Hello All 🙂
Just registered to ask for your advice about how to pick the right kibble for shelter donations. I’ve never had a dog but having lost my feline-friend about year ago after 18 years of great memories together, I’d like to make the time and the budget for stray animals around- particularly shelter dogs.
Acana was a rather late yet very fortunate discovery when my cat was still with me but it is pricey, especially if you need to buy in large quantities to feed multiple animals. I’m aware that corn is a filler-ingredient not dog or cat friendly but do you think kibble with corn should really, really be avoided at all times, under all circumstances? I’m torn between my budget, dogs’ health and poor conditions of the shelter here (read: little to no food at all). I certainly don’t want to donate just anything that would fill their stomach but I can’t afford more than an 11 lbs-donation at a time- which I fear, would be a minuscule amount considering the shelter population. Do you think there’s a middle ground I can find? I don’t live in the States and we don’t have much options here: most popular/ easy-to-find kibble is Hills, Pedigree and Proplan. And I haven’t read any glowing reviews about either one of them. I’d love to hear your suggestions. Thank you for reading.
Hi, that’s a nice thing to do, where do you live?? also your are best to ring the shelter that you would like to make a donation too & ask them what is needed, sometimes it isn’t food that they need, I use to collect blankets, beds, jumpers, towels, toys, leads, collars & treats for the poundies here in Australia, in the colder months blankets, beds & dog jumpers are needed as some dogs wreck their beds & chew their blankets & they don’t have many toys too play with as they all get wrecked.. I use to put up a flyer on the notice board in the shopping centre asking for any blankets, dog toys, dog jumpers, etc & a lot of people donated their dogs stuff that wasn’t no longer used & when you gave a poundie a toy or treat they got so excited & happy also just going to the pound once a week & walking the dogs made their day just to get out of their kennels….
I second Susan. It’s been my experience as well that they often need other items more than food. Like Susan mentioned they love old towels. They can use them to line kennels etc and fluff the beds up some more.
If your only options for foods where you live are those three I’d go with ProPlan, but thats just me.
Check with your local Petco, Petsmart, Especially for Pets and other pet supply stores.
Often they will mark down or donate foods that are approaching their expiration dates.
Also, check your local supermarket, reduced price section, sometimes you can find good things there.
I recently organized a donation drive for my local shelter.
One of the items they needed most was HE laundry detergent. The other much needed item was/is cash for medical care.
Also, the shelter uses one specific brand of food that they buy from a local feed / garden type store. It’s some horrible disgusting brand of food that’s full of grain, but they keep the dogs on the same food the whole time they’re at the shelter. I don’t like it, but it’s what they use. So rather than donating bags of food to them, I collected cash donations and went to the feed store and bought a gift card. The shelter gets a discount on their purchases at the feed store and they’re tax-exempt. So, it just made more sense to be able to give them a gift card which when redeemed by them goes much further than my dollars would if I had made the purchase.
If you look at the shelters website, they may have a “wish list” of items.
Hi again and thank you all for your tips and suggestions.
Had the shelter of concern was half a decent one, collars, toys, blankets or gift cards would certainly have made into my ‘items to donate’ list. Long story short, it is a canine dystopia more so than a shelter really, located in the outskirts of the city where the number of kennels or the common hedged area or vet services is simply not enough for the large population there. Except for the puppies, the old and sick, most dogs are left unattended; they have to roam around to find food- be it day or night, summer or winter. As you can imagine, things can and does get pretty gruesome at times. So, the priority is food rather than anything else.
Thus the reason why I wonder if my concerns about kibble dominated by a filler-ingredient like corn is really meaningful under these circumstances. I will visit a number of clinics to see which brands they carry (just to have some alternative to Hills or Pedigree-like brands which dominate the markets here). Again, I don’t wish to donate low-quality products just to get their stomach filled, but I can’t donate more than 11-lbs of Acana-like kibble at a time. What do you think?
There are some really good but somewhat economical foods like Victor and Earthborn that may fit the bill. But if the shelter is in dire straights, like my local shelter, it may be that giving them the cash would be for the best. They can get food at wholesale prices and will get the most bang for the buck.
Sounds like there are allot of empty bellies at the shelter and eating a food with corn would be the least of their problems IMO. Since you are not in the states the foods you mentioned likely have different ingredients than they do here anyway. A food like Acana might cause digestive upset for some depending on the food they currently feed, but it does sound like any food is better than nothing.
If the shelter is in extreme distress as you have written, I personally would want to donate more of a volume in hopes it would feed more. I would try to find something within your budget that does not have chemical preservatives (bha, propylene glycol) dyes (added colors, iron oxide, titanium dioxide), or meat and bone meal if possible. Visiting clinics to see what your options are is a good idea. Check out prices and read the labels to see what brand has the least DFA “red flagged” ingredients.
I have several Pro Plan formulas (wet and dry) in my dog’s rotation, he does very well on them, and I have had great results in the past feeding PP to my JRT.
I am sure whatever you are able to donate will be greatly appreciated by the shelter and the dogs. They are lucky to have you thinking of their well being!
Wow, not a pleasant sounding shelter. I agree with Bobby Dog, that the least of your worries should be corn and by-products as they are probably eating worse if not nothing right now. ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach could be a good choice, if it’s avaliable to you since it does not have corn, wheat, or soy in it and no coloring or BHA etc. Not sure if you can get Diamond, but a few of the Diamond lines make 50lb bags for under 30$ around here(in the states). My work carries Diamond Hi-Energy for a couple regular customers and its a 50lb bag for 26 or 29$.
I’m sure those dogs would be thankful for any food they get.
I’ve heard that stores like Big Lots also will occasionally have close to expiring foods like Nutro and Rachael Ray, which may be an upgrade anyway, at very discounted prices
Yes, talk to the store managers, one chain store in my area marks the dog food down when it is approaching the expiration date.
However, if it doesn’t sell right away, they donate it to a local shelter as a tax write-off. Stores cannot sell or donate food (including dog food) if it is beyond the expiration date (even though it is probably fine for a few months more).
So, maybe you could negotiate an arrangement. Offer to deliver the food to the shelter…or something.
Otherwise they have to throw it away/discard it.
When I worked at Petco we donated expired food all the time to our local Animal Control and at the small family owned pet store I work at currently, we also donate expired food to a shelter/rescue that we support. Only time Petco had to throw food away was if the bag was busted coming off the palate or during stocking.
Well, I have offered to purchase food at my local supermarket (1 day beyond the expiration date). It was a dog food item.
The manager told me: “No way Jose”. He disposed of the canned items in the trash right in front of me. He told me he could not even give them away, per Board of Health laws.
What people do behind the scenes is another story. I guess it’s a question for the FDA.
And it might depend on the wording, “best if used by” “use by” “expiration date”
PS: Food pantries for humans will not accept expired items, that is a fact.
They can’t be sold to customers or given to customers or even staff, but they can be donated. I’m guessing that a supermarket manager probably doesn’t think about donating to shelters. We’ve given past expiration canned food and dry food to shelters with no issue.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Pitlove.
The shelters and food pantries in my area do not accept donated food items that have gone beyond the expiration date on the packaging. Period.
They throw them out, I know, a lot of people put old stuff in the bins.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Anonymous.
The shelters here won’t take expired food either, but you could always call and see. It would be better to work with a store on things that are say, a week out, and get them at a large discounted rate. They go through enough food to use that in a week
Again, shelters HERE, where I live, on the Northshore in Louisiana will take expired food. Perhaps the OP’s shelter he/she is wanting to donate to would also. it’s simply another option, not a reason for a fight.
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