Celebrate National Pet Month by Giving Back

During National Pet Month in May there’s no better way to show your love for your pet(s) and all animals than by giving back to the pet community or giving back to charities with your pet by your side. Whether you choose to volunteer at a pet organization, participate in a dog-friendly charity walk, or foster a pet in need, giving back to the pet community or giving back with your pet by your side is a thoughtful gesture that makes a difference in the lives of both humans and animals. Especially during a pandemic, shelters appreciate support and supplies.

Here are four ways that you or you and your pet can give back.

Become a Foster Parent for a Pet in Need

There are many reasons why pets need foster parents, like being too young to be adopted into a permanent home or being a shelter animal that is nursing a litter and needing extra TLC away from the shelter. Some shelters will even provide you with guidance and supplies like food and will possibly pay for any pet medical expenses while you’re fostering a pet.

Become a Registered Therapy Animal Team (You and Your Pet)

Did you know that you and your pet could volunteer at hospitals, therapy centers, and more if you become a registered therapy animal team? One place to get started is at Pet Partners. Pet Partners’ mission is to improve human health and well-being through the human-animal bond. And Pet Partners do not limit their therapy animal work to just dogs and cats. Other species eligible for evaluation (for therapy animal work) include well-behaved equines, rabbits, guinea pigs, llamas and alpacas, birds, pigs, and rats. Learn more about Returning to Therapy Animal Visiting During COVID-19 (updated on March 4, 2021). You can also find COVID-19 information here about Guidance for Handlers of Service and Therapy Animals from the CDC.

Make Toys and Beds for Animal Shelters

Invite your DIY-friends to join in on the cause and create some simple cat and dog beds or toys for animal shelters. Animals get attached to their toys and often keep them once they get adopted. Check out this article Get Involved: 12 Easy DIY Pet Toys to Donate to Your Local Shelter along with tips before you get started, from Hockhockson Farm Foundation.

Participate In a Pet Friendly Race or Event Near You

Does your dog love to run or walk? If yes, why not run or walk for fun and for good causes? There are many pet friendly races that benefit both people and pets. It’s good for your soul and for the soul of your pet. One place to search for pet-friendly races and events near you is at ACTIVE.com.

Want to surprise your devoted dog with tasty homemade treats? Here are 12 Recipes for Homemade Dog Treats from Brit + Co. Your dog will be doing tricks for these treats! Note: Before making homemade treats for your dog, make sure to read through this list of People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets from ASPCA. Some ingredients, like xylitol, might be used in foods like peanut butter. You may also want to check with your dog’s veterinarian once you decide on the treats that you would like to prepare for your dog.