10 Holiday Dog Toys That Also Help Animals in Need

Last Christmas we bought two large plush squeaky dog toys—Chance, a dog, and Lucky, a cat—both with red festive scarves wrapped around their necks. We loved them and so did our dogs. They actually still hold a place of honor in the toy basket, thanks in large part to the fact that our dogs aren’t big shredders.

We chose these toys because part of the purchase price benefited homeless animals, and I was happy to see that we weren’t alone. A few of the dogs I pet sit greeted me at the door with Lucky or Chance hanging from their mouths, and I’ve seen the toys laying around in neighborhood yards.

It’s time to start creating our holiday list for this year, and once again we’re on the lookout for dog toys that benefit charities.

Here’s a list of 10 holiday gift ideas for dogs that benefit animals in need:

  1. PetSmart’s Chance and Lucky have a new look for the 2017 holiday season and are just as cute as last year. They are joined on the shelves by Hope, an adorable squeaking rabbit. Also under its line of “gifts that give back,” the pet chain has a lovely microplush and Sherpa Heart Paws Pet Blanket. Ten percent of the sale of these products benefit PetSmart Charities, which works to find homes for shelter animals.
  2. The Comfort Cuddler caught my attention at iheartdogs.com. It’s a great gift for dogs who get nervous or sad when “mom” or “dad” leave home. The heart-shaped pillow has a mesh window where you can insert a T-shirt that has your scent. My friend always leaves one of her T-shirts when we take care of her dog, Happy. I’ve noticed that Happy does check in with the T-shirt from time to time. I like to think the scent reassures her that her family will be back. Any purchase made at iheartdogs.com triggers the donation of food, toys or monetary donations to help cover healthcare services to a shelter in need.
  3. This year I plan to purchase Planet Dog’s Old Soul Orbee ball for Jason, our senior husky mix. Designed specially for seniors, the ball has high contrast colors making it easier to spot, extra mint so that it can be quickly sniffed out and is extra pliable making it softer on brittle teeth. A percentage of the sale of Planet Dog products benefit the Planet Dog Foundation. The nonprofit foundation provides grants to organizations that train, place and support service dogs helping people in need. Many service dogs are rescued from shelters.
  4. The MUTTS Shop offers a fun and unique selection of pet gifts. New this year is a line of colorful bandanas featuring Mutts characters and with the words “In Training,” “Adopted & Adorable” and “Free Kisses.” For dogs who feel the cold, there’s a really cute GrrrBerry Dog Jacket with a polyester shell and a lightweight, warm cotton lining. It has a neck cut-out for leashes and adjustable Velcro straps. Five percent of anything you buy at the MUTTS Shop is donated to the Humane Society of the United State’s Animal Rescue Team. This team works specifically with law enforcement to investigate illegal animal cruelty.
  5. The Benebone Bundle from barkshop.com combines a Bacon Wishbone, a Peanut Butter Wishbone and a Bacon Dental Chew for your dog’s pleasure. This bundle is recommended for super chewers and according to the company will hold a dog’s interest for long periods of time. BarkShop has partnered with more than 3,000 animal shelters and rescue groups across the U.S. and Canada and a percentage of each purchase is donated to benefit shelters animals.
    dogwithbenebonebundleThe Benebone Bundle chew toy from BarkShop is recommended for heavy chewers. Photo courtesy of BarkShop.

  6. The Lucy Pet Product Shampoo & Conditioner Sampler Pack is a wonderful gift idea. It includes a blend of mild natural coconut oil cleansers with moisturizing sunflower seed oil and re-hydrating revitalizing coconut water. According to the company, the products in this attractive gift pack will bring out the shine in your dog’s coat. The sale of Lucy pet products benefit the Lucy Pet Foundation that works to reduce pet overpopulation and euthanasia of pets in animal shelters nationwide.
  7. The Montana Nap mat by West Paw is the perfect portable bed. It fits nicely inside crates and makes a great throw to protect the backseat of your car. It’s plush and soft and made from environmentally-friendly products. This company gives back by donating new pet products to animal welfare nonprofits for raffles and auctions. The company also pays its employees to volunteer at animal shelters.
  8. Jax & Bones Good Karma rope toys are hand tied and dyed using non-toxic vegetable dyes. According to the company, as your dog chews the rope, the toy acts like doggie dental floss. You can dip the toys in water and freeze them to help a dog cool down on hot sunny days. The company donates 10 percent of the proceeds from these toys to rescue and animal welfare groups.
  9. The Zacky & Zoey Aberdeen Sweater on sale at animalrescuesite.greatergood.com is so stylish. This turtleneck sweater is made of extra-soft acrylic knit material and decorated with a faux-leather paw print. It can be machine washed in cold water. Every item purchased from this site helps provide food for homeless animals in shelters across the United States.
  10. A Fire Safety Pet Decal is a gift that may save your pets life in case of an emergency and can be purchased at the Associated Humane Societies website. All proceeds from the sale of the decal benefit the nonprofit that operates three animal shelters in New Jersey. The 4-inch square decals are designed in standard fire department colors of red and yellow with black type. These decals will stick to almost any surface and have spaces to write information in permanent marker or ballpoint pen.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Carole R
Carole R4 months ago

Great ideas.

Marie W
Marie W10 months ago

Thank you!

joan silaco
joan silacoabout a year ago


Ingrid H
Past Member about a year ago

thank you

W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thanks for the information.

Patricia D
Patricia Dabout a year ago

Good article1

Julia S
Julia Sabout a year ago

Thank you!

Kristi M
Kristi Mabout a year ago


Renata B
Renata Babout a year ago

Good advice for those living in the US.