Whether you’ve got a zoo of your own or can’t bring a pet home right now, we’ve got lots of ways that you can help your own pet or an animal in need.
For Your Own Pet
- Set aside designated cuddle and/or play time each day. Even if it’s only 20 minutes, that’s 20 minutes of uninterrupted bonding time for you and your companion animal.
- Sign them up for a training class. Whether it’s basic obedience or advanced agility, any pet is capable of learning new things!
- Encourage curiosity and learning. For cats, this may be building a new cat-tree or a “catio.” For dogs, perhaps a walk in a totally new area [with lots of smells]. You can also make or purchase interactive “puzzle” toys for additional mental stimulation in the comfort of your own home.
- Set up a veterinary appointment, regardless of your pet’s current health. Wellness examinations are extraordinarily beneficial for your pet. Your veterinarian will be able to administer vaccinations and flea/heartworm prevention [if needed] and may even catch a disease early before you even noticed anything was wrong!
For Pets At Shelters
- Collect items to donate to the shelter. While blankets, toys, towels, and food are always appreciated, you can call your local shelter to see what they are in need of. They may be short on office supplies [pens, paper, staples, etc.], leashes [preferably shorter, sturdy leashes in most cases], or brushes.
- Participate in a shelter fundraiser. Many shelters host fundraisers to help raise money to rescue and care for animals. These may be dinner events, walks/marathons, or parties. Attending one of their events is sure to be fun for you and make a difference to the animals in their care.
- Volunteer your time. Even if it’s only for an hour or two a week, shelters are always looking for volunteers to help care for their animals. You can offer to provide felines with TLC, walk the canine companions, drive pets to and from the veterinarian, or help adopters fill out the adoption forms!
- Become a foster family for a rescue pet. Many pets who are recovering from various medical procedures need foster homes since they may need some additional care [such as giving medications and physical therapy]. In addition, the shelter environment can be very stressful to some animals, which can be detrimental to their recovery.
- If you can’t take on [another] pet right now, encourage others to adopt from your local animal rescue group. All kinds of dog and cat breeds are available through rescue groups and they may even find their perfect new family member is a wonderful mutt!
Have any ideas that we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!