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Fostering a Dog? Here's What You Need to Know

Aside from donating basic pet supplies, volunteering at your local pet shelter, and adopting, fostering a dog is also one of the many noble deeds you can do to help provide pets with a better quality of life.

In this article, we’ll talk about what fostering is, why dogs need foster homes, why fostering is a good idea, and the most important things you should consider first before you decide to proceed with it.

"Fostering a dog is one great way you can help your fellow pet parents and your local pet shelters provide temporary homes to fur-babies."

What is Fostering a Dog?

Fostering a dog is one great way you can help your fellow pet parents and your local pet shelters provide temporary homes to fur-babies who are still too young to be adopted, still recovering from an injury, illness, or surgery, those who have kennel stress issues, and those who can’t be taken in anymore by shelters due to a high number of animals already.

When you foster a dog, according to Pet Finder, you agree to welcome a dog into your home and give them unconditional love, care, and support, for a predetermined period of time or until the dog finally finds people who will adopt them.

Why Fostering a Dog Is a Good Idea

Fostering a dog is probably one of the most fulfilling experiences you can do in your lifetime. By taking in a good temporarily and treating them as if they were your own, you are:

  • making available another spot in the pet shelter so they can take in another dog
  • helping your foster dog get ready faster for adoption
  • helping your foster dog be the best version of e themselves so they will be able to end up in the best home
  • socializing your dog to a home and family environment they might have never experienced before

Fostering may sound so simple but before you decide to do so, there are a lot of factors that must need to be considered. Before you become a pet foster pet parent, you must have full awareness of the responsibilities that come with it.

Factors to Consider Before Fostering a Dog

Time

Taking care of a foster dog will take much of your time. Some of these dogs may be very young, recovering from an illness, an injury, or surgery, or may need some proper training, like potty training and socialization. For dogs who will need potty training, you may want to let them wear Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers to help prevent any accidents and messy cleanups while they are still getting the hang of things. Additionally, you may also use Pawtect™ Pads for that added leakage protection.

All these will require your patience, attention, and time. Some of these dogs may also have some special conditions that will require you to regularly take them out to exercise, take them for routine checkups, and post-surgical care. To be a foster pet parent, giving time is very essential.

Home Environment

As a foster pet parent, you have to make sure your home is pet-friendly and safe. Your foster dog will be aloof and uncomfortable during their first few days in your home so it’s best you make them feel secured. You may provide them with Pawtect™ Blankets that may act as comfort blankets. These blankets are waterproof and made with the softest and comfiest faux fur fabric to keep your dog warm and safe.

You may also want to make sure that all breakable items in your house are kept in a safe place that is out of reach of your foster dog. Safe-keeping should be applied to all harmful household products and garbage cans as well, particularly if you have a foster puppy around. These items should be locked or kept in safe places to prevent your pup from rummaging through them. Your home environment should also have enough area where your foster fur-baby can play or exercise.

Most importantly, consult with other people in your household if they are okay with you fostering a dog, if they are willing to take good care of the dog, too, and if any of them have concerns, like an allergy to fur or cynophobia (fear of dogs).

Living Expenses

In becoming a foster parent, keep in mind that you will be the one handling every expense needed to provide your fur-baby with their basic needs, not mentioning the vet bills and medications in case they get sick.

Some of the basic needs your foster fur-baby may need during the whole duration of their stay include:

  • a healthy diet
  • Pet Parents® SoftSupps® for added nutrition; these supplements are made to strengthen your foster dog’s immune health and target different health issues they may be experiencing
  • Gnawtlers® that are best in keeping your foster dog physically and mentally stimulated; these elk and deer antler chews for dogs are also great for fur-babies who love to chew

Special Needs

In some cases, your foster dog may have some special needs. They may need extra love, care, and attention because:

They are underweight or overweight. Dogs who are underweight will need to gain more weight and must be provided with a diet that contains the right amount of nutrients, as they may also suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Overweight dogs, on the other hand, will need proper weight management and must be provided with a controlled, proper diet.

They have an illness or are recovering from it. Dogs who have contagious illnesses (like kennel cough or tick & flea infestations) are not okay to be kept in a jam-packed shelter with other dogs. Given that you also have other pets at home, it is best to have your foster dog isolated & treated first before allowing any interaction to happen. While dogs who are recovering from certain illnesses will need a stress-free environment and somebody to look after them.

They are recovering from surgery. A dog recovering from surgery will need all the help they can get to get back to the way things were. Some dogs may need physical therapy after an injury surgery, others may need stress debriefing from surgeries acquired from abuse.

Other Pets at Home

If you have other pets at home, this can be a great factor in considering if fostering a dog is right for you. You have to take your pets into consideration if they are okay with another pet at home. It is also best to check your pets’ and your foster dog’s temperament and socialization skills. Are they territorial? Are they aggressive? Because if they are, you may have a pretty hard time helping them get along with each other.

Additionally, you also have to make sure that your foster dog doesn’t have any underlying illnesses or diseases, like parvo or distemper, that may spread to your pets at home. A 14-day quarantine must always be required for your foster fur-baby before they can interact or have any direct contact with your pets and family members at home.

Every pet shelter or rescue group organization has its own policies when it comes to fostering, according to Pets For Patriots. Volunteer fosters need the full cooperation of family members, patience, and the acceptance of all stuff that comes with fostering.

Cat Diapers

"You may provide them with Pawtect™ Blankets that may act as comfort blankets. These blankets are waterproof and made with the softest and comfiest faux fur fabric to keep your dog warm and safe."


Fostering a dog is a remarkable and fulfilling decision but there are big responsibilities that come with it. Evaluate yourself if you are ready and prepared enough, so your foster fur-baby will have a happier, healthier life on their way to finding their forever home.

The Author:

Micka Virtudazo

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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