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How to Foster A Dog: Your Complete Guide

November 14, 2019

Fostering a dog is an important part of rescuing animals and helping shelters. It helps reduce the number of homeless dogs in animal shelters and gives them a loving home where they can play, grow, and flourish. Unlike owning a dog, fostering is temporary, and gives a homeless dog a home until they are adopted.

Types of foster care

Different dogs require different levels of care, so there are a variety of fostering options. Dogs that are old, young, injured, or sick need more care and attention than a healthy adult dog would. The different types of foster care include:

  • Basic Foster Care – This is the most common type of animal fostering. In this case, you take in a dog who is ready for adoption but needs a temporary home until an adoption center has space or there is a specific adoption event.
  • Core Foster – Core fostering is when you take sick or injured pets in that require more time and attention than other dogs. You commit to spending more time caring for these animals and nursing them back to health while they wait on adoption.
  • Advanced Foster – This type of fostering requires more skills, time, and attention than core fostering. This may include bottle-feeding newborn puppies, helping pregnant mothers give birth, helping with behavior modification, and providing love and comfort during hospice care.

No matter what type of foster care you are able to provide, giving a dog a temporary loving home greatly increases their quality of life and helps out your local animal shelters.

How to foster a dog

The first and foremost thing to consider when fostering a dog is ensuring that you are able to provide adequate care for a dog. If you do not have enough space, time, or own animals that don’t get along with other dogs then you may not be a suitable candidate.

If you are able to provide enough care for a foster dog, you then need to fill out an application at your local animal shelter. From there, they will vet you to determine if you are an ideal candidate for fostering. If your application is accepted, you will then have meet and greets with potential foster dogs to find one that is the right fit.

Typically, the animal shelter will pay for the medical care and supplies for the foster dog as well as show you how to administer any medications or treatments at home.

How long can you foster a dog?

Fostering a dog is a temporary commitment that can last anywhere from two weeks to a few months. Your commitment is to care for them until they are able to find a permanent home and adoption. Of course, some shelters will have a designated amount of time for you to provide care for the dog.

If fostering a dog doesn’t work out or there is a change in your home situation, dogs can be returned to the shelter, preferably with a few weeks’ notice so that they can rehome the dog. Dogs can also be returned more immediately, but this is not recommended as returning to the shelter can be a very stressful experience for the dog.

Overall, fostering a dog is a great way to help out your local animal shelter and provide an animal in need with a warm, loving home. If you are interested in fostering an animal, contact your local shelter to find out how to start the foster process.

For tips on how to keep your dog calm, check out this great post from our blog. And for some sweet treats check out our website.