Up-Cycling Dogs

Everyone nowadays is aware of the need to recycle, and following on from recycling comes ‘up-cycling’. The term is used to describe pre-loved items (usually furniture or clothes) that have been transformed creatively, which makes them more appealing and easier to sell.

At Cadela Carlota, we know all about ‘up-cycling’ – we have been doing it for years. With our dogs! Unfortunately, our dogs do not usually come into the ‘pre-loved’ category. Below are some comparisons between dogs and furniture up-cycling that you may find amusing.

The basics 

Remove old paintwork, replace broken handles, and apply wax to dried-up wood. We make sure that dogs are chipped and that a vet sees them. If they have open wounds or sores, these are treated. And if they are far too thin, we feed them chicken and rice.

Starting the transformation 

Sandpaper the wood and add a primer. At this stage, we get our dogs used to human contact and teach them not to worry when they are put on a lead. This period can take more than a year with some dogs. We give them lots of hugs and cuddles if they allow us to.

Second stage 

Apply undercoat. Now that our dogs will accept a lead, we can take them to the vet, where they will be neutered if they are intact and where they will start on their course of vaccinations.

Third stage 

Apply a second undercoat. At this stage, our dogs start to go on walks several times a week. They learn how to walk on a lead and they start learning how to interact socially with other dogs and humans.

Fourth stage

Apply a top coat of paint, and put the furniture on show, ready to be sold. This is when Cadela Carlota tries to teach the dog to accept lots of handling, and to listen to and act on basic commands. The dog is now ready for rehoming.


The furniture is taken away and it will take pride of place in a new home. For our dogs and for all at Cadela Carlota, this stage is by far the happiest. A lucky owner walks through our gates with their new best friend and takes them to their forever home. 

Cadela Carlota volunteers laugh and jump for joy. Upcycling completed!

Poppy, who is the featured dog, is now available for rehoming.




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