The holidays are here - not just for people, but for pets too. There's no reason why dogs and cats shouldn't have a happy Thanksgiving. Even the ones in shelters deserve to be happy during the holidays. Here are a few ways you can spread good cheer this holiday season by helping out some furry friends other than your own. 

    Invite a Dog to Dinner 

    Call your local shelter and offer to foster an animal on Thanksgiving or during the winter holidays. Most shelters will provide you with everything you need for the day, such as a doggy bed and food. Though if you wanted, you could also look up some recipes yourself and make them a pet friendly feast to celebrate. And if you're having friends and relatives over, there will be plenty of people around to give them love and attention. In fact, it's a great opportunity for those pets to bond with someone and possibly find their forever home. 

    Giving Tuesday 

    After Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the free-for-all of holiday shopping, Giving Tuesday invites people to do some good for those less fortunate. It's on December 3rd this year. Consider making a donation to your local animal shelter, the Humane Society, the ASPCA, or another organization that strives to protect animals, care for them, and give them a better life. 

    Volunteer 

    Particularly if you don't have anywhere else to go for the holidays, it's a great idea to find someplace to volunteer. And a great volunteer opportunity is animal shelters. Go for a few hours during the winter holidays or on Thanksgiving to walk pets, play with them, clean their kennels, or whatever else needs to be done to make their holiday a happy one. Even if you do have a gathering of your own to attend, you can still come for a couple of hours first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon, after dinner is over. Check with your local shelter to see what holiday volunteer opportunities they have. Most will be happy to have you. 

    Pet Sit 

    Plenty of people will be going out of town this holiday season, including pet parents. And whether it's for a few days or a few weeks, they'll need someone to take care of their furry companions while they're away. Offer to pet sit for someone, giving their pet food, water, love and attention, and whatever else they may need, while their pet parents are away. They'll be very grateful for the chance to leave their pets in the hands of someone they know and trust, rather than having to hire someone, or board them at a kennel. 

    Adopt 

    It's important to note that animals shouldn't be given as holiday gifts on a whim. Many recipients find that they're ill-equipped to care for a new pet and end up taking them right back to the shelter - or worse. However, if you and your family are really ready for the responsibility of a pet and can give them the love and care of a forever home, then consider going to your local shelter around the holidays and finding a dog or cat to adopt. 

    These are just a few of the things you can do this holiday season to help pets and pet parents. Call your local shelter and see what other opportunities they might have for volunteering, donating, and more. Every living creature deserves to have a happy holiday. What will you do to help give them one? 

    Topics: Dog Fun