Christmas is a time of happiness and good wishes, where most of us get to spend quality time with our families – including our furry, feathery and scaly friends! You can read our previous blog – the 12 pet hazards of Christmas – to find out how to make sure they have a happy and relaxed Christmas, but what about the animals that don’t have anyone to spend the holiday with? Many will be fighting the cold or waiting for their happy ever after in shelters. In this blog, we’re looking out for them. Why not do one of the following to give animals in need this Christmas the present they deserve?
Feed the birds
Over winter, many birds in colder countries struggle to find food and shelter. Put out bird feeders with seeds, peanuts and suitable food scraps (you can find lists of safe foods to feed online but avoid anything highly salted). Nest boxes filled with straw can provide a cosy space for communal species to roost in.
Adopt An Animal
Animal adoptions make great gifts for friends and family. Charities like WWF allow you to adopt animals including orangutans and snow leopards – you will receive regular updates while your money is used to help protect these animals in the wild. You can also adopt puppies from charities such as Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs, supporting them in their training to become successful working dogs. Alternatively, why not buy them a OneKind membership? They’ll receive a fabulous and informative welcome pack, the OneKind magazine three times a year and know their gift is helping stop the cruelty of animals in Scotland – find out more here!
Why spend a fortune buying new this Christmas? Charity shops have some great presents, and your money goes to help animals in need. You’ll also save money and help the environment – buying second hand reduces waste and energy use. Charity shops also sell beautiful Christmas cards for sending to friends and family. Plus, when you receive cards, many charities can turn used stamps into money, so gather them up and look online to find a charity to send them to.
We know that animals in captivity often get bored and frustrated. Any establishment that genuinely cares about the welfare of its animals should be looking for ways to make their lives as natural and fulfilling as possible. They often have gift suggestions for items they believe will enrich the lives of their animals, promoting natural behaviours such as digging, nesting and playing.
Pets in rescue centres that are yet to find their forever home still require feeding, walking and friendship over the holidays. Why not contact a local rescue centre to see whether you can volunteer over the Christmas period? Rescue centres will welcome donations, not just of money, but also of items like towels, food and toys.
A Pet is For Life, Not Just For Christmas
One of the most important things you can do this Christmas to help animals is to spread the message that no pet should be an impulse buy but a serious commitment to be cared for long after the festivities have ended. Please read our article ‘Why You Shouldn’t Give Animals For Christmas’ for more reasons why Christmas is never the right time to bring a new pet into your home.
If each of us thinks of one way to help animals this Christmas, there will be many more safe and happy animals in the New Year – which would be the best Christmas present imaginable! Have a Merry Christmas!
Blog by OneKind Planet writer, Ami Patrick.