The Best Christmas Gifts to Donate to Shelter Animals · The Wildest

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Shelter Pets Deserve Christmas Gifts, Too

Seriously, you can donate to shelters just by shopping!

by Lindsay Hamrick, CPDT-KA
Updated December 18, 2023
shelter kittens playing with a round blue plastic toy with balls
Courtesy of Stray Cat Alliance

There isn’t a more worthy recipient for a just because gift than your local animal shelter. This holiday season, while you’re shopping for your own cat or dog, consider pressing “add to cart” on a gift for a pet who’s still waiting for their forever home. Those patient pups and kitties are just as deserving of being spoiled with new toys and treats.

While non-profit animal organizations always need monetary donations, they also need a lot of supplies to keep the animals in their care housed, fed, and entertained. Below, a list of the most common supplies that shelters ask for.

1. Interactive puzzle toys and lick mats

mateeylife lick mat

Shelter dogs tend to scarf down their dinner because they don t know where their next meal is coming from. Lick mats are a great way to not only slow down the eating process (and prevent stomach upset), but also make dinnertime a fun enrichment activity. Dog trainer Robert Haussman explains, “Soft foods, such as peanut butter or canned pumpkin, can be smeared on the textured surface for a dog to lick clean. To keep a dog stimulated and busy, they can also be frozen, which allows them to last much longer. It’s highly enjoyable, engaging, and — most importantly — delicious!”

2. Hidey cat beds

3. Orthopedic dog beds

4. Durable leashes and martingale collars

5. Cleaning supplies

6. Kitten bottles and milk replacers

7. Pee pads

8. Pet food

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.

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