The average dog: he’s fearless in protecting the front door and vigilant in saving table scraps from the floor. But despite these noble deeds, does your dog have what it takes to be a hero hound?
If you sense your dog has a higher calling than just cuddling, but don’t know where to begin, start small. Even the simplest gestures can benefit the community. Here are five ideas to get started!
If your do-gooder dog just can’t sit still, he can get his kicks with running, walking or agility for a cause. National organizations like Morris Animal Foundation hold walks across the country for raising awareness and funds for canine cancer and other animal welfare issues.
Give a little bit
Did you know that dogs can receive blood transfusions? Your dog can help give a new leash on life to an ailing pet by being a blood donor. While there are few national animal blood banks, many veterinary schools have set up donation programs. Canine blood donations are simple and do not require anesthesia. Your best friend may be a bit tired after giving blood, but he’ll generally have his wag back within a day.
Be a Litter Sitter
Does your pooch love puppies? If so, she could come to the rescue of an abandoned litter by nursing newborn pups who are separated from their mother. If you have a male dog who is good with youngsters, he can help provide guidance and basic socialization skills to the litter. Puppies benefit from growing up around other dogs; it’s how they learn how to play, communicate and socialize appropriately.
…or a Study Buddy
Veterinary schools across the country conduct studies to help improve the health of companion pets, and they need dogs of every size to help them gain data. By lending a paw to a research team, your dog could play an integral part in helping scientists make breakthrough discoveries on anything from hip dysplasia to canine cancer to arthritis!
Those who can’t, cheer.
Some dogs would rather take a marathon nap than complete a 5K. If your four-legged love is more likely to inspire laughs than save lives, he could make a good sports mascot. Teams all over the country have dogs on their rosters (some local baseball teams even have Bat Dogs!). If you’re active in community leagues or have children in sports, your pup may be the perfect cheerleader to get team spirit soaring.
Any dog, big or small, can give back. Whether they’re helping to raise puppies or cheering the home team, our furry friends don’t do it for the glory; they just love having a job to do!