While Christmas is often a time of overindulgence as well as gift giving, Christmas should also be a time of reflection and taking stock, and helping others who may need it, be that animals or people!
If you are a true pet lover, whether or not you have an animal of your own, the holiday season can be a great time to take the opportunity to do something good for pets and animals in general, and with either a little time or a little money, your contribution can help to make a real difference to the welfare and wellness of animals in your local area that may be in need.
In this article, we will share some tips on ten great things that all animal lovers can do to help animals and pets in need over the holiday season, and to support the work of charities and shelters that care for pets. Read on to learn more.
Volunteer over the holidays
Many pet shelters and rehoming organisations put a freeze on adoptions over the Christmas period, which means that this can be the busiest time of the year for them when it comes to the number of animals that they have to care for, and the resources available to do so.
Offering to volunteer for a few hours over Christmas, particularly if you can do so on one of the bank holiday days, is a great way to get involved and help out.
Offer to help someone
If you know someone living nearby with a pet who is struggling due to issues such as ill health or old age, why not ask them if they need a hand?
Walking someone’s dog now and then or picking up some of their pet-related shopping when you do your own can be a massive help for pet owners who are struggling due to issues of their own.
Make up a care package
Pet rehoming shelters always welcome gifts and donations, so why not make up a care package of some food and toys for a charity near to you, and drop it off in time for the festive season.
Make a financial donation
Cold, hard cash is always very useful to charities and shelters too, as cash donations allows them to channel their resources to where they can be of the most use, and is essential to allow them to continue to do their work.
Give a donation as a gift
You can also make a donation to the charity of your choice in someone else’s name, so if you’re struggling for ideas on what to get as a present for a pet lover this year, why not look at making a donation to their favourite pet charity, and give them a card letting them know that you have done this.
Walk some dogs for a charity
Charities that rehome dogs always have the need for people to help out with walking, exercising and socialising the dogs in their care before they are rehomed, and not only does this provide essential exercise, but can actually help to improve the dog’s behaviour and training standard, making it easier for them to find a home in the future!
Sponsor a shelter pet
Make a longer-term commitment to helping a pet even after Christmas is over by sponsoring a pet over the year for a set monthly amount, contributing towards all of the bills that come with looking after a pet until it can be rehomed.
Food, bedding and vet’s fees all add up quickly, and the value of an adoption donation only goes some way towards helping charities to recoup these costs.
Buy charity Christmas cards
A small but really easy way to support your favourite pet charity is to purchase Christmas cards from the charity rather than from a shop this year, as the profits from their cards will go straight back into helping the charity’s charges.
Buy merchandise from a pet charity
Many pet charities also sell a small range of their own personalised merchandise as well, such as keyrings, mugs, jumpers and other gifts that you can buy either for yourself, or for a pet lover that you are planning to get a gift for!
Spread the word
Finally, one of the best ways of helping pet and animal charities is by spreading the word to your friends and family about some of the ways in which they can help too, and promoting the work done by your local shelters.
If every pet lover just ticked one item off this list this Christmas, the welfare, comfort and care of all of the animals in the various pet-related charities in the UK would improve, so tag your friends and pass the word on, and help some of the UK’s most in need pets this year without breaking the bank!