5 Tips For Fostering Shelter Dogs
5 Tips for Anyone Interested in Fostering Dogs
Every year, 1.6 million shelter dogs are adopted, according to the ASPCA. Some of those dogs go straight from the shelter to their forever homes, but many are cared for by foster families first. Some dogs need a little extra love and care to become healthy, happy, and well-behaved before being adopted. Fostering is a rewarding experience for pet and person, but it is a serious commitment. If you are considering fostering, take into consideration these important steps you’ll need to take during the process.
Prepare Your Home
Dog-proofing your home is essential to providing a suitable foster environment. This means finding a safe, comfortable place for the dog to live. You can use a crate and doggy fences to keep them in a designated area. If you already have dogs at home, prepare a separate area for your foster dog until he or she is properly socialized.
Ease into Socialization
Socialization is an important part of the fostering process. Shelters want dogs to get along with other pets and people before officially putting them for adoption. Talk to the shelter about your foster dog. Are there any behavior issues, like food aggression of jumping, you should know? Keep this in mind when introducing the foster pet to your other dogs and other people. Go slow to ensure the dog is comfortable and everyone involved is safe.
Focus on Training
As a foster parent, you are accepting responsibility for that dog’s training. Start with the basics, like house training and sit and stay. Mastering well-mannered house behavior and basic commands is an important step on the way to adoption.
Prioritize a Healthy Lifestyle
Many animals that end up in shelters have health issues related to neglect or abuse. When you decide to foster, you are responsible for that dog’s health. Create a healthy meal schedule and stick to it. Commit to regular exercise. Play with the dog, and schedule walks when you are not home. Take the dog to all of the necessary vet appointments and administer any required medications. Good health is a requirement for adoption.
When you foster, you will keep in close touch with the shelter, which usually outlines benchmarks the dog needs to hit before adoption. Carefully track progress and report it to the shelter. Once the dog is ready, the shelter can start looking for the right home. Of course, you might fall in love with your foster pup. In this case, you can apply for adoption and welcome the dog as a permanent part of the family. Either way, you will have made a major difference in that dog’s life.
Written by Carrie Pallardy