What to Donate to Animal Shelters

Do you know what to donate to animal shelters? Here’s a long list of items they might need!


Did you know that a lot of my friends were adopted from animal shelters? It’s true. I’m very passionate about helping animal shelters and all the animals who live there. I wanted to share a list of what to donate to animal shelters with all of my reader in the hopes you’ll be able to help your local animal shelter.

Now, every animal shelter has different wants and needs. If you have time, you should call your local group and ask them directly what items would be most important to them. If you don’t have a moment to call, and are unsure of what to donate to animal shelters, this list will help. Simply pick a new item (or two or three or four!) and drop it off at your local shelter.

  • dog food and treats (hard and soft options)
  • water and food containers (and storage containers)
  • dog beds
  • leashes
  • collars
  • puppy training pads
  • dog toys, especially indestructible ones
  • towels and washcloths
  • dog shampoo
  • dog toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • plastic bags
  • a food scale
  • thermometers
  • distilled water
  • bleach
  • disinfectant wipes
  • dish soap and dish towels
  • laundry detergent
  • spray bottles
  • sponges and scrub pads
  • paper towels
  • odor neutralizer
  • batteries of all sizes
  • large wall or window fans
  • any office supplies, including lined or blank paper, pens, tape, markers, scissors, rulers, paper clips, folders envelopes, and similar items, including postage stamps
  • gift cards in any denomination, even if it’s your old Walmart card with only $1.63 left on it.
  • money!

Some animal shelters may even take used items, though you might want to call and check with them first. Some used items that might be helpful in an animal shelter are:

  • old newspapers
  • gently used food containers
  • grooming tools
  • old towels and clean rags
  • partially used household cleaning products

You might have some of these unused options at your house right now. If so, drop them off on your way home from work tomorrow! If you don’t have anything to spare at home, here are some other options you can consider for the future:

  • Do you shop with coupons? If so, keep an eye out for great sales at stores that you can match up with coupons on the above items so you’ll know what to donate to animal shelters in the future.
  • Have you ever been to a wholesale club like Costco or Sam’s Club? Great! This is a perfect place for you to stock up on items you could donate to your local animal shelter! If you’re buying sponges in bulk for your home, couldn’t you put a few aside to donate as well?
  • Use a gift registry for good. Are you getting married or having a baby? If you don’t need a lot of items for your home, you could request your gifts donate to an animal shelter on your behalf. Contact your local shelter. Some may have the capabilities to set up a registry for you. If they don’t, you could still register for some of the items above in a store registry and make the donation yourself!

Are you still wondering what to donate to an animal shelter? Here are a few more meaningful donations:

  • Your time: Animal shelters are always looking for puppy-lovin’ volunteers to feed the dogs, clean up after the dogs, and play with them to burn off some energy. This would be a great opportunity for someone who loves dogs, but are unable to have one of their own. You could get your puppy-fix in while still helping the animal shelter.
  • Your skills: Do you have any skills you could offer to an animal shelter. They are always looking for photographers to take pictures of their animals. Another skill that could come in handy is a talent for writing. In order to get pets adopted, they often need a picture and bio posted online.
  • Foster an animal: Do you have room in your home? If so, consider being a foster parent for a shelter dog. Space is very limited at animal shelters, and they are always looking for kind humans to provide a temporary home for pups in need.

Do you have any other ideas for what to donate to animal shelters? If so, let us know in the comments section below!

Side note: Do you run a business in the pet industry? Would you like to drive more traffic and sales to your site through a search-optimized pet blog? Get in touch with my office-mates at Lantern Content Marketing!

About Napa 'ze Dog

My name is Napa and I'm the Lantern Content Marketing Adventure Company office dog. They create content for business blogs, so I do my part by blogging about pet stuff. My favorite topic is poop! Since you asked, I'm an F2B Miniature Goldendoodle. Everything else you want to know about me is right over here!

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