Interested in Foster Animals? Here's What You Need to Know to Get Started

You may have heard the term "foster animals" before. Some people might tell you that fostering a dog is lots of fun. Others might do it because it provides a much-deserving pet a loving, happy home. No matter your reasons, there are plenty of benefits to providing a comfortable, loving foster home for animals that desperately need it.

If you're interested in fostering a dog or a cat, here's what you need to know to get started. We'll go over what the process is, what it involves, and how you can be an exceptional foster dog or cat parent!

Foster Animals: What Does Being a Foster Animal Parent Involve?

Being a foster parent to an animal means that you'll commit to taking the pet into your home and providing it with a loving, caring environment until the shelter or rescue can find a suitable permanent home. Some animal shelters will let you keep the cat or dog if you like it. You'll have to check with your particular shelter's rules and guidelines.

Some animal shelters will ask that you keep the cat or dog until the agency can find the pet a quality home. Others will specify a predetermined time. For example, the animal shelter may anticipate having space available in six months, so they'll ask people to adopt a dog or a cat until that space opens up. In this case, they'd specify that you would be fostering the animal for that period.

While you have the animal, you may have to let prospective adopters meet the cat or dog to see if they would be a good fit for a more permanent home.

Overall, though, it doesn't involve too much more than caring for a sweet little animal for a few months, year, or however long it takes to find the pet a more permanent home!

What Is the Process?

The process of how to foster a dog or how to foster kittens is quite simple. You'll need to check with your local shelter to see what cats or dogs they have. Once you find a cat or dog that might be a good fit for you and your home, you'll typically fill out an application. The shelter will review that application and decide if they will provide you with the foster animal.

Assuming your application checks out and the shelter approves it, you'll get the foster animal. You'll get to provide it with a loving, caring home. During this time, the animal shelter will work to find the pet a more permanent arrangement.

As mentioned earlier, you may need to let others see the cat or dog if they consider adopting it.

The process overall, though, is relatively straightforward! You apply with one of your local animal shelters, and if they approve your application, you can take your pet home!

How To Be an Exceptional Foster Parent To a Foster Animal

Being a foster parent to a dog or a cat is often not without its challenges. Typically, these pets have seen multiple homes or may have come from abusive situations. Therefore, it may take them some time to get used to your home environment. The setup may be temporary, but you still need to ensure that you will give them quality life during their stay with you. You 

If you want to be an exceptional foster parent to these animals, please consider the following:

  • Prepare your home for the dog or cat. If you're looking at how to foster kittens or puppies, you'll want to make sure you have everything ready for the bundle of energy that's coming your way. Puppy-proofing your house involves clearing out sharp objects, moving curtains, and moving electric cords. Keep washer and dryer units closed so that they cannot get in there.
  • Be prepared for an adjustment period. Some foster animals have emotional or behavioral issues, so you'll need plenty of patience. Ask the animal shelter for guidance before you take your new pet home.
  • Get adequate food, a water bowl, grooming tools, etc., beforehand! You don't want to be in a situation where you're missing a litter box for your new cat or a harness for your new dog.

Other than that, though, being a fantastic foster dog parent merely means that you'll give your new addition to the family a lot of love, affection, and maybe even some toys! You'll need some patience, but the process feels very rewarding in the end!

Foster Animals: If You're Interested, Please Contact Your Local Shelter

There's no denying that being a foster dog or cat parent is a rewarding experience. You'll be making a massive difference in the life of an animal that may not have had the most relaxing time up until now. And you'll be able to make them feel loved and safe until the shelter can find them their permanent home. It's a fantastic experience all around!

If this sounds interesting to you, please contact your local animal shelters to see what type of dogs and cats they have available. There's a good chance you'll be able to find a furry friend to rescue!

Where can I foster a dog near me?

You can foster a dog through animal rescue places. If you search "foster a dog" or something similar on your favorite search engine, you can usually find some local rescues that will be happy to work with you. Each state and local jurisdiction is slightly different, so find your local rescue agency to figure out what you need to do.

How does fostering a dog work?

Fostering a dog is an agreement you'll make with the animal shelter to provide a loving, happy home for either a predetermined time or until someone adopts the dog. Shelters ask for "foster parents" to help with overcrowding. If the rescue is getting too full, people can take these pups and give them loving homes while waiting for adoption.

How to become a foster dog parent?

You'll need to contact your local shelter or rescue group to see if they have any animals in search of a foster home. If they do, you'll likely have to complete an application. Once approved, you can bring one of these lovely foster animals home!


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Written by Leo Roux

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