5 ways to help dogs this holiday season

Helping dogs in need during the holidays doesn’t need to be difficult or break the bank. Here are five simple ways to make sure the 2013 holiday season goes to the dogs.

  1. Volunteer:  Your local shelter, rescue, or other dog-related non-profit organization can always use volunteers.  Find one that you’re fond of, and ask how you can help out.  Volunteers may need to fill out an application and provide references, so leave extra time for processing.
  2. Donate:  We’ve all got that person on our shopping list who has everything or is impossible to shop for.  Well, if that person is a dog lover, how about making a monetary donation to a doggie charity in their honor? Going local is always the best choice; local organizations depend on financial donations to keep going, and will greatly appreciate any donation, no matter how big or how small.  Bonus:  it’s tax-deductible!
  3. Ask for donations instead of gifts:  Maybe you are the person who has everything and is hard to buy for!  In that case, ask your friends and family to donate money they would normally spend on your gift to a local dog-related charity, shelter, or rescue.  (And it’s tax-deductible for the giver!)
  4. Shop online through a “giving” site:  There are plenty of pup-themed giving sites that are attached to purchases you might already be planning to make.  For example, my local shelter has an amazon.com link that, when used, will donate a portion of one’s amazon purchase to the shelter.  Neat!  Visit greatergood.com or justgiving.com for additional ideas, or search for more on any search engine.
  5. Pet sitting or pet care:  Know of a friend, relative or neighbor who will be away from home during the holidays?  Offer to check on their dog, walk the dog, feed the dog, play with the dog in their absence, for free.  Even a brief visit will do wonders for the pet parent’s peace of mind, and will provide companionship for a left-at-home pooch.  It’ll probably make you feel good, too!

Happy holidays!

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