10 Easy and Inspiring Acts of Kindness for Animals
In 2015, I wrote about random acts of kindness for humans that are good for the soul and that got me thinking—what about random acts of kindness for animals of this world?
There are just so many ways that humans can be kind to animals and put animals first by giving them the choice of how they interact with us—exactly what we do when use our Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki. Choice is such an easy thing to give an animal and it is a HUGE act of kindness. Just imagine how much happier we are when we exercise the power of choice in our lives!
Here are 10 easy and inspiring ways we can all be kind to the beautiful creatures sharing our world.
Choose Cruelty-Free Products
Each year, 100,000—200,000 animals around the world suffer and die in laboratories due to cosmetics testing. Choosing to spend your hard-earned dollars on products from compassionate companies is one small act of kindness we can all do to support the rats, bunnies and guinea pigs commonly used in testing. Use PETA’s search function for cruelty-free companies on its website to determine if the products you use are animal-friendly or not and find alternatives. (LUSH, a cruelty-free business with amazing beauty products, is a favorite of mine!)
Also, BIG NEWS about animal testing in cosmetics has been happening lately. Since 2021 (when the federal Humane Cosmetics Act, legislation to prohibit cosmetics animal testing and the sale of animal-tested cosmetics, was reintroduced in the US), many US States have now banned the sale of animal-tested cosmetics. The timeline on the Humane Society’s website page about cosmetic testing on animals, lists all the countries who have banned animal-testing on cosmetics in the last five years and it is getting longer every day!
Foster a Dog or Cat from Your Local Shelter.
If adoption is too much of a commitment at this time, fostering may be for you! Fostering lets you help your local shelter in many ways:
- by freeing up space for another homeless animal;
- by learning the animal’s personality to help them find the perfect forever home;
- by providing the critical social skills many cats and dogs need in order to be adopted.
If fostering isn’t a good fit for you right now, you can still show kindness by donating supplies and offering Animal Reiki treatments to help the animals in the shelter’s care, as so many of our Let Animals Lead® practitioners do! In fact, Kathleen Prasad, founder of Animal Reiki Source, created a non-profit organization (SARA—Shelter Animal Reiki Association) to assist both shelter animals and shelter workers by teaching them how to work with shelter animals her Animal Reiki method (Let Animals Lead®), which is completely non-invasive and doesn’t need any touch or contact to calm the animals.
This AMAZING little video of Kathleen being Reiki with shelter dogs shows just how amazing the Let Animals Lead® method is for shelter animals and, if you are interested in learning how to do this, check out our Animal Reiki courses that will teach you how to do it too, with any animals!
“Adopt” an Animal Shelter Worker.
Granted, this one isn’t helping an animal directly—but it is an indirect way to show kindness to animals. I’ve written about the serious problem of compassion fatigue for shelter workers before—they have tough jobs and they’re on the front lines helping animals in all sorts of difficult and often emotionally wrenching situations. And it takes a toll. Shelter worker burnout is real and it’s prevalent all over the world.
Showing gratitude and random acts of kindness (and even pampering the workers) at your local shelter can give them a little boost of happiness and energy in their day. If you provide a service in your full-time job (like haircuts, nails, massages), offer a freebie. Or drop off a small Starbucks gift card, a batch of homemade cookies or a handwritten card saying “thank you for all you do.”
Help Feral Cats
The simplest way to show kindness to feral cats is to donate to a spay/neuter program in your area. But, if you’re handy and inspired to take it up a notch (and if you live in a rural area with a lot of ferals), you can provide food, water and even build them a shelter. Check out this video about building feral cat shelters by Cat Man Chris.
Help a Lost Dog Find His Way Home.
I have a feeling you, my dear readers, do this at every opportunity! But it’s helpful to keep in mind, especially with holidays that always have fireworks, like the Fourth of July, that many dogs and cats run away from home on days when fireworks are set off. The good news is that lost dogs usually have tags, so if you can, corral them in your yard to keep them safe from cars and call the owner. Or if you recognize your neighbor’s animal walking far from home where it should be, notify them immediately.
And one of the best ways to help lost animals by showing kindness toward them is to help them find their way home by sharing social media posts about them. The farther those posts reach, the better chance the animal has of getting back to their people! There are thousands of happy pets and owners out there who have harnessed the power of social media and acts of kindness for animals by sharing posts that brought them back together.
Spoil your dog or cat with homemade treats.
This is just a fun way to show them how much we love them. Here are some fantastic and easy treats you can make for your doggo!
Stop Going to SeaWorld or Any Other Facility that Exercises the Opposite of Kindness Towards Animals.
When we teach our kids or nieces and nephews about the realities of SeaWorld, they won’t want to go either. You can also, if you are the activist type, write a letter to SeaWorld’s parent company stressing the importance of kindness to animals—and demanding that they stop exploiting marine mammals. It may not seem like it’s going to do much, but every voice counts and every person who speaks up takes us that much closer to honouring animals and giving them the freedom and dignity they deserve.
Do What You Can to Protect the Oceans
The oceans—especially marine life life sharks and other apex predators—are absolutely ESSENTIAL for the survival of humankind. Marine fish and mammals have been around for much longer than we have and they deserve our respect and admiration. I especially love dolphins, not only for their intelligence and playfulness but because they are such an integral part of the ocean ecosystem.
We can show kindness to dolphins and other sea animals by keeping the oceans safe and clean:
- by not littering our beaches and oceans;
- by recycling and disposing of toxins safely;
- by using safe dish detergents (check out the brands sold by Whole Foods);
- and by using paper instead of Styrofoam.
There are so many ocean-friendly brands of products we can use to preserve the life and safety of marine life.
Run a 5K That Benefits Animals.
Check out your local Humane Society or other nonprofit for a fur-friendly 5K walk or run.
The money raised is the ultimate way to show kindness to animals because it helps homeless animals in multiple ways: food, shelter, vet care, spay/neuter programs and more. And the event itself is a way to share the value of kindness to animals with children and the community at large. Even better if you can run with your dog!
Leave Wild Animals in Their Natural Homes.
Adults usually know better, but children have a natural curiosity and often want to “capture” wildlife. If they want to bring a snail home in a jar, use the request as an opportunity to teach them about natural habitats and the kindness of leaving animals in their homes because it’s the safest place for them (unless, of course, they are in urgent need of help because of injury or sickness). If we teach kids to leave animals and bugs where they belong but still allow them to observe critters with kindness and respect, they grow up treating animals that way.
These are, of course, only a few ways to show kindness for animals, but we would love to hear about any other things you do!
If you want to learn how to help animals in all kinds of stressful situations by creating a calm environment for them to settle into—the ultimate kindness—check out our online and in-person classes!