If you’re like us, you have more dog toys than you know what to do with. Obviously, throwing some of them away isn’t ideal. First of all, it’s a waste of a perfectly good toy! And secondly, wouldn’t another less fortunate pup benefit from playing with it?
The answer is: yes! While not every shelter or rescue across the country accepts donations in the form of dog toys, many of them do as long as they’re in relatively good condition. What that means exactly will depend on the shelter/rescue, so just use your best judgment. (For example: if your "Monsieur Acorn"
is mostly torn to shreds, it’s probably a better candidate for dog toy heaven than the dog toy donation box.)
Where Can You Donate Dog Toys?
Again, there’s no guarantee that a dog shelter or rescue will accept dog toy donations. If you’re looking to donate, your best best is to call your local shelter/rescue and ask what their policy is. Chances are, they’ll be thrilled you’re interested in helping dogs in need. On the other hand, if you’re phone call averse, you might want to check to see if they have an online wish-list available which typically details their donation needs.
Aside from dog shelters/rescues, you can also try donating toys to a homeless person
shelter, as many homeless people have beloved animal companions who would love to play with your discarded “Lady Liberty Ball.”
What Kind Of Dog Toys Can You Donate?
Aside from the fact that they need to be in good condition? This is another one of those “depends on the shelter/rescue” answers. There’s no way to know what kind of dog toys your local shelters/rescues are interested in without asking them directly or perusing their wish-lists.
How Do You Donate Dog Toys?
This part’s easy! Well, relatively easy, anyway. If you’ve confirmed a particular shelter or rescue is interested in your donated toys, all you have to do is bring them to the aforementioned shelter/rescue. They might have a drop-off box or you might need to take them inside. And if you can’t drive yourself, you can always ship them!
Why Should You Donate Dog Toys To Shelters and Rescues?
Shelter dogs are much like any dog, really. While some don’t love playing with toys, plenty do. However, the main difference between your dog and a shelter dog is that a shelter dog lives in a small space, usually a cage, in a stressful environment surrounded by constant noise and other fearful dogs.
Which is why it can be even more important for a shelter dog to have a toy to pass the time and keep their minds stimulated. The less stressed out they are, the more likely they are to be adopted into a loving forever home.
Can You Donate Dog Toys Without Reaching Out To The Shelter First?
This is a bad idea. Yes, it’s wonderful that you’re interested in helping homeless dogs, but don’t just drop off your donations without making sure they’re filling a need. This is how donations can become a burden. Shelters/rescues oftentimes operate on very little money with the help of volunteers, so if they’re receiving items they already have plenty of, it just creates more work for them - which is to say, it’s now their job to discard the items you’ve donated to them.
Can You Donate Dog Treats?
Same answer, different verse - yes, but (make sure to check with the shelter/rescue, either by phone or wish-list, etc.).
What Kind Of Dog Toys Are Good For Shelter Dogs?
Honestly, all of ‘em! Like we said before, shelter dogs are just like any dog. There are dogs who love good ol' regular tennis balls. Dogs who love stuffed plush toys
. Dogs who want a real challenge when it comes to destroying toys. (Say, a Super Chewer challenge
.) But it’s also important to keep a shelter dog’s mind stimulated throughout the duration of their stay. So puzzle toys
can be extra-helpful when it comes to maintaining mental health.
But really, at the end of the day, if your dog likes a specific toy, a shelter dog somewhere probably will, too.