Can You Donate USED Dog Toys to a Shelter in 2022?

If you have an old dog toy or two taking up space in your house, you may be wondering of ways to put it to better use.

Can you donate used dog toys to a shelter?

It depends on your local shelter’s rules. Most shelters will gladly take gently used dog toys that your pups ignore. It’s a good idea to call beforehand to check their policy.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the best ways to go about donating your used dog toys and why it’s such a valuable thing to do.

Can You Donate Used Dog Toys to a Shelter?

You can donate used dog toys to a shelter as long as they're clean and gently used.
Shelters are happy to accept used blankets, toys, food and water bowls, leashes, and more if they’re clean and gently used.

Shelters are always in need of donations, and they are happy to accept gently used items like dog toys!

There are many benefits to donating used dog toys to a shelter, including giving the dogs something to do, providing comfort, and helping with behavior problems.

Used dog toys can be donated to shelters, where they will be appreciated by both the dogs AND the staff.

Shelters are often underfunded and cannot afford to provide all the toys that their dogs would enjoy.

Used toys that are in good condition can brighten up a dog’s day and provide much-needed stimulation.

However, it’s important to choose toys that are safe and durable to gift.

Once you have selected the toys you would like to donate, simply wash them and drop them off at the shelter.

NOTE: Remember to call ahead or look over your local shelter’s website to check their policy on used items.

Read More: Can You Find Puppies at Shelters? Most shelters see puppies, and here’s what you need to know about puppy adoption!

The Benefits of Donating Used Dog Toys to a Shelter

Donating your used dog toys will put them to better use and make life at the shelter more fun.
What Are The Benefits Of Donating Used Dog Toys To A Shelter?

There are a number of benefits to donating used dog toys to a shelter.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it helps to provide for the needs of the animals in the shelter.

  • Toys can help to keep shelter dogs occupied and improve their quality of life.
  • In addition, donated toys can also be used as a reward for good behavior, helping to incentivize adoptable dogs to be on their best behavior.
  • Finally, donated dog toys can also help to promote the shelter itself and raise awareness about its work.

When people see that the shelter is well-stocked with supplies, they may be more likely to visit or donate money or time.

As a result, donating used dog toys can have a ripple effect that ultimately benefits both the dogs in the shelter and the shelter itself.

Here’s a cute video of 2,000 stuffed giraffes donated to shelter dogs!

Read More: Can Shelter Dogs Be Service Dogs? Shelter dogs can make great service dogs with the right love and training. Learn more!

Where Can You Donate Used Dog Toys?

Pet stores sometimes have drop off bins for shelter dogs
Pet stores, veterinary offices, and groomers sometimes have drop-off boxes for shelter dogs.

Dog toys can provide much-needed stimulation and enrichment for dogs who are often left alone in their kennels for long periods of time.

And, since they are constantly being chewed on and played with, they tend to wear out quickly.

As a result, shelters are always in need of new or gently used dog toys.

There are a few different ways that you can donate used dog toys to a shelter.

  • One option is to drop them off at the shelter itself.

Most shelters will have a designated drop-off area for donations, and you can simply leave the dog toys there.

Some dog shelters do house calls, and your local shelter may be able to pick up any donations from your home. Check with your shelter to see if this is an option.

  • Another option is to contact a local rescue group or foster organization.

These groups often work closely with shelters, and they may be able to accept your donation of dog toys directly.

  • Finally, you can check with your local pet store.

Many stores have donation bins where customers can leave gently used pet supplies, including dog toys.

By donating your used dog toys to a shelter, you will be helping make a difference in the lives of homeless animals.

Read our related article on Indestructible Dog Toys. Looking to donate new toys? Consider these toys for heavy chewers!

How Can You Ensure That Your Donation is Used Properly?

When you make a donation to a charity, you want to be confident that your money is being used in the most effective way possible.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees when it comes to charitable giving.

However, there are some steps you can take to help ensure that your donation is used properly.

do your research

Find out as much as you can about the organization you’re considering donating to.

Check their website and see if they have published any reports or financial statements. If possible, try to find independent reviews of the charity.

This will help you get a better sense of how well they use donations and whether or not they are a reputable organization.

specify how you would like your donation to be used

When you donate, make sure to indicate what it’s for.

For example, if you want your donation to go towards a specific project or program, like food or toys, include that information when you make your payment.

This will help ensure that your money is being used in the way you intended.

When donating used dog toys, if you want them to go to puppies, seniors, or a certain breed, ask the shelter if that’s possible.

stay in communication with the charity

After you make your donation, reach out to the organization and ask for updates on how your money or toys are being used.

This will allow you to build a relationship with the shelter so that you can continue to support their work in the future.

These are just a few tips to help ensure that your donation is used properly.

By taking these steps, you can make sure that your hard-earned money goes towards a cause that you care about and that it makes a real difference in the world.

Read our related article on the best Treat Dispensing Dog Toys! Treat dispensing toys are a great way to occupy shelter dogs!

Other Ways to Help Shelters

Donating money to shelters is always helpful, but there are other ways to help out.

For instance, many shelters are always in need of food and comfortable bedding (like easily washable blankets).

You can either donate these items directly or hold a drive to collect them from others.

Shelters also rely on volunteers to care for the animals, so giving your time can be a great way to help out.

If you’re not able to volunteer on a regular basis, you can also offer to transport animals to and from shelters, or help with fundraising events.

Can I volunteer to walk dogs? Yes! Some shelters even allow you to take a dog or two on a walk.

Check with your local shelter to see the dog shelter volunteer opportunities they offer.

By doing even a small amount, you can make a big difference in the lives of animals in shelters.

Read our related article on the best chew toys for Pitbulls! If Pitbulls have a special place in your heart, these toys are perfect!


So, can you donate used dog toys to a shelter? Yes!

Remember to consider the health and safety of the animals that will be using them.

Used toys may harbor bacteria or viruses that could make the shelter dogs sick so make sure you’re disinfecting dog toys before dropping them off.

All-in-all, you can’t go wrong donating used or new dog toys to shelters! New toys bring joy to a difficult situation.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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