Pets Can Recycle Too!

Environmentally-conscious pet owners are now finding that the three Rs, "Reduce, Recycle, Reuse," can apply to pet equipment and supplies.

The pet supply market is becoming increasingly "green" with pet waste composters, eco-friendly toys, pet beds, clothing and other supplies. Recently, there are a growing number of opportunities for pet owners to recycle pet equipment and supplies such as pet beds, carriers and toys. Here are three recycling options for environmentally-conscious pet owners and their pets.

Donate Pet Supplies and Equipment

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has local branches and humane societies throughout the world. The pet shelters established by the SPCA do accept some used pet supplies and products. Some of the items they do take include blankets, towels, stainless steel food dishes, pet beds, pet carriers (crates), washable toys and unopened pet food. Shelters may accept one specific brand of pet food.

Donors should properly cleanse and sanitize used pet supplies before bringing them to a shelter. These organizations will also accept donations of new pet supplies and equipment, gift cards, unopened cleaning and office supplies.

To find out more about which items are acceptable and which are not, donors can contact their local SPCA, humane society or animal shelter.

Sell Pet Equipment and Supplies to a Pet Consignment Store

Second-hand stores for pets? Yes, they do exist. Some pet thrift stores are run by humane societies. These second-hand pet supply stores accept leashes, beds, dog and cat carriers, toys, cages and training equipment.

Consignment stores and used pet supply boutiques are a fairly new concept. “No one has ever marketed a consignment store to pets, but we feel there is a definite need for it,” said Kimberly Hall, owner of the Haute Hound in the December 2009 article "Haute Hound Pet Boutique Enters Consignment Business". This type of second-hand pet boutique will accept gently-used designer pet accessories, such as clothing, leashes, costumes and jewelry on consignment. They also accept the usual items of food dishes, pet beds and blankets. Items that are not sold after a certain period of time are donated to a local animal shelter.

Sell Used Pet Supplies & Equipment in the Classifieds

Used pet equipment and supplies that are in good condition can be sold through online classified ads such as Ebay, Kijiji and or print ads in the newspaper or community newsletter. Online classified websites require advertisers to set up an account. Some examples of items that can be sold as second-hand items include bird cages, pet carriers, training equipment, invisible fencing, pet beds, crates and fish tanks.

Pets and their owners can "go green" by recycling pet products and supplies that are in good condition. By donating pet supplies and equipment to a local animal shelter, selling them to a second-hand pet supply store or selling them through a classified ad, items that are still in good condition are kept out of the landfill.

Originally published on on March 12, 2010. Winner of a Suite101 Editor's Choice Award. All rights are reserved by Rhona-Mae Arca.