dog_cat_napAre you looking to support your favorite local animal shelter or rescue but aren’t ready for the full commitment of pet ownership permanently. Well, not only can you volunteer your money or  time at your local shelter but maybe you want to become a foster parent.

Fostering a needed pet can be richly rewarding & wonderful experience for you and a deserving shelter animal. There are a large number of pets that need fostering. Animal shelters & rescues are in desperate need of people to open their hearts & homes temporarily to a needy animal.

Although you may not be able to keep the pet permanently, you are providing the best possible environment, along with plenty of love until he is placed in a forever home. Plus, you are alleviating some of the burden on overcrowded shelters. Fostering just one pet helps your community and makes a world of difference for that pet.

What is a foster parent? A foster parent takes care of a needy animal in their home for an agreed upon period of time. Foster care can involve administering medications for sick pets, feeding special foods to animals on strict medical diets, helping an animal to be more sociable with other animals or humans or simply giving a homeless pet a break from the cramped cages and excessive barking and smells at animal shelters.  Now that you have decided to take a big & fulfilling heart leap to help out a furry friend by fostering. Here are some ways to get started as a foster pet parent.

1. Temporary Housing. Consider that fostering a pet is temporary and be prepared for the day when a forever home is found. Make sure you discuss it with your kids and other family members so they know what to expect & to make sure your family is ready to be a foster family.  Hey,  with all this bonding time you might even decide to make your furry foster friend a permanent honorary member of the family. As long as you are providing a loving & nurturing home the animal shelter & rescue will happily oblige!

2. Call your local animal shelter or rescue. If you are interested in fostering a shelter animal contact your local animal rescue or shelter. You can also search local pet publications and online for listings of animal rescue organizations and shelters. Most of them will have foster programs.

3. Duration of Pet Stay. Decide how long you will be able to keep the pet. If it’s a puppy or kitten it will probably only be for a few weeks until they are old enough to be adopted. If it’s an adult dog from a rescue group it might take several months until a home is found. Please don’t overlook adult dogs when considering adopting or fostering because they are just as in need of a loving home.

5. Budget. Figure out your budget and how much you will be able to allot for food, maintenance and medical attention for the pet. And keep in in mind–if you have love to give and it’s only your budget that’s standing in the way–many rescue organizations and shelters will cover the cost of veterinary services, and in some cases food for the duration of the pet’s stay. It is normally your responsibility to transport the pet to the vet and to any adoption events.

6. Suits your Lifestyle. At a local animal shelter or rescue you will find dogs of all shapes, sizes, breeds, ages & temperaments. So, chose a foster a pet that fits your lifestyle. For instance, if you live in an apartment, you can request an older dog that is low energy or a dog recuperating from an illness or a cat. If you are an active family or have a house with a big yard, you can foster a pooch that needs plenty of exercise.

Don’t wait to give back, make a difference and become a foster parent today! Your heart, animals & local shelter will thank you for it.

We would love to hear your foster pet parent story. Leave a comment below!

GIVEAWAY WORTH BARKING, TWEETING & BLOGGING ABOUT!!!!!

Do you have a favorite dog rescue or shelter? Well we want to know about them & reward them. We are giving 5 lucky dog shelters $600 each of our Fish Stix for dogs. Click banner to ENTER!

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