How to Help Your Local Dog Shelter

Summary: Dogs play important roles in our lives. Here are some tips on how you can give back by helping your local dog shelter.

Dogs have earned the title of “Man’s Best Friend” because of how big of an impact they have had on us. They are loyal, they help brighten our days up, and they just want to make sure their humans are safe and happy. Fortunately, some stray, abandoned, surrendered, or lost animals end up in shelters, where they are cared for until someone adopts them and brings them to a new home. These dogs in shelters may feel scared or nervous. Even if you are unable to adopt an animal there are steps one can each take to help these animals out.


Of the approximately 7.6 animals that enter animal shelters each year, around 3.9 million of them are dogs. It should come as no surprise that these shelters go through tremendous amounts of supplies to care for all of the animals. You can donate bottles of water, canned food, hard food, and packaged treats. Before delivering them, make sure they are unopened and have not yet passed their expiration dates.

Beyond food and water, there are plenty of other supplies that dog shelters use a good amount of. If you want to help your local dog shelter our, you can also bring in some items to help with the maintenance of the facilities. Things like paper towels, dish soap, sponges, and towels are all play a role in keeping the shelters and animals clean. Foam inserts can help make the cages more comfortable and welcoming for the dogs. They will add some extra padding to separate the dogs from the hard floor surfaces.

Volunteer Time

In addition to donating items to assist your local dog shelter, you can also make a difference by volunteering some of your time. Dogs, just like humans, need regular exercise to be strong and live healthy lives. If you have previous experience, you can help walk dogs.

If you do not feel up to the task of walking dogs, you can volunteer your time in other ways. You can help groom dogs, clean cages, and help around with general maintenance tasks. Some shelters are understaffed and can use the extra assistance.

Spread The Word 

Perhaps the most important way you can help your local dog shelter is by spreading the word. There are plenty of people out there who love animals but they may not be aware of all of the help these shelters need. Whether the shelter needs someone to stop by Petsmart for food or check The Foam Factory for more padding, every little bit helps.

By talking to your friends and family and telling them about how they can get involved, you increase the chances of someone else donating supplies and time to help the cause. Word of mouth truly is important. Even if someone you speak to is unable to help out, if they also tell people they know about the shelter, they may find someone who would be more than willing to lend a hand.