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Animal shelters are always in need of donations. Food, towels, toys, cleaning supplies, and litter are often the first things potential donors think of. But just like humans need a comfortable mattress for sleep, dogs need a comfortable pet bed. If you're planning to make a donation to an animal shelter, consider dog beds where furry friends can sleep comfortably.
A bed can make shelter life much more comfortable for dogs, especially those who are used to sleeping on a bed in their former home. It offers a soft place to rest in an environment that can be otherwise hard, loud, and sometimes scary. And it can make dogs feel more like themselves if they don't have to sleep on a hard floor without comfort.
- Elevated beds such as the Kuranda can be a good choice for shelters. This type of bed offers good airflow, and a soft place that's above the floor (which may be dirty, cold, and hard). Some shelters may specifically request this type of bed for donations, including the SPCA, which has a Give a Dog a Bed program connected directly to Kuranda, which will ship the bed directly to the shelter with a donation discount. The Blue Bed Donation Program offers a similar donation option for an elevated pet bed.
- Durable dog beds are essential for animal shelters. Dogs of all temperaments are in the shelter, and some may have a habit of chewing or shredding beds, which can be messy, and difficult for shelters to deal with. Look for well made beds, and read reviews about durability, and how well a bed stands up to regular use if you're shopping for a dog bed online.
- In addition to elevated beds and sturdy dog beds, some shelters may appreciate donations of pillows, blankets, and towels that can be used for bedding and comfort items. If you're feeling crafty, you may be able to create your own dog bedding. However, old bedding and related donations can be popular donation items, so it's best to call ahead and verify whether the shelter has enough of these items when you plan to make your donation.
- Repair items may be needed as well. Kuranda offers shelter bed repair kits with items that can be used to replace parts on beds. This can be especially helpful for animal shelters with plenty of beds, but not enough that are in good shape.
If you're not sure which dog bed would be the most helpful for an animal shelter, don't worry.
You don't actually have to choose the right dog bed for donation. Typically, animal shelters are pleased to accept monetary donations rather than physical gifts. Send in the amount you would have spent on a dog bed, and the shelter can choose one that's best for their needs—and they may even have arrangements to obtain pet sheltering supplies cheaper than the general public, so your money may go farther as a direct donation.
If you'd prefer to make a physical donation, but aren't sure which one to buy, call the shelter. They may have a preference, recommendations, or special discount program you can take advantage of to make sure you are making the ideal dog bed donation that will be put to good use.
Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.