Are You Ready to Foster a Dog?

You’ve seen the call-outs for volunteers from your local dog rescue.

And you dream about taking in a pup that could really use a cozy bed to sleep in. But before you jump right in with fostering a dog, you’ll want to be prepared to take on all the responsibilities that come with it.

Here are some questions to make sure you’re fully ready to foster a dog:

Do You Have the Time?

Before you can take the pup under your wing, make sure you have time for the application process, paperwork, and orientation. The dog rescue will want to make sure you’re a good fit for the dog, of course. And besides the general care that goes into being a pet owner, you’ll need to coordinate for potential permanent owners to drop in and meet the pup. Expect to play the part-time role of scheduling drop-ins throughout the week. This may be more time-consuming than you anticipate, so plan accordingly.

Do You Have the Space?

Not having a huge yard for the dog to romp about in doesn’t automatically nix the possibility of fostering a dog. Some hounds need more space than others. Is there enough room in your abode for them to be healthy and happy? Can you rearrange some furniture or go on a mini-purge in preparation?

If you are already a pet owner and would like to foster a dog, they’ll all need to co-habitat comfortably. Don’t have as much space for your dog to play in? You’ll need to have the time—and energy—to take them for extra walks.

Do You Have the Funds?

Some dog rescue organizations will supply you with food, supplies, and vet care that the dog needs. But then what will you be responsible for? Figuring out all the costs—no matter how nitty-gritty—will help you budget accordingly. There may be some unexpected expenses that pop up. Having a little bit of cushion to cover those costs can’t hurt.

Can You Foster the Dog as Long as Needed?

And while it normally takes a few weeks on average for a dog to be adopted from foster care, there’s really no guarantee. It could take anywhere from a few days to several months. As these pups have been uprooted and living in less-than-ideal conditions, you’ll want to be confident you can commit to fostering them until they find that permanent home.

Are You Emotionally Prepared?

This is the wild card. Sure, in the back of your mind you know this is temporary arrangement. But it’s nearly impossible not to get attached. And saying good-bye will be bittersweet. Even though you can rest assured that the pup is going to a great home, you will most likely miss them. It’s just part of the process. And despite going in with open eyes, parting with the dog you foster will be tough.

By asking yourself these questions before taking the plunge, you’ll be that much more ready to foster a dog and give it the love and care it deserves.

Meet the Author: Jackie Lam

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