Fostering a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have. While it can be difficult at times, you can make a true difference for a pet and its future family. If you’re thinking about taking on the role of dog fostering, here are a few things you should know ahead of time.

Try Dog Fostering With A Rescue

In many cases, your best option may be to work with a rescue organization. Rescues take on the majority of costs associated with fostering a pet, such as food, treats, crates, toys, medical needs, and sometimes even training. This is particularly helpful for dogs that need extensive rehabilitation and/or recovery before they become adoptable. As such, you can provide a pet in need with a safe and comfortable place to wait for their forever home without breaking your bank.

If you do decide to foster independently, keep in mind that these bills can add up fast. However, you may be able to claim the money you spent when you do your tax return. So keep all your receipts!

Fostering Includes Both Physical And Emotional Recovery

These pets frequently come from neglectful or abusive homes. Or they may be a stray who has had no real interaction with people. Rescue dogs have no idea why they’ve hurt or abandoned. And it’s up to the foster to help them experience love and affection in order to regain or establish trust. So, remember to be patient and compassionate so that your foster can flourish into the family pet they can truly be.

There Are Different Types Of Fostering

Not all foster homes are alike! If you’re contemplating opening your home to a pet in need, be sure to establish how and for what period of time you would like to foster. Interim fosters keep pets for only a short period of time. This allows organizations to not only save a pet from a kill shelter or a bad situation but also have a bit of time to find a long term foster for the dog. Interim foster may also care for an injured or ill pet until they are recovered. Heartworm positive dogs, those with broken limbs, and pets with skin/allergy issues are just a few examples of situations in which an interim foster can help. 

Long term fosters dedicate themselves to caring for a pet until they are adopted by their forever family. These individuals have the time and resources to be able to see a pet through most, if not all, their medical, emotional, and training hurdles. Additionally, they often get the final say on choosing the appropriate family for their foster dog. While perhaps the most rewarding, this type of fostering takes a lot of patience and stamina to follow through.

Hospice fostering is opening one’s home to an old and/or dying pet who has nowhere else to go. This type of fostering takes perhaps the most emotional toll. But it is also extremely rewarding, as you can help a pet experience love and care during its final stage in life. Hospice fostering may also require more frequent vet visits, so a flexible schedule would be best. 

Foster Fails 

Giving your rescue dog to their new family can be one of the hardest parts of fostering. However, there may be a time where you decide you want to keep your foster pet (aka foster fail). First, be honest with yourself if this is the best path for your rescue dog. Is there another family out there that may be a better fit? Does your foster not get along great with your current pets? These are a couple of things to contemplate before you make your decision.

If you decide to move forward with adoption and are working with a rescue, you will need to confirm with them how to go about this. The rescue has put in a lot of money and resources into your rescue pet, so understandably, you may still have to pay the adoption fee, which can range from $50-$500. 

If you choose to foster a dog, we commend your decision! And our team of professional pet sitters is well-equipped to help with the care of your pet while you’re away from home. Reach out today and see what we’re all about! 

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