Category Archives: Good Tricks

50 Ways to Help Homeless Animals

puppytHelp them stay out of the shelter in the first place!

  1. Spay and neuter (or fundraise for spay/neuter programs.)
  2. Trap, neuter, return (TNR) feral kitties.
  3. Support your local pet food pantry. You might be surprised who comes to them for help.
  4. Volunteer for (or start) an AniMeals program in your community.
  5. Pitch in at a fencing project so a dog that was on a chain can be safe (and one step closer to indoors.)
  6. Volunteer at a community wellness clinic for pets.
  7. Visit an elementary classroom and talk to young people about being a good friend to animals. Kindness starts early.
    Use Your Talents!
  8. If you can sew, quilt, crochet, knit or even braid, make beds and blankets for homeless animals.
  9.  Good with a hammer and saw? Build a house for cats, paint a dog house or help create a canine obstacle course.
  10.  Offer to take flattering photos of adoptable pets.
  11. Invite your pals over for a cat scratch party. Gather carpet scraps and wood (or whatever tickles your cat fancy) and donate the results.

    1603e7_4536a06b3bd2411caf817ea846adc564Give Your Time

  12. Are you in communications? Write a press release or an opinion piece or a newspaper article about your favorite shelter or rescue.
    Give Your Time
  13. Volunteer to walk, pet, read to or play with animals.
  14. Offer to clean kennels. It’s not fun, but someone has to do it. A clean environment makes for happier, healthier pets.
  15. Help train adoptable pups. A dog that already knows basic commands is going to the more desirable option for families!
  16. Spruce it up! Round up friends of coworkers and offer to have a makeover day. Clean, paint, show off your best handyperson skills.
  17. There are so many small but important tasks to handle that don’t require special knowledge. Pack goodie bags. Make copies. Answer simple email questions. Take down phone messages. Move food. Do laundry. Two hours to you could be life-saving for them. Just ask!
  18. Make kitty safe houses for strays and feral cats. One of the greatest needs for rescues, is people who will regularly help at adoption events. Committing to once a month (or more) means less time spent training for the organization and more confidence for you.
  19. One of the greatest needs for rescues, is people who will regularly help at adoption events. Committing to once a month (or more) means less time spent training for the organization and more confidence for you.

    Collect Stuff

  20. Organize a drive in your school, job, church or neighborhood to collect pet food, blankets, and other supplies.
  21. Give a portion (or all) of the proceeds of your next yard or garage sale to your favorite group.
  22. Ask your employer if you can put out a collection jar. You can even have a competition between departments, floors or ‘friendly’ companies.
  23. See if your company does a match program. Many companies will match their employee’s cash donations – and sometimes time – to a nonprofit.
  24. Partner with a local restaurant to plan and host a ‘foodraiser’ where a percent of revenue, or tips, are donated.
  25. Some grocery stores (and Amazon) will give money to your favorite nonprofit when you shop with them. Does yours?
  26. Jeans day event at work. Talk to your boss to allow employees to wear jeans for a cost, donate that money to a local shelter or rescue.
  27. Fund raise with a bake sale. Work with your neighborhood school or your child’s PTO to organize a bake sale to benefit homeless pets in your community. This is a great way to educate children on the topic, create community buzz around available pets, and help provide funding to the animal organizations that need it most.

    dogDo It From Home

  28. Foster a mama dog and her puppies. Nobody wants to have their babies in a scary shelter! Plus, puppies!
  29. Bottle feed newborn kittens. Sometimes these babies end up without their mom and they need a bit of extra care.
  30. Educate. Share your knowledge – politely, and when asked (of course). Explain why spay and neuter is important, why microchips are lifesaving, why heartworm prevention is so important, why dogs need to be socialized and why kitties are healthier when they live indoors.
  31. Distribute flyers for low-cost spay and neuter programs to residents in low-income neighborhoods.
  32. Challenge a senior community or church group to craft pet beds to donate to shelters.
  33. When you replace your gently used leash and collars, donate them.
  34. If you’re changing your bedroom décor, give old comforters and blankets to the animals.
  35. Gather all those single socks, fill them with empty plastic water bottles and give them to your local shelter. Dogs love to crunch them!

    Do It Online

  36. Ask local grocery or box stores if they’ll donate ripped bags of pet food which you can then collect monthly and deliver to pantries in the area.
  37. Thank the people who do the daily work. A simple “thanks for all you do!” on a Facebook page can do wonders on a hard day.
  38. Share an adoptable pet on social media. We’d all love to have time and resources for unlimited dogs and cats, but the reality is we don’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t share. You never know which of your friends might be looking to add to the family.
    Give From Your Heart
  39. A post with a lot of ‘likes’ is judged to be ‘valuable’ by Facebook’s algorithms so don’t feel bad liking!
  40. Every dollar counts. If you don’t have much in the way of extra funds, collect recyclables and return for cash, then donate.
  41. Save your change and every quarter convert it to bills to donate.
  42. We all know a cat’s favorite toy is the nearest box, but they like balls and toy mice too. Consider picking some up at the dollar store.
  43. Buy BOGO Bowl and feed a homeless dog or cat without any extra time or cost on your part. Easy peasy!
  44. Support pet-friendly businesses. Many companies try to help by contributing items to fundraisers or collecting donations.
  45. Give an adoption gift certificate to a friend looking for a new pet!
  46. Sponsor a pet – especially an animal that will need to stay longer such as a senior or a medical case.

    Road Trip

  47. Drop off new water or food bowls.
  48. Like to drive? Sometimes an adoptable animal is in one place and his new family is another (like BOGO Bowl dog Chance who came to Des Moines from Topeka). Offer to drive a leg of a transport!
  49. You don’t have to drive long distances to help on transports. Some legs are just an hour or two!
    There’s even a group that transports dogs in privately-owned small planes. Have one?
    Money isn't everything
  50. Be a good role model. Show the world how animals should be treated. You never know who’s watching!

    And of course...Image result for dog in a shelter cage holding hand

  51. Well, duh. Adopt!


Summer is here! That means hot weather, swimming, flip flops and bugs. Oh wait, the last one isn't usually everyone's favorite part of summer. But, like it or not the sun comes out and the bugs return. You may not like swatting at mosquitoes invading your time on the porch but your dog has more to loose then an itchy bump.

Mosquitoes are the only things that can cause your dog to develop heartworm. A word of advice: heartworm is way easier to prevent then to cure. It doesn’t matter where you live all 50 states are at risk of dogs contracting heartworm and all it takes is one bite from an infected mosquito.

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  • It takes about seven months once a dog is bitten for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms.
  • The heartworms lodge in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels and reproduce.
  • They grow up to 12 inches.
  • A worm can live five to seven years.
  • A dog can have as many as 250 worms.

Nobody wants their dogs to have these worms inside of them. The damage that could be done to the dog far exceeds the cost of prevention. A years supply of prevention medicine is about $35-$80 depending on the weight of the dog. The medicine can be monthly pills, a monthly topical, or a 6 month injection product. Just go to your vet and see what will work best for you and your dog.

A dog's heart is one of the things we love most about them, so why not do everything you can to protect that? As the summer days approach make sure you've got that big heart protected from the risks of heartworm.

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Toothbrushing dog


Could you imagine going out with your hair snarly, ears plugged, fingernails over grown, and smelling like you haven't bathed in a month? Do you wonder how people would look at you? Or how you would feel about yourself?

If you couldn't imagine putting yourself through the scrutiny of going out like you've been neglecting personal hygiene, why make your dog? A dog's personal hygiene is just as important as making sure they get to the vet.


Brushing your dog all depends on the kind of dog you own and their breed. If you have a short haired dog they'll need weekly brushing. A long haired dog can possibly need daily brushing. Brushing your dog is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your dog, your black clothes and your couch happy and healthy.

  • Brushing removes dead hair and skin.
  • It spreads natural oils through their coat.
  • Helps dogs from developing an odor.


A dog's ears should be looked at and cleaned often. When you examine your dog's ears make sure they are a healthy pink color. If you notice your dog's ears are sensitive to the touch, have brown, black or yellow discharge, have a foul odor or they are shaking their head constantly, take your dog to the vet immediately to have their ear examined.

The easiest way to clean your dog's ear is to simply take a cotton ball and carefully wipe the outer ear. Be very careful to not touch any part of the ear that can't easily be seen.

  • Cleaning the ear regularly prevents ear infections.
  • Cleaning also prevents illness from infections.


Teeth should be cleaned at the very least once a month. Out of all three year old dogs 80 percent of them have a build-up of plaque or tarter on their teeth and below the gum line.

  • Not brushing your dog’s teeth causes gum infections.
  • It causes tooth loss.
  • It can also cause a case of bad breath and dirty looking teeth.
  • Bad gums and teeth have been linked to kidney and secondary heart disease in dogs.


Nail-trimming can be a pet owners and pets most dreaded activity. Regardless, it still must be done. Dog's nails should not touch the ground and especially not curl over. Be careful not to trim a dog's nails too far down. If a dog's nails are trimmed to the quick, it could bleed. If bleeding occurs just apply pressure until the bleeding stops.

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Also, make sure you use nail clippers designed for animals. Another good strategy to make nail-trimming less stressful on you and your dog is to only cut a couple of nails a day. They will eventually all get cut just one nail at a time!

  • If a dog's nails are not trimmed it can place unneeded stress on dog's paws.
  • Untrimmed nails can lead to foot problems.


The very word can make your dog coward behind the couch or under the table- bath. Bath time is necessary even if it isn't fun for either parties. The good news is the more often you bush the less you have to bath.

  • Make sure you brush before you bath, mats and tangles will just get worse in water.
  • Always use dog shampoo. People shampoo is harmful to a dog's skin, it dries it out and destroys the dog's natural oils.
  • Make sure you rinse out all the soap. Leftover soap can irritate skin.

Dog grooming isn't always fun but it will save your dog the embarrassment of walking around looking dirty and unhealthy. Dog grooming will ensure you and your dog can live a happy, healthy, hygienic life.