Little Paws, Big Hearts: How Volunteering with Your Pet Can Change a Life

A person volunteering with their dog.

Volunteering your time or talents to improve the lives of those in need is a worthy cause, but adding a four-legged friend to the mix takes philanthropy to the next level. Volunteering with your pet is a wonderful way to give back to your community and bond with your pet at the same time. What could be better than that?

6 Ideas for Volunteering with Your Pet

There are plenty of opportunities for you and your pet to make a positive change in your community. Depending on your pet’s personality and the amount of time you have, any of the following options might be the right fit:

  1. Therapy animal – Consider training your pet as a therapy dog. A dog with the right temperament can be a huge source of happiness for the residents in assisted living homes, hospitals, homeless shelters, and more.
  2. Blood donor – Just like human hospitals, veterinary hospitals need fully stocked blood banks. Donating your pet’s blood requires a relatively quick and painless procedure that can save countless lives. Talk with your veterinarian about whether your pet is a good candidate for blood donation.
  3. Foster a pet – If you have a pet who loves other pets, they might make the perfect big brother or sister to a shelter animal looking for a forever home. By volunteering to foster a homeless dog or cat, you and your pet will be giving them the socialization they need to find the family of their dreams. This also frees up valuable space in a shelter or rescue organization.
  4. Search and rescue – Search and rescue training isn’t limited to German shepherds and Labrador retrievers. If you’re willing to devote time and energy to an extensive training program and think your puppy has what it takes (an amazing nose, strong prey/play drive, lots of energy and endurance, and is easily trained), this may be the perfect fit!
  5. Canine reading program – Relaxed, child-loving dogs are always needed to assist in local canine reading programs. Designed to help children who struggle with reading, all these programs require is a non-judgmental dog with a good listening ear – skills every pet has in spades!
  6. Charity run/walk – Charity dog walks/runs are popping up all over the country as a way for people to get out with their dogs, have some fun, and meet other animal lovers. Not to mention, you get to help raise funds and awareness for an animal-related cause—it’s a win-win!

At Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates, we commend your efforts to make our world a better place! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or other ideas for volunteering with your pet.