While working at a pet store back in 1997, Janet Huey -- a long-time Houston animal rescuer -- had a thought: where do pet supplies go when a pet dies or outgrows them?“This was way before eBay, Craigslist, etc.,” Janet says. “There was no niche anywhere.”She decided to leave her job and start Pet Resale Stuff.
Pet resale Stuff is a mobile micro biz serving the huge pet community in Houston, TX. Pet Resale Stuff does just what it says -- resells discarded pet stuff. Janet’s inventory is made up of items that pet owners trade-in, items found at thrift stores, and items that she collects through referrals from veterinary clinics. If you live in the Houston area, be sure to stop by their Facebook page.
You can visit Pet Resale Stuff’s Facebook page to find out about upcoming sales and offers.“Recycling pet items is increasing in popularity,” Janet says. “Younger people are really liking the ‘green’ aspect.”At any given time, Janet may be selling crates, beds, leashes, toys, grooming supplies, pet clothes, and more at deep discounts. She also sells non-pet items that become pet items with a bit of imagination.“Sleeping bags make great, inexpensive beds for big and little dogs,” Janet says. “And pillow shams with a thick piece of foam make inexpensive beds, as they usually come in pairs.”Because Janet cares about the safety of her two-legged and four-legged customers, she makes sure to clean and disinfect anything she plans to resell.“For cat trees, for example, I replace the sisal and let the tree sit out in the sun before using lots of carpet cleaner,” Janet says. And if an item doesn’t meet her standards for reselling, she’ll keep it for herself if she can use it for her own dogs, cats, or cockatiel. Pet Resale Stuff is mobile and sells at the Westbury Animal Hospital in Houston on weekends. Janet also makes deliveries. Her client base is made up of employees at vet clinics, loyal shoppers who like the delivery option, and a spay/neuter clinic that buys up every crate Janet can find.“I love everything about my job,” Janet says. “I get the most joy out of keeping a dog in a home when the humans were ready to give up on them. And I’m able to save Houstonians money while keeping stuff out of landfills.”
How Safe are Secondhand Pet Supplies?
Pet supplies can get expensive. If you are a student or unemployed, you may find it difficult sometimes to make the investments required for your pet. However, don't lose hope. Your cat/dog does not need to suffer. There are a bunch of services, both online and offline, that provides used and secondhand dog/cat gear for sale. Many vets seem to find nothing wrong with buying your dog/cat secondhand supplies. Yet, there are others that wouldn't recommend such a thing. What do you do? How safe really is secondhand pet supplies, and will they prove economic for you, the pet parent, in the long run? Let's find out.
Secondhand pet goods can have residual germs. If you must purchase them, ensure that they are hygienic first. You shouldn't be putting your darling pet at risk of fleas, ticks, and other such transmittable pet diseases. While buying used products for your pet, exercise maximum caution. If you find a compact and sturdy dog crate in seemingly good condition at a yard sale, don’t jump on it without going over all its screws and security locks. If all the screws seem to be fine and there appear to be no cracks on the crate, you may go ahead and proceed with your purchase. Make sure you disinfect and clean this used dog crate thoroughly before allowing your four-legged friend anywhere near it. Wipe this dog crate down carefully and then place it out in the sunlight to dry. It will kill the pathogens.
How to buy secondhand pet supplies
Below, we discuss how to determine if a secondhand pet supply is fit for purchase –
Feeding bowl – Avoid buying plastic secondhand feeding bowls for your pet as plastic can collect debris. Metal and ceramic feeding bowls should be preferred, even when buying secondhand. They can be easily disinfected
Clothes – Find your cat a cute used costume on the petcare website? There’s no harm in ordering it. Just don’t forget to wash this costume in hot water and detergent before dressing your little feline in it. You don’t want him/her to come down with fleas/ticks, do you?
While it is a better idea to buy things first-hand for your pet, you may want to save a few bucks by getting them for secondhand. There's no shame in that. However, make sure these used goods are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before introducing them to your pet buddy. Germs and fleas can stay undetected in these passed-on products, and you don't want your pet to get hold of them. Try not to get used to dog toys or cat trees for your dog/cat to avoid unwanted marking behavior. These products will usually have the odor of the previous pet using them, and your pet will want to urinate and mark territory over them before usage.
And if you want to save on pet care and you don't live in Houston, sign up for PetPlus! PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Find out more at PetPlus.com.
Thank you, Janet, for all that you do!