By Lindsay Hamrick, CPDT-KA
Seriously, you can donate to shelters just by shopping!
Courtesy of Stray Cat Alliance
The second annual Amazon Pet Deals Days are May 2-3, and there isn’t a more worthy recipient for a just because gift than your local animal shelter. The cats and dogs who are patiently waiting for forever homes are the most deserving (and most appreciative) of new toys and treats. While non-profit animal organizations always need monetary donations, they also need a lot of supplies to keep the animals in their care housed, fed, and entertained. Your local shelter likely has an Amazon Wish List that they link to from their website so you can shop and ship products directly to them. And below, a list of the most common supplies that shelters ask for…
The sale runs from 12 a.m. PT/3 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 2 through Wednesday, May 3 at 11:59 p.m. PT/2:59 a.m. ET. Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)
1. Interactive Puzzle Toys and Lick Mats
Lick Mat |
Dogs need enrichment and stimulation while they wait for a family, and interactive toys can help pass the time. Kongs are classic — they help with shelter stress by getting a dog’s brain moving — plus there’s a tasty treat at the center.
Dogs also tend to scarf down their dinner because they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Lick mats are a great way to not only slow down the eating process (and prevent stomach upset), but also make dinnertime a fun enrichment activity. Dog trainer Robert Haussman explains, “Soft foods, such as peanut butter or canned pumpkin, can be smeared on the textured surface for a dog to lick clean. To keep a dog stimulated and busy, they can also be frozen, which allows them to last much longer. It’s highly enjoyable, engaging, and — most importantly — delicious!”
Upsky Cat Track Toy |
Interactive cat toys, like this track toy, have been known to keep kitties so engaged that they help resolve litter box avoidance issues, cut down on overgrooming, curb anxiety, and keep their diet in check. It’s important to pay attention to the challenge level, though. So donate an easy, level 1 toy to shelter cats to avoid adding to their stress, aka let them win.
2. Hidey Cat Beds
Furhaven Hidey Cat Bed |
Cats, small dogs, and generally fearful shelter pets thrive when they have a safe place to hide. While it may sound counterintuitive, when a scared pet has a safe place to hide, they will come out of their shell more quickly over time. There are thousands to choose from, so be creative!
3. Orthopedic Dog Beds
Bedsure Orthopedic Dog Beds |
Your local shelter likely takes in senior dogs and cats who have been separated from their family and may be suffering from arthritis. Similarly, dogs recovering from orthopedic surgery would benefit from a high-quality, cleanable orthopedic bed to protect them from the concrete floor.
4. Durable Leashes & Martingale Collars
PetSafe Martingale Dog Collars |
When shelter dogs go home with a high-quality collar and leash, their caretakers can feel good about their safety. But this means shelters and rescues go through a lot of equipment. Our picks include martingale collars that prevent a dog from slipping out, front-clip harnesses, and gentle leader headcollars that keep a dog who pulls on the leash or is leash reactive under control. Never purchase choke/prong collars or retractable/flexi-leashes. A simple and sturdy 6-foot nylon leash will work for all dogs.
5. Cleaning Supplies
Pet Stain & Odor Remover |
Shelter pets mean lots of cleanup. While they’re helping pets learn to poop and pee outside, mopping up spilled food and water, or trying to keep everyone healthy, animal organization workers and volunteers need as many cleaning supplies as they can get. The most-used products are dishwashing soap, bleach, hand sanitizer, and paper towels.
6. Kitten Bottles & Milk Replacers
Kitten Milk Replacer Formula |
Every year, neonatal kittens who require specialized care enter shelters and rescues. They might be too young to eat on their own or with a mom cat who can’t nurse them all. These supplies help them through those first four to six weeks. Despite urban myths, kittens cannot survive on cow’s milk, and they require a specialized formula (and bottles to deliver it).