Fostering is a usual concept in pet care where a person or a household takes in a homeless pet that needs parenting. Like fostering a human child, fostering a pet includes providing them utmost love, emotional support, hygienic meal, and time.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many pets are in need of constant care. Pets are in desperate need of foster care at this time partly because many shelter homes and volunteers had to close down temporarily to self-isolate. Pet abandonment is also rising mainly because people are forced to stay home with no work. With no money, pet owners are more likely to abandon.
Those with sheer interest and resources can definitely take up fostering. One can contact the local pet shelter to check if they can foster a pet. They will often set you up with the basic necessities, pet care advice and a supply of pet food to get started.
Why do People need to foster Pets?
There are many reasons a pet might need foster care. Some of the most common include:
- A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for pets until suitable homes are found.
- A pup is too young to be adopted and needs a safe place to stay until it is old enough for adoption
- A pet is recovering from surgery, illness, or injury and needs a safe place to recuperate.
- A pet is showing signs of stress such as pacing or hiding in the shelter.
- A pet has not lived in a home before or has not had much contact with people and needs to be socialized.
- In many cases, fostering pets can help save space in the shelter which is running out of room for adoptable pets.
- It helps shelter or rescues another pet.
How Do I Become A Foster Care Provider?
Deciding to become a foster parent to homeless pets can be the greatest treasures. So you’ve decided to become a pet foster parent, but what next?
Here is the brief outline to fostering a pet:
- Check with local shelter homes or petfinder.com to find shelters and rescue groups near you.
- Contact the organization in-person and fill up the foster application.
- Evaluate and complete applications carefully
- Get ready to bring home your foster pet
- Share special moments with your pet and give the utmost care and attention
- Socializing and training are parts of fostering a new pet.
Although it can be harder for the foster parents to send off their beloved pet once it is ready to be adopted, the bittersweet experience can be overcome by the feeling that you have more pets to take in and care for.
The first and foremost step is to contact your local shelter and rescue home. Websites like www.petfinder.com help to locate an animal shelter or rescue group near you along with filtering your search request to a specific breed, age, and type of animals. You can also find many other different adoption organizations that help seniors, special needs, or different animal types.
After successfully locating an organization, you can inquire or put in your request to foster a pet. Each application is carefully reviewed. You must ask this question:
- Who pays for the vet bills?
- Who is financially responsible for the dog’s food, microchip, leashes, crate, etc.?
- Where will the dog be introduced to prospective adopters and what are your responsibilities?
- Are you responsible for training the dog and if so, to what level?
The size of your home and time spent with a pet also determines if you can qualify to become a foster parent. For certain dogs, a foster parent who is home all day may be required, or home without cats or children.
The shelter or rescue group may require a veterinary reference and/or a printed application and one or more telephone or in-person interviews.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fostering
Here are some of the crucial questions you must consider before taking up fostering.
a. Are you able to separate the foster pets from your own?
You should have a place where you can isolate your foster pet from your own companion animals. It is important to introduce them slowly.
b. Are you prepared to pet-proof your home?
Preparing your home and the area the animal will stay in can prevent most accidents, help keep your pet safe and help set you both up for fostering success.
c. Are you willing to help a pet with medical concerns or who may need medication?
Ask if your foster pet has any medical considerations to be aware of any medication it needs to take. If so, make sure that you’re willing and able to make sure your pet is getting the medication or care.
d. Can you get to the shelter’s vet quickly in case of an emergency?
Talk to the shelter or rescue group about how they prefer you to handle any emergencies. The shelter or rescue group likely works with a veterinarian who can treat your foster pet. If the animal you are fostering needs medical attention, you will need to transport them to the veterinarian’s office or shelter for care.
e. What will you do to prepare to return the pet after the foster period is up?
Sometimes it can be difficult to let go once you have become emotionally attached to an animal! Although an emotional moment, when the day comes that you must bring your first foster pet back to the shelter or to an adoptive home you should be willing to do it.
f. Do you feel comfortable explaining to friends that these pets are not yours to adopt out and that they must go through the regular adoption process at the shelter?
If you are interested in helping to find a home for your foster pet, refer your friends and family to the shelter or rescue group to complete an adoption application.
To be a successful foster parent, you will need a compassionate nature, the cooperation of your family or partner, flexibility, and some knowledge of animal behavior. The length of time a foster pet may stay in your home varies with the animal’s situation.
Know Your Limits
Foster parents should know their limits while taking in a new foster pet.
- Does your homeowner's insurance or city have any breed or weight restrictions? Do you have time to devote to a foster pet while giving your own pets the attention and care they need?
- What kind of behavior problems are you comfortable dealing with – counter surfing, pulling on the leash, jumping when greeting, inappropriate elimination, separation anxiety, barking, reactivity? Don’t accept a foster that may need help beyond your experience and knowledge, unless you are willing to consult with a qualified trainer.
- What kind of health considerations might you be willing to accommodate? Providing medication? Incontinence? Digestive disorders? Special dietary needs?
- Do you require a foster dog that is comfortable around small children or other animals?
Get in touch with Urban Pet Supply & Resort, a premier doggy daycare in Des Moines, to find more useful tips and ideas on fostering and adopting a pet.