One of my goals in life (and through the blog) is to always live with compassion and inspire others to do the same. But in full disclosure, some days I do better than others.
If you are reading this post, I am going to assume that you also love animals and want to help them live healthy, happy, and safe lives. But maybe you are short on time, money, or energy and aren’t sure how you can make a difference. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel defeated in the face of pet overpopulation, homelessness, and cruelty.
To combat these feelings, I decided to compile a list of simple yet impactful ways to help animals. 31 Ways To Celebrate The Holidays By Helping Animals is a reminder to myself that little things make a difference – small changes lead to big changes, kindness matters.
I will be posting one of these tips on social media every day in December – kind of like a virtual advent calendar (only 31 days) filled with cuteness and fun, feel-good ways to improve the lives of our furry, feathered and scaly friends. You can try one or all of these tips – or you can just read along and enjoy the cuteness.
31 Ways To Celebrate The Holidays By Helping Animals
1. Adopt a homeless animal from a shelter, breed rescue, or right off the street.
2. Help seniors or other homebound individuals keep their pets. Volunteer to walk dogs, clean cat boxes, buy pet food, take pets to the groomer, or set up automatic delivery from an online pet supply source.
3. Build shelters for feral cats in your community. More information is available here.
4. Volunteer to take holiday photos of adoptable animals in shelters and rescues. Share them widely on social media.
5. Switch to cruelty free cosmetics and cleaning products that do not test on animals. I like Leaping Bunny’s list.
6. Share your pet’s rescue story on social media to inspire others to adopt.
7. If you see something, say something. Always report cruelty, abuse, and neglect to the appropriate authorities.
8. Deliver food, collars, and blankets to homeless pet owners in your community.
9. Never leave your dog unattended outside stores, restaurants, etc. If you see a dog left alone, keep an eye on them until their owner returns.
10. Set up a pet food pantry in your church, school, or synagogue.
11. Provide hospice foster care for a sick or senior shelter animal.
12. Keep an extra leash, collar and some food in your trunk in case you find a lost or stray dog or cat.
13. Host a holiday party and ask guests to bring a donation for a shelter or rescue.
14. Make humane shopping choices. Do not buy products or support companies who exploit animals, use fur, etc.
15. Participate in animal transport from overcrowded shelters.
16. Be a secret Santa and buy items off a shelter or rescue’s Amazon wish list.
17. Reduce your consumption of animal products. Go meatless on Monday or fish free on Friday.
18. Know the issues and get involved at the local and state level. Follow and advocate for humane legislation in your community and state.
19. Donate time, money, and your skills to organizations working to help animals. Volunteer to walk dogs, socialize with cats, clean cages, whatever it takes.
20. Deliver pet food to your local human food pantry or soup kitchen for low-income pet guardians.
21. Drive with animals in mind – watch out for wildlife. Keep phone numbers for local wildlife rehab in your glove compartment.
22. Thank shelter workers (who often don’t get holidays off) with gift cards, cookies or other holiday treats.
23. Sponsor an endangered animal from World Wildlife Fund or another conservation group. Symbolic adoptions help fund restoration work that save wildlife.
24. Host a vegetarian or veggie-friendly holiday feast.
25. Plan a movie night or couch potato day with your pets. Watch dog or cat-themed movies curled up with your best friend.
26. Teach your children (and their friends) to respect, be kind and safe around animals.
27. Make an emergency plan for your pets. Make sure they are micro-chipped and have tags with address and contact information.
28. Read lost pet signs and help lost animals find their way home.
29. Choose compassion as one of your 2018 resolutions (living a compassionate life means different things to different people, figure out what it means for you)
30. Plant a native tree, restore wetlands, or clean up your local beach. Habitat destruction is the biggest threat to wildlife.
31. Be the person your dog or cat thinks you are! In their eyes, you are perfect, successful, smart, kind, supportive, beautiful (inside and out), funny, strong, patient and amazing – all good things to aspire to in 2018.
Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily tips on ways to celebrate the holidays, live with compassion, and help animals! Please share your thoughts on kindness and ways you help animals in the comments.