Giving Back with your Pet
You and your dog share an unbreakable bond. It's clear why people say dogs, and all pets, can bring so much to a person's life. One of the best things you and your pet can do it take some time to bring joy to other people's lives!
Itís a fact that volunteering is great for the community, but it's also great for the person who is doing the volunteering. To boost your mood and strengthen your bond with your pet, get involved in your community. You can make a difference in your local community with the help of your pet. Here are some ways you can bring your favorite four-legged friend along for a good deed:
1. Join a Run
So many great causes are starting to hold fundraising walks and runs to raise awareness and gather donations. Dogs are usually welcome, and even encouraged, to join these charity runs. Simply choose a cause that's close to your heart - from supporting breast cancer research to raising funds for no-kill shelters, and sign up! A charity run is a perfect way for you and your pooch to get involved, get some exercise, and support your community!
2. Go for a Visit
The most popular way you can volunteer with your dog is to have them become a therapy dog. Granted, there are some tests and screening sessions that need to happen before you dog can qualify as a certified therapy dog, but the preparation is well worth it. Therapy dogs can visit the elderly in nursing homes, long-term patients in the hospital, and even children in physical therapy. Call a few of your local nursing homes to see what requirements they have for a visit with your pooch.
3. Join a Team
Dogs are one of the most effective ways to track a missing person. After a natural disaster or missing persons report, a search and rescue dog is usually brought in to track the person's scent. You can volunteer with your local search and rescue team. It does take a couple years of training and the right breed to be successful, but search and rescue volunteer dogs are needed everywhere.
4. Donate Blood
You might regularly donate blood to your local blood bank, but did you know your dog can also donate? Vets and local pet stores hold canine blood drives to support pets in need. These donations help sick and injured dogs recover when they need major surgery. Search online for events near you or ask you vet about donation times.
5. Become a Pet Foster Parent
One of the best things you can do for your pet, and for lots of other pets, is to open your home to local rescues. Dogs that have been mistreated or have lived in the shelter for a long time need to be rehabilitated. Bringing them into your home helps improve their trust with humans and other animals. It's also a great opportunity for you to socialize your dog. So many dogs are surrendered to shelters or abused every day. Giving a dog in need a loving, stable home for a few months gives them a better chance of adoption.
It's clear there are lots of ways you can volunteer with your dog. From giving blood to giving your time to people and pets in need, you can spread the love you feel for your pet. So get out there and make a difference, one paw at a time!