The winter holidays are typically a time when we think of others and those less fortunate than ourselves. Even in our own holiday hustle and bustle, many of us bake for the neighbors, share holiday meals and festivals, and perhaps even volunteer in our community.

Pet owners know that our animals provide us with unconditional love. And the holidays seem like the perfect time to extend that love to others. Volunteering with your pet during the holidays is a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of others while spending time with your best fur pal. Here, Town and Country Animal Hospital gives you 5 ideas to get your creative juices flowing when you think about volunteering with your pet this holiday season.

Volunteering With Your Pet

  • Therapy dog – if your pet is a people pleaser, why not have her certified as a therapy pet? A therapy pet provides love, support, and friendship to people who need it in nursing homes, hospitals and shelters. At holiday time, we know that those who are alone and under hardship can have a particularly difficult time, so why not spread some joy with your pet.
  • Charity walk/ run – between Halloween and New Year’s there are usually a number of charity fun walks and runs that donate proceeds to those in need. You can search for dog friendly events in our area, and choose one that speaks to you. Great exercise for your and your dog, for a great cause!
  • Giving from within – accidents and emergencies happen, even at the holidays, and emergency veterinary clinics are always in need of donated animal blood for those pets who have lost too much of their own. The gift of a blood donation from your pet is literally the gift of life for a pet in need. There are certain guidelines, however, so contact us or the animal blood bank to determine if your pet is healthy enough to donate.
  • Canine reading program – reading programs are popping up all over the country, and in our area, check out the Houston Memorial Library.. These programs are designed to provide a canine attentive listener to children struggling with reading. Typically the readers are those who have lower self esteem as a result of not being at the same reading level as their peers. The dog listeners provide a non judgemental ear, and encourage young readers to enjoy reading and thereby improve their skills.
  • Holiday foster dog – if your dog is friendly and outgoing with other dogs, you could sign up to be a foster volunteer for local rescue groups or the animal shelter. Foster families take in pets who are struggling in the shelter, leaving valuable room and resources open for another animal in need. Foster dogs can help socialize other dogs, making them more adoptable. Additionally fostering a pet relieves shelter volunteers who work tirelessly all year, and could use a break, especially during the holidays Contact the Limestone Animal Shelter to get started.
If you think that you and your pet will make a great volunteer team, we encourage you to take a look at the many opportunities out there, especially during the holidays. Let us know if you have volunteered with your pet in the past, and what we can add to our list of ideas. Volunteering with your pet: a win-win!