How to Tell if You’re Ready to Foster a Dog

January 20th, 2016

275475075_85a50a311dYou may want a dog, but it might not be practical for you to take one on for the long term. If that’s the case, you might want to look into fostering. Before you do, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself to determine if it’s a good fit for you.

How to tell if you’re ready to foster a dog

1. Do you have the time?

Many shelters require you to apply to foster, and one of the questions they might ask is how much time you have to dedicate to your dog. You may be responsible for your foster dog for a few days or a few months, depending on the situation. You don’t need to be home all day every day, but it might not be a good fit for you if you have some trips planned. You may also be getting a puppy who needs to be housebroken. Make sure you have the time to take on any training, exercise, or care needs the dog has.

2. Is your whole household on board?

It will be easier to train and care for the dog if everyone is on board. Consistent care and extra helping hands can make it a good experience for your foster dog. Also make sure any other animals you have in the house are in a place where they could receive another dog in your home.

3. Are your pet’s vaccinations up to date?

Shelter dogs may have health issues, and could potentially expose your pets to worms, parasites, respiratory infections and other diseases. Before you bring a foster animal into your home, make sure all your animals are up to date on their vaccines to avoid any unnecessary vet trips.

4. Is your home foster-ready?

Before you bring your foster home, dog-proof your house by removing toxic chemicals, storing away shoes you don’t want chewed up, and put dog-proof lids on containers. Spending some time dog-proofing your house can save you the hassle of cleaning up lots of puppy mischief.

5. Are you emotionally prepared to return your foster?

The most difficult part of fostering can be giving them away when they’ve found a forever home. It may help to keep in mind that, thanks to you, your foster dog is well suited to adjust into his great new home.

Also know that you might have the option to adopt your foster, but that might mean you won’t have room or time to continue to foster for the shelter. And that means the rescue shelter might not be able to take in as many homeless animals, or their rescued animals might spend more time in their kennels waiting for a good foster home.

The decision to foster or adopt is up to you, and there are pros and cons to both sides. Educating yourself about the process can help you make the best decision for you and your family.