June 28, 2014 Photos by: BestShots/Shutterstock
If you love dogs, you may think that the most practical course of action would be to buy or adopt one for yourself. These are not the only options, however – dog lovers all over the country get to shower numerous dogs with love and affection, all without ever owning one. How is this possible? The answer is simple – fostering a dog. In this article you will learn the basics about what fostering a dog entails, why you should consider it and how you can get started.
What is Fostering a Dog?
You are probably familiar with the term “fostering” as it applies to children – homeless children are taken into the homes of families and cared for until they can be adopted or until they are old enough to go out on their own. The same principle applies in fostering a dog – you keep and care for the dog for a certain period of time or until it can be adopted. While you are fostering a dog, you get to treat the dog as your own and you get to enjoy the experience of having a pet. Though it may be sad to eventually let that dog go, you get to have peace of mind in knowing that you helped to keep one more dog from being euthanized and that you get to give the same gift of life to another dog.
Why You Should Foster a Dog
The truth of the matter is that there are just too many homeless and abandoned dogs for the country’s shelters to accommodate. Animal shelters do what they can to provide care for dogs in need, but their space and resources can only go so far. When an animal shelter runs out of room to take in new dogs, they often turn to individuals and families to take in foster dogs.
There are many other reasons why a shelter needs foster parents for dogs, including:
In fostering a dog yourself, you will be providing a valuable service to your local shelter and you will be providing care to a dog in need. When you take in a foster dog, you will not just be acting as a place-filler, however. You will help to prepare the dog for a new family and you will be learning more about the dog so the shelter can place him with the right family. The beauty of fostering dogs is that you get to experience the joy of caring for a wonderful dog, but you also get to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing that dog placed with a forever family where he will be loved and cared for.
How Do You Get Started?
If you think that fostering a dog is something that might be of interest to you, all you have to do is contact your local rescue group or shelter. Most shelters are eager to take on foster parents but you will likely need to fill out some kind of application before being approved. Once approved, the shelter will work with you to find a foster dog that is right for your home and family. After that, all you have to do is provide your foster dogs with all the love and care they need and deserve until they can be placed with their new forever family.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor’s degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.