Dumpster Diving at PetSmart (Ultimate Guide)

Each year, tons of usable products get discarded, contributing to our escalating global waste problem. An unexpected place where this issue is prominent? 

PetSmart, a leading pet supply retailer. Astonishingly, PetSmart throws away an estimated $2.6 million worth of usable pet products each year. 

This waste ranges from unopened pet food to undamaged toys and accessories.

In this article we will explore dumpster diving at PetSmart and also do it worth diving around this area. 

Let’s begin!

Dumpster Diving at PetSmart

Dumpster Diving at PetSmart

PetSmart, a renowned retail chain established in 1986, has over 1,650 stores across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. 

The company primarily sells pet products, services, and small pets. 

Although the thought of dumpster diving at PetSmart may seem like a treasure trove of pet supplies. 

However, these products may have been recalled due to safety issues, be past their sell-by date, or be damaged in a way that’s not immediately visible. 

Is Dumpster Diving at PetSmart Legal?

While dumpster diving, in general, is not explicitly deemed illegal, it’s important to understand that PetSmart stores are on private property. 

The store management reserves the right to ask you to leave if they discover you engaging in this activity. 

In some cases, PetSmart stores may have ‘No Trespassing’ signs or similar notices, which legally bars unauthorized people from dumpster diving. 

Violating these notices can lead you to legal consequences, such as fines or, in more serious cases, arrest. 

However, the health and safety considerations are significant. Discarded pet food may be contaminated or expired, posing a risk to your pet’s health. 

Is Dumpster Diving at PetSmart at Night Illegal?

Dumpster diving is a practice that varies in legality depending on the location.

In many places in the United States, you can dive into dumpsters without any trouble. 

However, if the dumpster is located on private property, such as a PetSmart store, it could be considered trespassing, which is illegal. 

In 1988, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of California vs. Greenwood that dumpster diving is generally legal since there is no expectation of privacy for discarded items. 

However, local regulations may override this, so it’s crucial to check with local laws. 

Moreover, PetSmart, like many businesses, typically locks their dumpsters or places them in well-lit, monitored areas to discourage dumpster diving. 

Attempting to dumpster dive at night might increase the risk of being accused of trespassing or burglary, both of which are criminal offenses.

Best Time for Dumpster Diving at PetSmart

If you are interested in dumpster diving at PetSmart, the ideal time is typically after store closing hours which is usually around 9 PM – 10 PM, after the store has disposed of the day’s unsold items. 

If the store gets a delivery on a specific day of the week, typically, that evening can yield a greater haul as shelves are restocked with new products, leading to more disposals. 

Furthermore, holiday seasons such as after Christmas and Easter are also fruitful times as unsold seasonal items often end up in the dumpster. 

How Much Can I Earn from Dumpster Diving at PetSmart

While it’s challenging to provide a precise figure on earnings from dumpster diving at PetSmart or any other store due to various factors. 

However, as a seasoned dumpster diver, I can confidently tell you that profitability greatly depends on your location, timing, and a bit of luck. 

On average, you may find pet supplies like food, toys, and accessories that, if sold, could potentially fetch around $50 to $100 a week. 

This is based on the assumption that you find items in good condition and manage to sell them at around 50% of their retail price. 

However, do keep in mind that these figures are not consistent and can drastically fluctuate.

Always priortize your pet’s safety; because dumpster diving at PetSmart involves finding discarded items with packaging damage or nearing their sell-by date.

What Does PetSmart Do With Returned Food

PetSmart has a philanthropic policy aimed at reducing waste and supporting animal welfare. 

When pet food is returned, instead of disposing of it, they donate the food to its own charity.  

Which in turn distributes the food to animal shelters and rescue organizations across the country. 

In 2018 alone, PetSmart Charities’ efforts helped approximately 8.2 million animals, including through services such as spay/neuter surgeries, adoption programs, and food provision. 

This way, PetSmart ensures that returned food does not go to waste and instead goes towards supporting animals in need.

Does PetSmart throw Away Live Animals

No, PetSmart does not throw away live animals. In fact, PetSmart has a dedicated program, “PetSmart Charities,” that works tirelessly to save homeless pets. 

They claim to help more than 500,000 animals every year through their adoption program alone. 

PetSmart also has a rigorous policy in place for the care and management of animals in their stores. 

If an animal is not purchased, it remains in PetSmart’s care, or they seek to find it a home through their adoption program.

What is the best tool for dumpster diving?

The Grabber Pick Up Tool is an excellent choice, it allows you to reach deep into dumpsters without physical strain. 

This tool, often extending up to 36 inches, offers a secure grip that can lift up to approximately 5 pounds, ideal for heavier finds. 

Its also recommended to wear heavy-duty gloves for protection against sharp objects and potential contaminants. 

A headlamp or a durable flashlight is essential for night diving, it provides you visibility and freeing your hands for searching. 

So, if you are planning to dumpster dive at Hawaii, TJ Maxx, Alaska, or Massachusetts; first you should check the state laws before going to your hunt.

What does dumpster diving do?

Dumpster diving involves searching through trash for discarded items that may still be useful to the person doing the search.

It’s not just about finding treasure in someone else’s trash, but it also plays a crucial role in reducing waste and contributing to environmental sustainability. 

In the United States alone, around 230 million tons of waste are generated annually, and dumpster diving can redirect a portion of it from landfill to reuse.

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