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Start the year off right on the right paw!

Guest Blog Post by Hand2Paw Intern Shayla Cunningham

You can stick to your resolutions better this year if you have a partner, why not include a pet?

  • Exercise more: If you don’t yet have a dog but you are thinking of one, and exercising, why not check out a shelter and ask if they have any active dogs? You can start off slow with a dog who just needs an hour or so of a walk, or an intelligent, energetic dog who needs long walks, playtimes, hikes, etc. That or earn some extra cash/volunteer hours while getting exercise by signing up to be a dog walker on or by contacting your local shelter.
  • Learn a new skill/Read more: 1) You and your pet can do this by working on some behavioral tricks. Gather your treats and see if you can train your pet simple tricks like shake or spin. 2) Pet already trained? You can build on those skills easily with some help from some written material and practice. You can even save money by just going to your local library and ask for the training books! Just be wary, if the book says anything about hurting your animal with shocks or punishments, avoid! 3) Or learn how to knit sweaters for your furry friend.
  • Give back to the community: Volunteering is always welcome at shelters. Whether you help walk dogs, cuddle cats or work with Philly’s huge homeless pet populations, you can make a difference! Want to volunteer with the Pennsylvania SPCA? Contact the volunteer coordinator at or fill out an application on their website. Can’t make it out at this time? You can make tax-deductible donations to a shelter, Hand2Paw or one of our Furriends!