Green (and quirky) pet products

We pet people can be particular about the products we purchase for our furry (or feathered or scaly) friends. We not only want products that work, but that also make our pets happy and comfortable. So, when the team at Quirky works with a concept for a better retractable dog leash tonight, dog owners might want to take a look – and keep an eye out for the Kosoku leash at your favorite pet supply store.

If you’re a greenie and a pet person, you’re probably also taking environmental and health impacts into consideration when buying for the pooch, kitty, guinea pig, snake, etc. Combining green values with pet products has also gone in some quirky directions. Here are just a few of some of the more imaginative and unusual products that have sprung from that synthesis.

The recycled cardboard cat scratcher (complete with organic catnip): Cats with claws can wreak havoc on furniture, so an appealing scratching toy is a must. The SmartyKat ScratchPod combines recycled plastic and cardboard with organic catnip for what should be an irresistible scratching spot for the cat, developed in a partnership between Worldwise and Walmart (the recycled materials all come from the mega-retailer).

Charging your phone with your hamster: Got friends and family telling you that your hamster isn’t good for much? Let them know s/he’s a source of renewable energy! Teenager Peter Ash turned his hamster Elvis’ exercise wheel into a phone charger – but he only got a C on the project when he submitted it in his science class. Check it out in the video above. As far as I can tell, this item (unfortunately) isn’t available in pet stores.

The repurposed fabric dog harness: I still use a collar with my dog, but many have switched to harnesses – again, that comfort factor. The Wrap Dog Harness isn’t only green (made completely from repurposed materials) but also stylish: lots of patterns and colors from which to choose.

The catnip cigar: Because a fat cat has to have a cigar, right? The Yeowwww! Catnip Cigar is filled with 100% organic catnip.

The bamboo ball tosser (with a recycled ball, of course): Personally, I’ve never understood the need for a ball tosser (because my arms and hands work just fine), but I guess other dog owners really don’t want touch those drool-soaked balls. If that’s the case, you can at least avoid the plastic with the Planet Dog Wood Chuck®, made from recycled cork scraps and bamboo. The ball that comes with it is also made from recycled materials, and is recyclable itself.

Recycled dog t-shirts: Yep, some of us like to dress our dogs (though mine quickly turns such things to shreds). From Scratch’s tees not only have good greenie messaging, but are also made from recycled materials.

Just scratching the surface here (so to speak). What are some quirky green pet products you’ve run across?