Have you thought about getting a new dog but are not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? Fostering a dog could be a great way for you to try it out without fully committing to adoption.

What is dog foster care and what is needed to become a foster home? Continue reading below to find out more about dog fostering.

What is Dog Foster Care?

Dog foster care is not a much different idea from foster care for children. The long and short of it is that there are animals that need somewhere to live. A foster parent offers space in their home for a needy dog.

This care is offered on a temporary basis. Most shelters that use foster parents have an idea of how long the animal will need to be with the foster parent, but their timeline is only an estimate.

The time that a person fosters an animal gives the animal shelter time to line up a permanent owner. The animal might also be too vulnerable to be in the shelter. In this case, an offsite home if favorable.

Which Animals Need Foster Care Most?

As we said above, the animals that are commonly fostered are ones that need a little extra help. They may be ill or injured. Or they may simply be too young to be away from their parents. Look below at some of the reasons a pet would go into foster care:

  • Puppy is too young to be adopted.
  • Puppy is still nursing.
  • Dog needs better socialization or training in a home environment.
  • Dog is ill or needs specialized medical attention.
  • Dog was previously abused and needs rehabilitation.
  • Dog was displaced due to a natural disaster.

Of course, there are many reasons why a dog might be found in foster care. For the most part, foster pets need just a little extra help that might be hard to provide in a shelter.

Why Should You Foster a Dog?

There are a ton of reasons why you should consider becoming a dog foster parent. The main reason is that by fostering, you are helping to save a life. Foster dogs often need a little extra help. By fostering, you’re helping to bring down the total number of dogs in a shelter. This helps make room for dogs that will easily be adopted. It also helps to bring down the total number of animals that are euthanized each year.

Another reason for fostering is that having a pet is good for everyone involved. Not only do you get to help teach a dog how to properly behave and socialize, you’ll receive real benefits from doing so. Having a pet helps to decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness. Pets increase your level of exercise and chances for socialization. All this helps lead you to an overall healthier lifestyle.

Does Dog Fostering Fit Your Lifestyle?

If you feel like you have the time and energy to put toward fostering, it should be something you consider. The biggest consideration should be whether you have the time to foster. Training a needy or ill dog will take a lot of time and energy.

If you have a family that is willing to help, all the better! If you have someone who can always stay with your foster dog, the dog will benefit greatly from the increased interaction. While staying with the foster dog always isn’t necessary, know that a foster dog will not want to be left alone in a crate all day.

“Foster Failures”

As with anything new, there is a possibility for failure. When we’re talking about fostering a pet though, we don’t really mean failure in the traditional sense.

Many foster families end up creating a great relationship with their foster dog. When this happens, it might be hard to let them go. A “foster failure” is what they call it when a family decides to transition from fostering to full-on adoption.

Of course, the joke in the name does not imply you were a failure at fostering. Instead, it means your foster dog was such a benefit to your life that you want them to stick around indefinitely. It really is natural that you would develop a strong bond with your foster dog, so don’t see it as a failure. It’s a success of the fostering system.

Fostering can be a gratifying experience for both you and the dogs you foster. If you have the time and want to put in the effort, reach out to your local animal shelter today.