You want your family, your co-workers and your neighbors to live a green lifestyle. Shouldn’t your dog have an opportunity to do the same? These days, there are plenty of pet stores that carry products made from recycled and reclaimed materials. To jumpstart your search, Christine Mallar with Portland-based Green Dog Pet Supply and Erik Gledhill with Trailblazer Pet Supply in Chico, CA, were happy to share a sampling of their favorite products to recommend to customers. Bonus: many of them are produced by small, family-owned companies that manufacture their wares right here in the U.S.
- Bicycle inner tubes find new life as Cycle Dog collars and leashes. The rubber material is soft, won’t fray and dries out quickly, which means it’s less likely to develop bad smells and cause fungal infections. Collars run between $21 and $25; leashes are priced from $23 to $26. Both are available in a range of colors. Jealous that your dog gets such a stylin’ accessory? The Portland-based company also makes recycled belts for humans.
- Another leash option is Krebs Recycle Leashes, which are made from old rock-climbing ropes. At some point the ropes have to be “retired” for safety reasons, but they’re still strong enough to keep even the biggest dog from chasing after the neighbor’s cat. Peter Krebs, co-owner of the Seattle-based brand, points out that since their process doesn’t involve the manufacture of a new material, the product is carbon friendly, too. The leashes are available in various sizes, from a 1-foot training length to a 6-foot span. Prices range from $13 to $16.
- Wool makes a soft, insulating bed for your pooch, and it’s hard to beat Pendleton Wool in terms of quality and beauty. Ling Chen and Susie Walker with Goldfish88 in Portland use Pendleton Wool remnants (which are typically thrown away) to produce a line of recycled pet beds. Besides being super comfortable, wool repels pests and dirt, doesn’t stain easily and is biodegradable. The smallest beds are 20 inches by 14 inches and typically cost $68. The largest are 48 inches by 30 inches and typically cost $158. Custom orders are welcome.
- Another option for pet beds and kennel pads is Big Shrimpy Beds. The company prides itself on using “low-energy materials,” or fabrics and stuffing that doesn’t have to be heavily reprocessed. Big Shrimpy products are also 100% recyclable. When you’re finished with them, simply mail the clean materials back to the company and they’ll take care of them. “We see ourselves as a recycling company as much as a pet products company,” says founder and owner Bruce Kelling. Beds start at 12 inches round and go up to 47 inches by 59 inches. The website has a list of retailers that carry the company’s creations as well.
- It’s tough to find a recycled product you’d want your dog to carry around in his or her mouth. Chuckit! Products’ solution to this problem is to use post-manufacturing scraps in its Rebounce and Remmy recycled rubber balls. “Chuckit! delivers solutions that inspire a healthy game of fetch for your dog,” says Julie Fry, Key Account Manager with the company. Your pet will definitely be eager to pursue these brightly colored toys, which are typically sold with a “launcher” so you can throw them further with minimum effort. Rebounce balls come two to a package; Remmy balls have one per package. Both are priced under $10.