How to Help Dogs in Need

It’s hard not to want to help those adorable, furry faces and wagging tails. For some of us, however, it can be difficult to help out pups in need due to lack of funds or an inability to adopt a pet. Thankfully there are so many other ways to help dogs in need from the local to international level without committing to something that you are unable to fulfill. There are dogs all over the world that are in need and every little gesture helps. If you are looking for a way to help, here are a few options to put a smile on a pup’s face.

Help Dogs in Need


Many animal shelters cannot stay afloat without volunteers. Volunteering at your local shelter is a great way to help out dogs in need and you only have to sacrifice your time. Shelters need dog walkers, room cleaners, event help, dog socialization, and even dog cuddlers. Even one hour on a Saturday taking dogs for a walk can mean a huge difference for that dog. It’s one more time spending time away from their kennel, more experience on a leash, and more socialization to help them become a more desirable candidate for adoption. Just be sure that you understand what is required of you before deciding to become a volunteer. As if you needed any other reason than spending some time with pups in need, there are also resume benefits to becoming a volunteer. It’s a win win for all.

Help Dogs in Need


Fostering is a great form of volunteering but requires a ton more commitment and hard work. This is why the need for fosters is so great. Dogs that require more socialization, have behavioral issues, health problems, or aren’t emotionally stable enough for a shelter environment tend to be in the care of fosters until they are adopted. Many foster families take on tasks to help the dog with behavioral and fear issues in order to help them become better candidates for adoption. Other fosters keep dogs if there isn’t enough room at the shelter or house puppies until they are old enough to be fixed and vaccinated. Many seniors have discovered that they are great candidates for dog foster homes due to them being home with the animal, gaining just as much from the social interaction, and the dogs helping them remain active.


Donating can mean a ton of different things from donating money, blankets, food, or your time. Many shelters and organizations rely solely on the donations of others for many of the things that the dogs need every day. Something as simple as buying a can of dog food every time you grocery store or donating an old comforter can mean a ton to your local shelter. Make it a tradition to donate some money to your favorite animal charity every Christmas, donate an hour of your time on Saturday a month, or bring old dog toys to your local shelter. Every donation matters for shelters that are completely non-profit and rely on donations from the community.

Help Dogs in Need

Spreading Awareness

If you are unable to spend any money, donate anything, sacrifice any time, or foster an animal, you can always take part in spreading awareness for the cause. The power of social media is astounding and you can do a great deal for your local shelter, favorite charity, or a dog with medical needs by sharing their story on social media. Tell your friends about an event that your local shelter is hosting, share a GoFundMe page for an animal in need, or post the website for the animal charity that means the most to you. The more eyes on these issues the more help you will do.


Fundraising is a great way to raise money and awareness. Whether you are fundraising for locally, nationally, or internationally, you’ll be aiding that organization in a great way. If you need an idea for a fundraiser you can ask your local shelter for ideas or come up with an idea on your own. You can make your own dog treats, sell them, and give the proceeds to dogs in need. Start a blanket drive to donate blankets to your local shelter, set up coin cans, or do dog walking for donations. You and a few volunteers can do an animal shelter scavenger hunt going door to door requesting an item from your list that will benefit your shelter like a blanket, jar of peanut butter, an old dog toy, a can of food, etc.
For those that would love to help a dog in need but can’t adopt or donate a lot of money, there are many ways to provide aid to our furry friends in need. Those that volunteer their time and energy are just as important as those that volunteer money, so don’t let a lack of funds keep you from helping. Your local shelter is always available to help you discover which way of helping makes the most sense for you. So volunteer your time, open your home to foster, donate what you can, spread awareness, or fundraise in order to get slobbery kisses, see tails wagging, and feel wet noses.

By: Chelsy Ranard

Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree in 2012 from the University of Montana. She is passionate about animal welfare, is the proud mom of a German Shepherd named Titan and a sassy cat named Kitten, and spends her Fridays volunteering at Simply Cats.

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