Holiday Gifts That Give Back to Animals

Books, clothing, accessories and stuffed animals are all great presents for the holidays. But what if each of those purchases also meant giving the gift of help to animals? Sounds like a win-win to us!

We've rounded up some of our favorite gift ideas for everyone on your list — and every single one gives back to animal organizations. Happy holidays, indeed.

The tiger is the most popular species to adopt from the WWF.
The tiger is the most popular species to adopt from the WWF.

Adopt a Species

For $50, you can symbolically adopt a species of wild animal through the World Wildlife Fund. In return, you’ll get an adoption certificate, a stuffed animal depicting the species you choose and a WWF gift bag — along with the knowledge that your gift is helping that species to survive. You can select from dozens of species, including tigers (which are the most popular), three-toed sloths, African rhinos, orca whales and more. If you increase your contribution to $75, you’ll also get the group’s reusable red cardinal tote. And depending on the species you choose, there are other packages to select as your donation increases.

WWF offers even more gifts that give back at its gift center. Shipping is free for any gift, and 84 cents of every dollar donated goes toward conservation.

German Shepherd bracelet, $10 from Capable Canine
German Shepherd bracelet, $10 from Capable Canine

Wear Your Support on Your Sleeve (or Coffee Cup)

Looking for something useful to give this year? A variety of groups offer items like sweatshirts, coffee mugs, bags and hats that showcase their organization’s logo and also raise funds to help animals. World Vets, one of the key groups helping animals affected by the typhoon that hit the Philippines last month, offers gifts at a range of price points, from $5.99 for a pet tag to $41.99 for a sweatshirt. They also have hoodies for your four-legged friend for $21.59. You can also support the Penn Vet Working Dog Center by purchasing clothing, bracelets or notecards from its Capable Canine shop. Items range from $10 to $69. The WDC trains dogs to work in search-and-rescue or as medical assistants.

The Pedigree Foundation, which helps shelter dogs find homes, also offers some fun gear for pet people. You can get the dog lover in your life (or yourself) a shirt, hat or mug that says Dogs Rule. Prices range from $10 to $45, and all proceeds go to the foundation.

Frisky Feline Headband, $20 through the ASPCA
Frisky Feline Headband, $20 through the ASPCA

Haute Cat-ure

The headband is the hot accessory of the season, but it’s unlikely you’ve seen one quite like this anywhere else! The limited-edition Frisky Feline Headband from the Fresh Step Feline Arts Council features ears made from shear black lace, sitting on a black satin band. All of the proceeds from the sale of the $20 headband go to the ASPCA. The headband is designed by Sabrina Chin, owner of Love at First Blush on Etsy.

BarkBoxes to Benefit Shelters

Any shelter or rescue in the U.S. or Canada can work with BarkBox to get money — and goodies — through the purchase of these monthly boxes for dogs. The subscriptions range from $19 to $24 a month — but if you buy through a participating shelter or rescue, you save $5, the shelter gets a $15 donation and the company will donate a BarkBox for every adopted pup through Dec. 31. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! You can find out more at the BarkBox website.


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