Have you ever considered fostering a pet? Fostering a pet is a great way to help an animal in need and give them a loving home until they find the dog or cat a forever home. If you’re thinking of fostering, there are a few things you should know first. Typically, there’s a process to go through before you can even get approved to foster, and, of course, there’s always the option of volunteering at animal shelters to consider as another choice if fostering is too much for your current situation.
Before Taking A Foster Pet Home
For the safety and well-being of the animals, the foster organization usually has you fill out an application, coordinate a home visit, and also do criminal background checks. If everything goes well then you should be ready to save a life of a dog or cat that needs a temporary home. We’ve laid out the important steps to take and facts to consider before you fully devote your life to this new foster.
Talk to the Foster Organization or Coordinator
Before you commit to fostering, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian or at least the foster coordinator or manager. More than likely, the foster coordinator or manager will have information from the veterinarian about the pet and if it has any health issues or still needs vaccinations, etc. Sometimes you won’t get any history on the foster pet because they haven’t had any previous owners or care.
Prepare your home
At this point in the process, you’ve already been approved to foster and you’ve even picked out a new furry friend to stay with you for a short or long time depending on their situation. These are the items you should consider purchasing (most organizations even provide them to you free of charge) before bringing the cat or dog home. Remember, everything you pay for can be written off taxes at the end of the year so hang on to those receipts! Make sure you have the following:
- Food and treats
- Various toys, blankets, and bed
- Kennel for transporting the foster cat or dog
- Food and water bowls
It’s important for your foster pet to feel at home and to know they have a quiet, secure place to spend the first couple of days getting used to their new surroundings. This is vital in order to make sure introductions to your resident dog or cat go smoothly.
Another important step to take when you first get your foster pet home is to introduce your pet to the new friend gradually. Of course, beforehand you want to ensure the new foster spends time alone to unwind prior, or else a vicious fight could break out (Also, keep in mind, cat and dog interactions differ from dog and dog, and so on.) Then, when you’re ready slowly introduce the two out in a neutral area such as a park or any space outdoors and away from potential territorial issues with your resident dog or cat. It’s recommended to take them for a walk so they can become friends easily.
When you first bring your foster pet home, it’s important to set up separate spaces for them so they can have some time to adjust to their new surroundings without having to worry about interacting with your resident pet right away. This means keeping them in their own room or area of the house with everything they need, like food, water, bedding, toys, etc. Remember, our resident dog or cat has established a territory in your home for a while now and the last thing you want to happen is for both the foster pet and your pet to start off on the wrong foot.
As mentioned earlier, foster pets don’t come with any background sometimes so if you’re questioning anything that may be wrong with your new friend contact a vet or your organization managers. Always follow your organization’s procedures before making any detrimental decisions for your foster. Read carefully through the materials and watch the videos the foster organization provides to ensure you’re knowledgeable when any problems arise. Many organizations will hold you accountable for events such as the foster pet running away, getting hurt, or the pet hurting others.
Get Ready to Be A New Foster Parent!
Hopefully, we provided you with some helpful information and you should feel more confident about taking on this new experience. Nothing is as rewarding as saving an animal’s life and helping the foster pet find it forever home. In addition to a foster pet meeting another pet, there are also introducing your dog to a newborn which is an entirely different situation on its own. It’s your responsibility to nurture the cat or dog and to choose the right family for him or her. Have fun!
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