Fostering a Dog Before You Become an Owner

In a world where so many pets go unloved and unwanted, there are many reasons why you should consider fostering a homeless dog. These dogs are taken to the pound, and if no one claims them, they’re either put to sleep or held in a cramped space with very limited human interaction.


Fostering a dog before you become a pet owner is a great way to see what dog ownership entails, and which breed you feel will be a good fit for your family. You’re also making more room for other homeless dogs to get rescued.


Fostering a dog means you take them into your home, feed them and care for them, and figure out their temperament so that an adoptive family can find out what the dog is like and whether or not it will be a good match for their home.


Dog Mealtime


Some foster arrangements have a specific period of time, while others are undetermined – depending on when and if the dog gets adopted out. Some rescue groups are low on space, and every foster parent frees up room for another rescue animal.


The dogs can be of all ages, from puppies who are too young to be adopted, to senior dogs who have been left behind or neglected. Some will be in good health, while others may have injuries they’re recovering from.


If the dog is a stray or has been abused, a foster parent might help the animal get socialized around humans and other pets, such as other dogs, and even cats. This helps the adoptive family make a future decision.


When you foster a dog, make sure you ask some basic questions to see if the dog is a good fit for you. You may want to know how long he’s been at the shelter and if he’s showing any signs of frustration, such as intense pacing or restlessness.


Dog with Girl


You’ll want to know if he has any medical issues – especially if you have other pets in the home and it might affect them. Ask the rescue group who pays for the medical procedures and medications, because they often have vets who pick up the tab as volunteers, or they pay for it themselves.


You definitely want to make sure the animal has had all of its vaccinations and that a thorough exam has been completed on the dog to see if it has heartworms, etc. There may be good reason to delay the fostering or keep the dog separate from your pets.


The group may be able to tell you if the dog is housetrained or if he has any aggression issues you need to watch out for. Sometimes, the foster parent is the one who finds all of this crucial information out.

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