There is no denying that the holiday season is officially upon us. Christmas music plays on our favourite radio stations, retail stores are putting up their holiday displays and incredible sales are popping up everywhere. Not only is this a great time to save money on your holiday gift-giving, but it’s also the perfect time to purchase gifts that support animal rescue organizations. Celebrate the true meaning of the holiday season by giving back with these popular wishlist items.
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If you are a rescue supporter, then you know that our local animal shelters and rescue organizations are often working to do the best they can with limited budgets.
To continue providing care for animals in need, they need our help.
These needs include volunteers in several different roles, financial support, and a need for basic animal care supplies.
While you’re putting together your holiday shopping list, consider taking advantage of the holiday sales and purchasing some supplies to donate to rescue organizations in your area.
The following list outlines some of the much-needed supplies that can be found on wishlists across the country.
Remember: You don’t have to fill a shelter’s complete wishlist to make a difference.
Every donation helps!
If you are planning to donate to a specific shelter or rescue organization, consider reaching out to find out what they need or checking their social media accounts for requests.
Otherwise, consider donating the following items that are always in demand.
Celebrate the Holidays with These Much-Needed Gifts that Support Animal Rescue Efforts
These are often the wishlist items that are most overlooked as they aren’t ‘fun’ like toys and treats.
However, animal shelters go through a lot of cleaning supplies daily and the cost of these items can add up quickly.
Another ‘boring’ category of items that most shelters will happily accept are office supplies.
While these organizations would love to put all their money directly towards the pets in their care, the administrative work behind the scenes does require some supplies.
This is all necessary in order to organize adoptions, maintain pet health records, organize fundraisers, and do other work necessary for the operation of a successful shelter or rescue organization.
Collars, Harnesses, and Leashes
These accessories are also needed to take the dogs for regular walks.
With the regular turnaround of new pets coming and going, most shelters and rescues need collars and harnesses in a wide variety of different sizes.
In addition to collars, harnesses, and leashes, they would likely also appreciate biodegradable dog poop bags.
After all, with a large number of dogs, they go through them at a surprisingly high rate!
Blankets and Towels
In a shelter setting, bedding is a hot commodity.
Pet beds, sheets, blankets, and towels are constantly being rotated due to potty accidents and illnesses.
Many find their way to the garbage bin after being chewed up or simply wearing through from repeated use.
Most shelters and rescue organizations will happily accept not only new items but also slightly used options as long as they are in good condition.
If you’re planning on upgrading your towels or bedding this holiday season, take the opportunity to also give back.
Food and Water Dishes
Did you know that experts recommend cleaning your pet’s food dish at least once each day and that their water dish should be cleaned weekly?
If that sounds like a lot of work with the pets that you have at home, now picture keeping up with that routine in a shelter setting!
By having a larger supply of food and water dishes available, shelters and rescues can rotate them as needed, making the health of the pets in their care a top priority.
The most popular food and water bowls are basic stainless-steel dishes due to their durability and how much easier they are to clean and sanitize.
Kitty Litter and Litter Boxes
It should come as no surprise that any shelter or rescue organization with cats goes through a lot of kitty litter daily.
Most shelters prefer non-clumping clay litter as it works for cats of all ages and helps to lower the risk of obstructions from those who may try eating their litter.
In addition to kitty litter, most shelters are also in need of basic litter boxes that can be used in their pens and cat rooms.
These may not be the most exciting items to shop for, but they are so important!
Puppy Pee Pads
While we’re talking about bathroom necessities, puppy pee pads are another item that shelters and rescues are always in need of.
Not only are these used for potty training, but they are also a great solution for urinary incontinence in senior dogs, beneath cat litter boxes to avoid accidents, and in the pen with new litters.
They may not look like much but puppy pads help significantly to cut back on the amount of cleaning that shelter volunteers have to do daily.
Pet Carriers and Metal Creates
From bringing pets to the vet to quarantining animals when they are sick, they serve many important roles.
While these items can carry a larger price tag, you can often find great sales during the holiday season.
Another great option for picking up carriers and crates is to check online sales boards and websites, picking up gently used options at a fraction of the cost.
Food for All Life Stages
One of the biggest expenses that rescues face, outside of the cost of veterinary care, is the ongoing cost of feeding all the animals in their care.
This cost climbs even higher when faced with restricted or specialty diets.
Toys and Treats
This is arguably the most popular option on the list.
After all, who doesn’t want to go shopping for fun items like treats and toys that the pets can enjoy?
When shopping for toys, the sturdier, the better.
As for treats, most rescues will take any packages of treats that are unopened.
However, you should avoid any dog treats from China as well as rawhide chews due to the risks that these options carry.
Giving to others is one of the best parts of the holiday season, and the precious animals in the care of your local rescue organizations are no exception.
Consider starting a new holiday tradition!
If you aren’t sure about what to purchase and don’t want to contact the shelter to find out, you can always pick up gift cards for your local pet store.
No donation is too small. Together, we can make a difference for those in need.
Can you think of any gifts that support animal rescue organizations that I missed on our list? Share your ideas in the comments and inspire others to spread some holiday cheer!