volunteer dogs lend a helping paw

Not many animals have jobs, but a lot of pets – especially dogs – can make a big impact as volunteers. Sure, health and safety restrictions during COVID-19 have made it more difficult to volunteer with your pet. But it’s something to look forward to, so we’re digging into some volunteer opportunities for your pup and you.

3 great ways your dog can help others

  1. Help kids learn to read. We’ve known a lot of dogs who are good listeners. Now, several organizations are bringing kids and dogs (and their owners) together, so that young learners can read aloud to a willing, patient, and furry listener.
  2. Visit a senior center. If your dog is mellow, happy, and easy-going, they could bring a lot of smiles to seniors in your area. In many senior center facilities, residents can’t have pets. So you can imagine how awesome it is when a sweet dog stops in for a visit. Call around and see if there are opportunities – even a half-hour makes a big impact.
  3. Bring cheer to people in hospitals. A happy, friendly, joyful pup can do wonders for the human spirit. Especially for folks who are ill or rehabbing from an injury or surgery. If a person isn’t feeling one hundred percent, it’s a beautiful thing if you can help them take their mind off their health

If some or all of these ideas are making your tail wag, that’s great. But just to be on the safe side, remember that not every dog is the perfect candidate for every gig. Check with the organizations in your area, ask them what type of volunteering they’re looking for, and don’t be upset if they have specific criteria for selecting canine help.

With social distancing and other safety measures still going strong these days, you might have to take a rain check. National Volunteer Week is officially in April. But volunteering is a year-round activity, and it never goes out of style. 


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