Fostering a dog benefits and tips

Love animals and want to help out? Why not become a foster family for an unwanted dog?


If you love animals, why not donate your time by fostering a dog? Many animal societies and dog rescue organizations often look towards foster parents as a means to rescue as many needy dogs as possible. For example, the Humane Society tries their absolute best to save dogs of all breeds that have been abandoned, hurt or put on a list to be euthanized. There are also several rescue organizations catered to specific dog breeds that comb the county shelters looking for that particular breed that has been abandoned (for example, a Great Dane rescue organization or a Greyhound rescue organization). Foster parents step in once the dog has been rescued by welcoming into their homes these abandoned and often scared puppies and dogs. The foster family does not merely serve as a kennel for the dog; great foster families treat these dogs as a part of their own family, loving them, training them and nurturing them back to health, if necessary.

The process is simple. A family interested in fostering a dog would need to contact their local Humane Society or one of many rescue organizations available in their city and fill out a foster application. The reason for the application is to determine if the family is prepared both financially and physically to handle an abandoned dog. When the dog is rescued by one of these organizations, he is usually given an examination by a veterinarian to determine his overall health. Then, foster parents on file are contacted to see if they have room at that time to take in this new dog. Once a foster family has been located, the dog is brought over to see how well he gets along with the new family and any other pets the family may already have. If things go well, the foster family takes in the new dog until he is ready to be permanently adopted by another family.

The cost of fostering a dog depends mainly on the organization you become involved with. Most organizations will happily pay for any medical bills the dog may have (including treatments for any disease or injury), as they usually have veterinarians who they are partnered with that provide free spays/neuters, examinations and treatments. The cost of food, toys, crates (to transport and house the dog) and grooming may or may not be covered by the specific organization.

The length of the stay of the foster dog is usually dependant on several factors, including age, health and breed. Puppies will normally be adopted very quickly, while older foster dogs are harder to adopt. However, some foster families quickly grow attached to their foster dogs and choose to adopt them. Since the foster family is the best source of information as to the dog’s temperament and character, they usually play a vital role in the adoption process. Some organizations allow the foster family’s to pick and choose the dog’s final adoptive parents.

While there is no payment for fostering a dog, the joy of nurturing a formerly unwanted dog into a lovable and happy dog is priceless. Not only do foster families house the dogs, they provide a warm home for the dogs to feel safe in, a loving family for the dogs to feel secure with and a sense of happiness for the dogs to be grateful for.