If you have a passion for dogs and you’re wondering if there is more you can do to help out, you should consider fostering a dog. Fostering can be a very rewarding experience. Shelter environments can be extremely stressful for dogs. It's much more comfortable for them to stay in a home environment. They are able to get more individualized care in someone's home. It also gives them better socialization skills, which makes them a more well-adjusted pet. Also, the foster parent is able to learn about the pet's personality, likes, and dislikes so that he can be better matched to the right forever home. Most importantly, pet foster parents save lives!
All Veterinary care is usually paid for by the shelter or rescue. In most cases, a trip to the Vet must first be approved. You provide shelter, food, transportation to and from Vet appointments and adoption events, training, and plenty of love!
It's impossible to predict how long an animal will remain in foster care. Some pets are adopted within 24 hours of becoming available. Others may wait for a year or more for a home. Shelters do not euthanize a dog for taking too long to be adopted, since it is not taking up much needed space at the shelter.
Getting attached to your foster pet is normal. After all, you do this because you love pets! The most common question foster parents are asked is how they can give them up. The answer is simple. It saves lives. It is hard to say goodbye to a pet you've fallen in love with, but the alternative is even sadder. You'll get the satisfaction of helping a previously lost and unwanted animal find a loving forever home. That makes it all worth it. The trick is to get attached with velcro and not glue.
If you do decide that you can't give up an animal, that's ok, too. Foster parents can go through the adoption process and pay the adoption fee just like any other adopter. The important thing is to think about what is in the animal's best interest. Sometimes, even if you love them, the best thing for the pet is to let them go.
Reasons to foster a dog:
1. You increase that dog’s chance of being adopted.
By fostering, you are a link between your foster dog and potential homes. You can spread the word about what a good dog he is, how he loves people and how he walks nicely on a leash. By living with you, he has the chance to learn behavior that will make him more appealing to other families. If you foster a dog, you have the ability to transform that barking, out of control mutt at the shelter to a dog someone would be happy to live with.
2. Your own dog will learn more social skills.
Your dog may get along with all animals, but it’s still important for her to be around a variety of dogs. Your foster may be more dominant than your dog, who tends to avoid other dogs. Having your foster around will build your dog’s self confidence because your foster encourages and shows your dog how to play. Your dog may also need to learn to share the water dish and dog bed with your foster and she'll also learn how to share you.
3. It’s a good way to see if you are ready for an additional dog.
It’s not always clear whether a second or third dog would fit in with your family. Sometimes an additional dog is a disaster. Other times it couldn’t be better. With fostering, you have a chance to see whether or not another dog is right for your family. Maybe providing temporary care is better for you.
4. You help the rescue learn about the dog’s personality.
You will interact with your foster dog every day, learning about his unique personality and behavioral issues. It’s hard to know much about a dog when he's living in a shelter environment with many other dogs. Placing dogs in foster homes help rescues/shelters learn if the dogs like children, beg at the table, chase cats, bark when crated, know basic commands or have high or low energy. The possibilities of what a foster family will learn about a dog are unlimited.
5. You will appreciate your own dog’s good behavior.
Or maybe you will realize the foster dog is better behaved than your own dog! It will makes it a whole lot easier for you to show your foster dog the rules because he has your dog to copy.
If your dog sits at the door, your foster will sit as well. Your foster sees that your dog sits and waits for her food, so he does the same.
6. You are saving a dog’s life.
Many shelters are getting full to their limits and cannot take in more dogs without being forced to make difficult decisions. They need additional foster homes so they aren’t forced to make those decisions. Most Rescues are also full to their limits and they can't take any other dogs until they get additional fosters.
7. Many animal shelters can’t function without foster homes.
Some rescues depend entirely on foster homes because they don’t have a shelter. If it weren’t for all the generous foster families, those rescues may very well not be functioning.
8. You might end up with a new family member.
Many foster families realize the dog they are fostering is a perfect fit for their family. This is a happy ending for both the dog and the family. If you don’t foster a dog, then you will never know what you are missing. Of course, you may never meet that special dog that could add to your life.
9. The dog gets to live with your family rather than at a shelter.
Dogs get stressed from shelter conditions. Shelters are noisy with limited one-on-one interaction. The dogs don’t get enough exercise, training or socialization. With time, many dogs develop psychological issues as pent-up energy, frustration, aggression or boredom builds.
10. It’s a way to help without spending money.
If you don’t have the money to donate to animal shelters, you can donate your time by fostering. Many shelter and rescue organizations cover everything for you, providing food, a crate, bowls and veterinary care.
a dog mom