As a nation of dog lovers, many of us are looking for ways to help our four-legged friends in need. While adopting a dog is one way to help rehoming centres, if you aren’t able to provide a forever home, there are lots of other ways you can assist your local shelter.
The coronavirus pandemic severely impacted dogs homes in the UK. Income was lost due to cancelled events and lockdowns, and social distancing restrictions affected the work of volunteers. Weathering such tough times was hard, which is why it's vital that people keep donating to dog shelters. You could give money or you could donate dog toys - all donations are appreciated.
When donations are made to these dog shelters, it means they can continue to rescue and care for vulnerable dogs who have been abused, neglected or cannot be looked after anymore by their previous owners. And some of the items they need, you’ve probably got lying around the house, so it won’t even cost you a penny to help!
If you’d like to make a difference but are uncertain of what to donate to dog shelters, we’ve put together a list of things you can donate that your local shelter is likely to appreciate. For more advice on donations for dog shelters, Battersea has some great ideas.
Top tip: Before heading to your chosen rescue centre, we recommend calling them first, to make sure they are able to accept and use the items you want to donate - ensuring you are sending them to the place they are most needed. They can also tell you the best way to donate the items.
What can you donate to dogs homes?
1. Monetary donations
Often working to tight budgets, dog shelters will always appreciate additional funds to provide better care for more canines. Donating to dog shelters is straightforward: many allow donations by text or online, and some even offer the opportunity to sponsor a dog kennel for a monthly donation, which helps to provide each dog arriving in that kennel with blankets, toys and treats.
Another way to raise funds for dogs homes is by asking your friends and family to donate to your chosen charity instead of buying you a gift for special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. You could set up an online fundraising page to make this really simple.
A lot of charities also run a range of fundraising activities and events throughout the year that you can get involved in (including virtual events you can do in your own time and chosen location, like your home or garden); asking friends and family to support you in your efforts.
2. Dog toys
We all know that our tufty-pawed pals go barking mad for toys, so why not donate any unwanted or new pet toys to keep them entertained and happy? The sturdier the better; try to veer away from stuffed and squeaky toys, since strong chewers can swallow the squeaky part. Having things to play with provides pups with the mental stimulation and comfort that they so desperately need while they’re waiting for their new loving homes.
3. Pet food and treats
One of the biggest things animal shelters spend their budget on is food. If you’d like to give them a helping hand, you can donate pet food or treats, which will make a huge impact. As long as the food is unopened and hasn’t reached its expiry date, most dogs homes will be happy to accept it.
We advise checking with your local shelter before you buy any new food though, as some will only use specific brands.
4. Towels and blankets
Bedding material is extremely important to keep resident hounds comfortable and warm at night. Accidents, chewing, and general use means these tend to get used up pretty fast, so they are a great thing to donate. Best of all, they don’t have to be in perfect condition, so if you’ve got any old bedding or towels lying at the back of your cupboards, these will do just fine - provided they aren’t filled with feathers.
5. Dog coats
During the winter months, many of the pups awaiting adoption need an extra layer of warmth, especially older dogs who really feel the cold. As dogs homes tend to look after canines of all shapes and sizes, a variety of dog coats are much appreciated – the fluffier and warmer the better.
6. Cleaning supplies
As you can imagine, there are lots of everyday messes to clean up in a dogs home which call for a good deal of cleaning supplies. Rubber gloves, bin bags, bleach, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, mops, sponges, brooms and paper towels are all useful items to help shelters stay clean and organised. Some will also take old newspapers to line the bottom of the cages.
7. Grooming products
In order to stay healthy and beautiful, dogs need to be groomed regularly. Some of the pups who arrive at shelters for the first time are not in the best of conditions and often need a bit of a pamper session to make them look and feel themselves again. There are many grooming products you can donate, such as shampoos, combs, brushes, nail clippers and scissors.
8. Collars, leads and harnesses
Nothing gets a dog’s tail wagging like a w-a-l-k, so collars, leads and harnesses all come in very handy at dogs homes. Many shelters are willing to accept any new or gently used walking accessories, and some will also welcome biodegradable poop bags too.
9. Crates and carriers
If you have a new or gently used metal crate or carrier, a dogs home may be able to make good use of it. They are brilliant for transporting dogs and can be expensive to buy – just make sure they are in good working condition first.
Our partnership with Battersea
At Canine Cottages we are proud to be sponsoring Battersea’s informative pet advice email series, The Battersea Way, filled with expert tips and ideas to help the nation keep their pets happy and healthy. This partnership will allow our dog-friendly team to support Battersea in its incredible work, ensuring our beloved dogs have all the love and attention they deserve – and not just those that arrive at their gates, but beyond, so owners and their pets can enjoy their time together.
You can sign up for the Battersea Way emails here.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is a registered charity in England and Wales (Registered Charity No: 206394)
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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.