“Practical Ways To Help Your Pet Shelter” has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BLUESierraDelta
Our local pet shelter has been familiar ground for my kids ever since they were little. Volunteering at the shelter was our agreed trade-off with Lia, and later Sam, before Hubs and I agreed we would give in to years of begging for a family dog. Jingle’s arrival in early 2016 didn’t stop the kids from continuing to help at our local pet shelter, that is till everything hit. Thanks to some brainstorming with our shelter’s team, we were able to find safe ways for our family to help. Think homemade dog enrichment toys, dog food bagging and more!
PRACTICAL WAYS TO HELP YOUR PET SHELTER
Keeping in mind social distancing measures, these suggestions will allow your family to help your local shelter, even during these times.
Besides the obvious, every shelter needs monetary donations. One easy way to do this could be to host a birthday fundraiser, inviting family and friends to donate to your shelter, instead of giving you a gift, this year.
DONATIONS FOR PET ESSENTIALS
With everything going on, the influx of dogs and cats to local shelters has not reduced. The need for blankets, towels and dog food is high. A great idea would be to invite friends and family to set aside gently used blankets and towels, in bags, that can be dropped off at your doorstep or may be picked up at theirs. With cooler weather rolling in soon, these donations will be so helpful.
Food is another big request that is always high on any shelter’s list of needs. While you shop at your local Walmart, I encourage you to shop for food as if you were shopping for your own dog. We made the switch to a Blue Buffalo® diet because of the high-quality, real meat ingredients.
The BLUE Life Protection Formula™ Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is made with natural ingredients and enhanced with vitamins and minerals. It also contains their antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits® (a blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help with immune system health, life stage requirements, and healthy oxidative balance), “wholesome” whole grains, garden veggies, and fruit. The BLUE Wilderness™ High Protein Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is another great blend.
We chose the BLUE Life Protection Formula™ Natural Adult Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food for Jingle as she has been getting a little chunky around her waist. Blame it on the kids -Hubs included!- and their sneak feeds under the table, during meal time! The Healthy Weight recipe is formulated without the extra calories from fat, thereby helping her maintain a healthy weight, while enjoying a satisfying meal.
We did a Walmart curbside order, and a certain somebody couldn’t even wait till we got her feeding bowl!
Plus when you buy any BLUE Life Protection Formula™ or BLUE Wilderness™ dry food during the month of November, Blue Buffalo® will donate $1 for every small bag of food sold, up to $275,000, to Sierra Delta Service Dogs for Heroes. Click HERE to add the product to your Walmart shopping cart!
This amazing program between Sierra Delta, Blue Buffalo® and Walmart, helps supply service dogs to veterans. It’s heartbreaking to know that only 1 in 150 vets have a service dog provided to them. Administrative snags, expensive service dog programs, lack of qualified training organizations and little to no support, make providing more service dogs to veterans a gargantuan task.
That’s where Sierra Delta steps in, bridges the large gap, and provides veterans with trained canine companions.
All the more reason to choose Blue Buffalo®.
DONATIONS FOR ENRICHMENT ITEMS
Resident dogs in any shelter can suffer from cabin fever. Routine short walks are not enough to keep dogs healthy. Finding fun, creative ways to keep their minds and bodies sharp, is so important. Enrichment toys can be bought at Walmart but you can make some, without spending a dime!
During the summer, Lia built her Girl Scout Silver Award project around this. She identified the need to help make our local shelter dogs more adoptable. Besides creating a website with resources to help potential pet parents, she also made 110 dog tug toys from old, donated t-shirts.
This is such an easy enrichment item to make and so inexpensive and dogs love these!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DOG TUG TOY USING OLD T-SHIRTS
We made a patriotic themed toy,
in honor of the many veterans who are still awaiting a fur-buddy.
All you need are 3 old t-shirts (red, white and blue).
And no, they don’t have to be solid block t-shirts. The print on the tees will actually make some really pretty looking tug toys.) and a pair of scissors. That’s all!
Place an empty plastic water bottle in the sock and tie the open end short. Dogs love playing fetch and listening to the crinkly noises made as they hold the bottle covered with the sock, in their mouths.
Remember, you can make all these while at home, and donate them safely to your pet shelter when ready.
The times we are in should never stop us from helping animals in need. With a little creativity and thought, you can continue to make a difference in the lives of the residents at your nearest shelter.