their technicians are uniformed
  • They give back to the communities they serve
  • They can deodorize decks, patios, and sidewalks to get rid of foul odors
  • They sell a variety of products, including high-quality pet waste bags and stations for community use

DoodyCalls Onsite Service Technician with Branded Truck

DoodyCalls Pricing

Prices start at $12 per visit, and depend on the size of your property and the number of dogs you have. Services and pricing can vary by location. Discounts are available when buying their services in bulk.

DoodyCalls Links


 

Pet Butler Branded Truck with Kelly

Pet Butler

In the pet waste removal industry, Pet Butler is the “granddaddy of them all”, having been in the industry since 1988! Pet Butler currently has franchise operations in 36 locations across 26 states.

In 2019, the company started testing new services in the Chicago market by introducing pet sitting and dog walking services, plus pet shuttle and transportation services.

For residential and commercial properties, Pet Butler offers the following, wide-range of services:

  • Pet Waste Removal
  • Commercial Services, including Pet Waste Stations
  • Deck & Patio Spray
  • Yard Odor Eliminator & Disinfectant
  • Pet Care Services
  • Flea & Tick Spray
  • Pet Shuttle Service
  • Cat Litter Box Swap
  • Dog Potty Training Ads
  • Goose Waste Removal
  • Mosquito Control

Poop Scooping, Shuttle, Sitting l Pet Butler Chicago

Poop Scooping, Shuttle, Sitting l Pet Butler Chicago

Unique to Pet Butler’s franchise model is their commitment to bringing local awareness to the needs of animal rescues, shelters and, of course, to pets in need of adoption.

Pet Butler Links


 

Poop 911 Las Vegas Team

Poop 911

Founded in 2005, Poop 911’s network of franchise operators now spans over 60 cities in 30 states, plus Washington D.C.

Unique to Poop 911 are their wide-ranging ancillary services that include: litter box cleaning; leaf raking; dog walking; “relief” repellent; recycled waste bags; patio cleaning; deodorizing; dog-friendly birthday party cleaning services; and food & water refills for your dog.

Their “relief” repellent safely discourages dogs and cats from relieving themselves on lawns, flower beds, driveways, sidewalks – virtually any outdoor areas you wish to deem “off limits”!

For residential and commercial properties, Poop 911 offer the following services:

Poop 911 Pricing

Weekly services start at $9.95 and vary by service type and location.

Poop 911 Links


 

Scoop Soldiers Banner with Mascot

Scoop Soldiers

Founded in 2010, Scoop Soldiers turns pet waste removal into “a mission to help their clients enjoy their four-legged friends”. The company services both residential and pet-friendly commercial clients, including apartment complexes, doggy day-cares, and hotels. Like several other established pet waste removal companies, Scoop Soldiers has a franchise business model.

They espouse that careful and consistent pet waste removal will help eliminate odors, germs and unsightly piles of waste that accompany dog-friendly homes and properties.

Areas that the company inspects and picks up include: grass; artificial turf; patios; landscaped areas; flowerbeds; rock areas; pool decks; under trampolines; and around playground equipment.

Scoop Soldiers requires that a property has external access to the area to be picked up. Therefore, apartment balconies and homes with backyards that are only accessible by entering through the home cannot be serviced.

For residential and commercial properties, Scoop Soldiers offer the following services:

Here’s how Scoop Soldiers differentiates from their competitors:

  • They enjoy being around their clients’ dogs that like to have visitors. For less-friendly dogs, they will confirm the yard is empty and secure before entering.
  • They send an email notification after each service call has been completed with a picture of their client’s secured gate
  • Up to 4 dogs are included in their tiered pricing, except for their “Every 2 Week Service” which is limited to 2 dogs
  • They haul the waste away
  • No contract or pre-payment is required
  • No extra charge for the initial cleaning
  • They are fully insured
  • They before background checks and have uniformed personnel
  • They have branded trucks
  • Their cleanup service includes flowerbeds and porches
  • They offer free combination locks for clients’ gates
  • They offer a 10% off discount on all services to all active-duty military members, reserves, retirees and veterans of the United States Armed Forces, as well as to First Responders

 

Sanitizer Add On Scoop Soldiers

Sanitizer Add On Scoop Soldiers

Scoop Soldiers Pricing

Per visit cost ranges from $14.99 to $24.99 depending on the “per-month” frequency amount – higher frequency lowers the average price per visit cost.

Current Scoop Soldiers Locations:

  • Atlanta, Austin, College Station, Colorado Springs, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio, Scottsdale, Tampa, and Tulsa

Scoop Soldiers Links


 

Regional Pet Waste Removal Companies

 

Future Trends

We expect to see the following concurrent trends play out over the coming years:

  • Pet Waste Removal Companies will continue to expand their offerings into complimentary pet services (e.g. sanitization, other pets, pet sitting, pet walking, supplies, etc.)
  • Innovators in the lawn care industry will start to collaborate and integrate with pet waste removal companies to synchronize their services – e.g. the ability to schedule lawn care services soon after pet waste removal services
  • Larger, established Home Services companies will look to acquire best-in-class pet waste removal companies
  • A growing number of innovative HOAs and communities will not only subscribe to commercial pet waste removal services (e.g. pet waste stations), but they will also negotiate preferred pricing for homeowners to use for their own properties
  • More pet owners and homeowners will turn to professional services not just for the convenience, but for the health benefits for their families, pets, lawns, gardens and neighbors. Raising awareness of health benefits and professional sanitization capabilities will further grow market adoption levels.

When starting the research on this article, we admit that we were biased with an initial perception that this type of service was largely catering to irresponsible laziness (i.e. if you cannot care for your pet, you should not have a pet). We do recognize that busy families and professionals certainly need outside help from time to time, especially when schedules become daunting or health issues impede the ability to care for one’s pet properly.

However, as we learned more about the capabilities of these service firms, we especially became believers in the community and commercial services provided for common areas. More importantly, though, we recognized the importance of the health and environmental benefits of well-kept and sanitized lawns and shared spaces.

When thinking of effective sanitation, professionals will always have better capabilities to perform a more thorough job, more often. Whether a pet owner needs a pet waste removal service or not,  at a minimum they should certainly look into recurring sanitization services!


 

Pet Waste Removal Resources

       

      Additional Recommended Reading

       

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