Fostering a dog during the COVID-19 outbreak is a great way to gain a companion, keep yourself motivated to go outside and get fresh air and exercise, and find a way to care for another creature to occupy your mind, decrease stress, and also help out a dog in need.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Fostering
If you're considering fostering a dog during this time, ask yourself these questions beforehand.
- Can you commit time during the day to walk, train, give attention, etc.?
- Even if you are working from home, it is still a big commitment and responsibility to care for an animal.
- Will you be able to safely transport the dog to a vet if an emergency arises?
- While many veterinary offices are open, they are limiting contact or only taking emergencies right now and following minimal contact procedures.
- Do you have extra funds available to cover a foster dog’s needs?
- Many rescue groups pay for food or may be able to offer some supplies, but most foster parents chip in and buy toys, food dishes, leashes, collars, etc. - I mean, who can help themselves from spoiling a new pup?!
- If you do purchase these items, consider a local supplier to help support their business.
- Will you be able to give up your foster pup?
- Fostering is a rewarding experience, but it can be difficult to give up a sweet pup you’ve had in your home, bonded with, and gotten to love.
- I try to think about fostering as prepping a dog for his or her forever home, and when that dog does find a forever home, you can create a space for another dog in need. As a foster parent, you get to help many dogs find a home, not just one!
- Are you able to commit to the foster dog even once you return to a normal schedule where you are away from your home more frequently?
- While some foster dogs may get moved from house to house, it’s not ideal for them. You can help by planning to keep a foster pup until they find a permanent home.
- If you have a dog, how will your pup react to a new furry friend in the house?
Tips if You're Ready to Foster
- If you think you’re ready to foster, search for a local rescue group first! You can do a simple search online or use a website such as petfinder.com or adoptapet.com. Some groups even post ads on these sites seeking foster parents.
- Read about the rescue group’s mission, what dogs they take in, expectations of foster parents, and what their processes entail.
- Fill out a foster parent application (most require references, so have these ready to go).
- If you’re approved, get your home ready to foster! This could include blocking off certain areas of your house, hiding electrical cords or wires, or simply setting up a comfy space for your new foster pup.
- Create your own network to help spread the word that your foster pup is looking for a home.
- You should be comfortable (with the rescue’s permission) posting the dog on your own social media and tagging the rescue group.
- You may be asked for specific details on the dog as you get to know them in your home so the rescue group can seek out the best homes for your foster dog.