5 Ways You Can Give Back to Your Local Dog Rescue This Holiday Season


It’s the season of giving, and what better way to give back than by supporting a local dog rescue in your community?

The best part…

Giving doesn’t have to mean buying gifts and spending more. Giving can simply be the act of volunteering some of your time to help a dog in need.

Not sure of what dog shelters are desperately in need this holiday season?

Keep reading to discover 5 ways you can give back to your local dog rescue this year…

Way to Give Back #1 – Volunteer as a dog walker.


During the winter months, the number of volunteers that help rescues with walking dogs drops significantly.

This is especially true for the rescues located in colder climates where freezing temperatures, ice, and snow are present.

Aside from the weather, the busy holiday season often deters people from committing to a normal volunteer schedule, as people are traveling and busy with other activities.

Without volunteers, many dogs aren’t able to get out of their pens and go for a much-needed walk every day.

Dogs desperately need exercise, as well as human interaction, so you can see how the lack of getting out of the shelter and going for a walk can be a huge deal for many dogs.

If you have some extra free time this season, I encourage you to invest in a warm coat, a hat, and some mittens (if you are in the northern hemisphere!) and make the commitment to volunteer as a dog walker in a shelter near you.

The shelter dogs—and those who run the rescue center—will be eternally grateful for your help.

Way to Give Back #2 – Offer your services as a gift if you are a dog trainer/vet/groomer.


If you’ve ever taken a dog to a trainer, the vet, or a groomer, you know how expensive it can be.

Now, just imagine what it would cost to give an entire building full of dogs the care and training they need to find good homes.

It’s expensive!

If you’re a vet, dog trainer, or a groomer, now is a wonderful time to give back using the skills used you’ve acquired from your profession.

In fact, a dog who is healthy, has basic manners, and is well groomed is far more likely to be adopted than a dog who needs medical care, is naughty, and looks like a hairy mess.

To lend a hand, call your local shelter to see what help they need.

Very often when you give, you receive so much more back. This is no different…by introducing yourself to the shelter and sharing your knowledge you put yourself foremost in their mind.

Then when someone asks if you know of a good groomer or trainer, you’ll get the referral. Most of the time people still rely on word of mouth, and if you’ve shown that you know what you are doing people are more than happy to reciprocate and give you and your business a push.

Way to Give Back #3 -Donate supplies such as food, blankets, or toys.


If you have the funds to donate, shelters are always in need of supplies.

Many shelters will have a list of items they need most. The lists often include items such as…

  • Bags of food.
  • Blankets.
  • Leashes.
  • Toys.
  • Bowls.

Money donations are also very helpful as shelters can use them to cover animal medical expenses, buy food, or put the money toward whatever else is needed at the time.

Way to Give Back #4 -Become a doggy foster parent


What better way to help a rescue than by actually providing a temporary home for dogs in need?

By doing so, you not only provide a temporary loving home for a dog in need, but you also open up more space in the shelter for dogs who desperately need a place to go.

You also get to enjoy the company of a lovely dog in your home until he finds his forever family.

It’s a win-win for everyone!

Most rescues have an application process to become a foster parent for pups in need.

Reach out to your local shelter to see what’s involved in fostering a dog in your community.

Way to Give Back #5 -Advise your friends/family members to adopt, not shop.


The absolute best way to help shelters in need is to encourage people to adopt and not shop when they are looking for a dog to add to their family.

The more dogs that are adopted, the less filled the shelters will be.

Furthermore, when more people adopt, the demand for breeders or puppy mills decreases, ensuring that fewer dogs end up in shelters.

Sadly, shelter dogs often get a bad reputation. But, you can help change that when you spread word about how amazing rescue dogs truly are.

While we’re talking about adoption, there’s one more thing I want to bring up before I close …

Adopting a dog is a wonderful thing; it’s important to ensure that you and your family are ready to bring a dog into your home before you do so.

After all, there’s nothing worse than letting a dog get settled into your home and then returning him to the shelter a few weeks later.

It’s heartbreaking for dogs….yet every year after the holidays thousands of “Christmas puppies” end up in shelters because people didn’t realize how much of a commitment it is to open their homes to a dog.

Way to Give Back #6 – Give A Financial Donation.

Last but not least is a financial donation.

Even a small donation can save a dog’s life, and it’s amazing how good GIVING makes you feel.

Here are a couple of charities that we support that do a great job around the world helping dogs in need:






And if you know of a local shelter, then by all means donate to them.

If you decide that now is a good time to adopt, I’d also encourage you to check out my training program, The Dog Calming Code™.

The reason: having a solid training program in place will make it so much easier to adapt to bringing a new dog into your home.

It’s important to remember that many shelter dogs don’t have a lot of training. The Dog Calming Code will help keep your dog calm and relaxed while you use it to help get your new pup up to speed

And, considering my program has helped me train over 77,000 dogs, I know it will work for you too!

Check out the program here.

I wish you the best this holiday season.


Doggy Dan Signature

~Doggy Dan 🙂

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

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