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10 Holiday Gifts Shelter Pets Are Wishing For

Animals without homes for the holidays have still been good boys and girls! Giving them toys will give you all the feels.

by Lindsay Hamrick, CPDT-KA
December 9, 2021
Shelter dog looking at a pile of dog supplies and toys
Courtesy of Animal Rescue League of Iowa

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

We can’t think of a more worthy cause for holiday gifting than our local animal shelters. The cats and dogs who haven’t found homes yet this year are most deserving (and most appreciative) of new toys and treats. While non-profit animal organizations always need monetary donations to help animals, you should always check with your local shelter to ensure they’re getting the support they need during the busy holiday season. Be sure to ask if they have any specific needs for products that you can either purchase or donate. Here are some ideas to add to your list.

1. Puzzle Toys

2. Hidey Beds

3. Kitten Bottles & Milk Replacers

4. Orthopedic Beds

5. Pee Pads

6. High-Quality Leashes & Martingale Collars

the collar in red

When shelter dogs go home with a high-quality collar and leash, they’re less likely to escape from their new owner, but this means shelters and rescues go through a lot of equipment. Our picks include martingale collars that prevent a dog from slipping out, front-clip harnesses, and Gentle Leader headcollars that keep a dog who pulls on the leash or is leash reactive under control. Never purchase choke / prong collars or retractable / flexi-leashes. A simple and sturdy, 6-foot nylon leash will work for all dogs. 

$7 at Amazon

7. Cleaning Supplies

8. Pet Food

9. Human Food

a person with a dog
New Africa / Adobe Stock

Shelter staff and volunteers work 365 days a year to be a safety net for pets in your community. This holiday season, consider catering a lunch or dropping off cupcakes to show your gratitude. 

10. The Gift of Your Time!

a person with a dog
kegfire / Adobe Stock

Whether you add “volunteer for your local shelter” to your New Year’s resolutions or simply offer to bring a shelter dog home for a foster weekend, every organization is looking for volunteers.

Lindsay Hamrick, CPDT-KA

Lindsay Hamrick lives in New Hampshire with her three dogs, chickens, and an assortment of rotating foster animals. She forces her elderly chihuahua, Grandma Baguette, on overnight backpacking trips, can diaper a lamb with one hand, and while she’s a long-time Certified Professional Dog Trainer, 66.7% of her dogs still won’t lay down when asked.