Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Give a Dog a Bone Week 2024: What It Is & When It’s Celebrated

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

black & brown Bernese Mountain Dog chewing on bone

Give a Dog a Bone Week 2024: What It Is & When It’s Celebrated

There are approximately 70 million homeless dogs and cats in the United States,1 and, according to Feeding Pets of the Homeless, between 5 and 10% of homeless people have pet dogs and/or cats.2 Give a Dog a Bone Week was created with the goal of providing food and other necessary items for the pets of people experiencing homelessness. It is observed during the first full week of August, so, in 2024, it will last from August 4th to August 10th.

In this post, we endeavor to answer all of your questions about what Give a Dog a Bone Week is and what it stands for, how it came to be, and what you can do to help homeless pets.

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-03

Give a Dog a Bone Week: Beginnings

An organization started in 2008, Feeding Pets of the Homeless, was responsible for launching Give a Dog a Bone Week. The founder, Genevieve Frederick, was inspired to create Feeding Pets of the Homeless after seeing a homeless man in New York City with his well-cared-for canine companion and witnessing the obvious bond the two shared.

She started to question how this man and his dog came to be in the position they found themselves in and did some research on homeless people with pets.

Learning about the challenges of caring for a pet while homeless, how hard homeless people with pets try to keep their companions in good health with scant resources, and realizing how much comfort pets bring to their owners going through seriously difficult times inspired Genevieve to launch an organization to help, which was named Feeding Pets of the Homeless.

Feeding Pets of the Homeless works to support homeless people in feeding their pets and provide emergency veterinary care and items that would be hard for someone experiencing homelessness to come by, like crates. The organization also works with animal shelters to offer wellness clinics for the animals in their care.

Dog chewing on bone treat
Image Credit: James Smith, Pixabay

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-01-TEST

How Can I Help?

You can observe Give a Dog a Bone Week in any way you want, whether that’s a small gesture or making the life-changing decision to adopt an animal. Here are some ways you can help homeless animals at any time of the year:

1. Donate to Organizations

You can donate to organizations like Feeding Pets of the Homeless online or, in some cases, in person at certain locations around the U.S. There are plenty of other organizations and shelters that could benefit from donations, too, so go for whichever one you want to support the most.

As an alternative to donating money, you could donate food and supplies, like blankets, crates, and toys, to shelters.

pet supplies outside the crate box
Image Credit: Iryna Imago, Shutterstock

2. Volunteer

Feeding Pets of the Homeless welcomes people who want to volunteer to help recruit pet food or supply businesses and providers (i.e. pet stores, vet clinics, etc.) to become donation sites. You can apply to become a volunteer on the organization’s website. If you are a pet supplies business, you can apply to become a donation site or pet food provider.

Alternatively, you can volunteer with your local shelter or a food bank for the homeless that also provides pet food. If you’re involved with a food bank that only distributes human food, have a chat with the organizers about the possibility of providing pet food.

3. Buy Feeding Pets of the Homeless Merchandise

If you head on over to Feeding Pets of the Homeless’ online shop, you’ll find various kinds of merchandise available, including clothes, tote bags, bottles, and notepads. Purchasing official merch supports the work that the organization does, like providing pet food, crates, pet supplies, and veterinary care.

french bulldog puppy in pet shop
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

4. Adopt a Pet

If you’ve been thinking about welcoming a pet of your own into your life, please consider adopting one from a shelter or organization rather than buying one.

According to national estimates, around 6.3 million companion animals go into shelters every year, and the need for loving homes for these animals is great. One more animal adopted means one less in a shelter, and that’s a great thing.

5. Be Compassionate

Some judge homeless people for having pets at all but Give a Dog a Bone week and the work of Feeding Pets of the homeless reminds us that, in fact, there are many homeless people out there putting their pet’s needs above their own in an incredibly difficult situation and with few, if any, resources. Despite what some may think, pets belonging to the homeless are often very well cared for.

Moreover, for many homeless individuals, their pet is their only source of comfort and emotional support. Unfortunately, many have issues finding accommodation because not all homeless shelters permit pets, which adds to the struggle.

Give a Dog a Bone Week is a great reminder that we don’t know the circumstances that led to the situation someone is in and that many misconceptions surround homeless people with pets, in particular, that they’re unable to look after them.

Final Thoughts

To recap, Give a Dog a Bone Week starts on August 6th this year and lasts until the 12th, so save the date! There are so many ways to take part, from giving a small donation to adopting an animal from a shelter. Give a Dog a Bone Week is also a learning experience, as it reminds us to be compassionate to those going through rough times, both humans and animals alike.

Featured Image Credit: Janosch Diggelmann, Unsplash

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.