Five Ways to Volunteer with Your Pet

September is National Service Dog Month. This is a great time to show our appreciation of the wonderful things that service animals and their trainers do for people in need. We can also take time to serve others with our own pets, even if they aren’t trained service professionals. Here are five great ways that you and your pet can help others.

Provide Therapy in a Nursing Home
Your dog or other pet can visit a nursing home in your community. Studies have shown that pets add a tremendous boost to the quality of life for people in nursing homes. You also give the added benefit of providing company and conversation while your new friends at the nursing home enjoy the presence of your pet.

Donate Pet Blood
Talk to your veterinarian about how your pet can donate blood to help sick or injured animals. This is a great way to make a difference. Plus, you can do it while visiting your vet for a checkup.

Walk for Charity
You and your dog can join a charity walk to raise funds for a favorite cause. This is a positive way to get both of you some great exercise while making a difference. Check out community calendars to find events near you. Spring and fall are the most popular times of year for charity walks and runs.

Foster a Pet
You can open your home to a foster pet in need of socialization. The positive environment and love that you provide will go a long way toward changing the life of an animal in need. This is a tremendously rewarding experience for you and your foster pet.

Get Search and Rescue Training
You can sign up with your dog for search and rescue classes to help in times of disaster. Search and rescue dogs can help locate people after tornadoes, earthquakes, or other catastrophes. Large, agile dogs like German shepherds and golden retrievers are ideal for this unique type of service.

Your pet adds so much to your life. Together, you and your pet can add to the lives of those around you through meaningful service.