Animal-Friendly Gift Ideas

by Sadie_Holloway

These gifts are ideal for people who love animals and want to support animal welfare by making ethical and humane gift purchases.

Do you love animals? Do you love giving thoughtful gifts to friends and family? You're in luck! Animals in need can benefit from extra assistance during the holidays. These gifts are ideal for people who love animals and want to support animal welfare by making ethical and humane gift purchases. Giving one of these gifts to the animal lover in your life can make life better for animals and humans alike!

Making a donation to organizations that support animals is a nice way to honor a special occasion for an animal lover.
Making a donation to organizations that support animals is a nice way to honor a special occasion for an animal lover.

During the holiday season, many people want to reach out and help people in distress. That's why hospitals, food banks, church groups and international aid agencies often experience a huge surge in donations as people make last minute contributions to their favorite causes.

While giving to help others is always an honorable thing to do, it’s important to remember that there are thousands of animals in need of comfort and care, too. Here are some ideas on how you can contribute to the health and well-being of animals in your community and all around the world.

1. Donate pet food and pet supplies to pet owners struggling make ends meet. If you normally give food, clothing or cash to charitable organizations that help people living in poverty, consider giving pet food and pet supplies to your local food bank, homeless shelter or drop-in center for street-involved youth. When someone is in distress, having an animal companion can be a source of hope, comfort and security. When people become homeless through adverse circumstances, many of them want to keep their loyal animal companions at their side. (Dogs can provide protection to folks sleeping on the street.) For families who still have a home but live in poverty, giving up an animal because they can’t afford pet supplies can be devastating.

By giving gifts of pet food, pet clothes and other supplies to organizations that provide poverty relief, you can help animals and humans at the same time. Make sure to call the agency in advance to find out if they accept and redistribute pet food and supplies to their service-users.

2. Give gifts that are cruelty free. Nowadays it’s not hard to find out which products are cruelty free; it’s as simple as reading labels and checking websites. You’d be surprised at the array of animal-friendly gifts and accessories available. Imitation leather and faux fur clothing, coats and blankets made with artificial insulation and not duck or goose down are safe gift choices for animal lovers. Plant-based beauty products that haven’t been tested on animals are also popular with animal lovers. There are even vegan products that don't contain any animal ingredients.

3. Go wild with your holiday giving this year. In lieu of a gift, give a donation in someone’s name to a wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation center. Caring for injured, orphaned and abandoned animals can be expensive. Many of these organizations operate on a shoestring budget, using volunteers and donated supplies. A cash gift will help the organization keep the lights on and the animals well fed. Don’t forget sanctuaries that care for reptiles and other exotic animals abandoned by people who can’t take care of them.

4. Give money to an animal advocacy group. Animal welfare organizations such as the Humane Society, the World Wildlife Fund and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals work to reduce the suffering of animals in your community and around the world. These organizations need monetary donations to fund their educational programs or provide care to distressed animals.

5. Give your time (and get back more than you gave). Volunteering at an animal shelter is hard work, but extremely rewarding if you love animals. Volunteer opportunities at animal shelters can include stuffing envelopes, cleaning kennels, grooming dogs and feeding cats and kittens.

Buy gifts with a "porpoise." Donate money to help animals or buy cruelty-free gifts.
Buy gifts with a "porpoise." Donate money to help animals or buy cruelty-free gifts.
Women's V Is For Vegan T-Shirt. Funny Gift Tee For Vegans. Veg Facts Small Navy

People who love animals love to let the world know that they back up their concern for animal welfare by living a vegan lifestyle.

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6. Help bring animals and humans together. Consider supporting charities and programs that contribute to both human and animal well-being. For example, organizations that train assistance dogs for people with disabilities could use financial support. Therapeutic riding programs need support to operate programs that improve the emotional and physical well-being of children. Giving to outreach programs that bring furry visitors to isolated seniors is another way to help animals over the holidays.

7. Go Vegan. One of the simplest ways to help animals is to not eat them or use products made from them. If you're at a loss for what to serve instead of a turkey this year, read Vegan for the Holidays, for ideas and inspiration. If you're not ready to go entirely meatless this Christmas, take baby steps. You could start by bringing a vegan dish or appetizer to holiday parties and potlucks. (Your hostess will probably appreciate having more vegan options for party guests.)

If becoming a vegetarian or vegan is not an option for you at this time, you can still choose food products that are eco-friendly and kind to both farm animals and wildlife. For example, choose wild salmon over farmed salmon. Avoid fish that has been caught in ways that harm animals such as sea turtles and dolphins. Buy organic agricultural products.

Whether your friends and family are vegan, they might also appreciate these animal friendly gift ideas:

  • Gift certificates for a vegan cooking class
  • Gift certificates for vegan restaurants and specialty food stores
  • A vegan cookbook for beginners

You never know; your present could turn the burliest meat-eater on your gift list into a cuddly animal rights advocate! And that’s definitely a gift that’s kind to all living creatures!

8. Don’t give animals as gifts. Pets that are bought as spontaneous holiday gifts often end up being abandoned or neglected. Rabbits, hamsters, birds, kittens and puppies require intensive care. The hustle and bustle of the holidays is not the ideal time for children to be learning about responsible pet care.

9. Reduce your environmental impact. The less garbage you generate this holiday season, the less likely you’ll be harming wild animals. Choose locally made gifts that have minimal packaging. Farmers markets and craft fairs are great places to find eco-friendly soaps, candles and other gifts. Plus you’ll be supporting your local economy when you choose eco- friendly products that were made close to home.

Can you offer any more ideas on how to celebrate the season while being kind to living creatures around the world? Please leave your animal-friendly suggestions in the comments!

Don't give pets as presents.

Being a pet guardian is a big responsibility.
Puppies aren't good presents.
Puppies aren't good presents.
Updated: 08/31/2016, Sadie_Holloway
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MBC on 09/14/2016

Enjoyed this fine article. Love those animals!

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