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.
Dogs homes in the UK have been hugely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic; many have lost fundraising income with events being cancelled, and a significant number of volunteers have been in isolation. With the doors closed to the public, resources have quickly become depleted and many shelters are now in need of extra supplies. Just to put this into perspective, at Battersea Dogs Home alone, it costs around £50,000 every day to care for the animals across their three centres.
When donations are made to these dogs homes, it means they can continue to rescue and care for vulnerable dogs who have been abused, neglected or simply abandoned 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, we’ve put together a list of the best things you can donate that your local shelter is likely to appreciate the most.
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. Many allow donations by text or online and some of the bigger charities like Battersea Dogs Home offer the opportunity to sponsor a dog kennel from as little as £5 a month which provides each pup 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.
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.
10. Amazon Wish Lists
One of the easiest ways to donate to dogs homes is by seeing if your local shelter has an Amazon Wish List. The Dogs Trust, for example, features a wish list for each of its rehoming centres around the UK so you can go online and see exactly what they need. Anything you buy, from treats to toys, is sent directly to your chosen centre, so within a few clicks, you can make a massive difference to the dogs in their care.
Which dogs homes can you donate to?
With so many animal rescue centres around the country, it can be hard to know which ones to help. The best thing to do is to start locally, have a look online and see if you have a dog shelter near you that needs a bit of a helping hand. If you can’t find a small local charity to support, there are many larger organisations dotted around the UK that can use your assistance, including:
Remember that wherever you decide to donate, the charity will appreciate your generosity no matter the size of your gift. And if you’d like to do more, there are many other ways to give back, like volunteering or even by fostering or adopting a rescue dog.
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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.