Things People Should Know Before Fostering a Dog

fostering a dog in dyer, in

What should potential foster parents know?

If you are planning on fostering a dog for the first time, it is important to learn about the behavior and personality of the dog.  Without the proper information from the shelter, your first fostering opportunity could end up being a failure for you and the dog.

When fostering a dog, you will need to see how it accepts other members of the household, especially young children.  The safety of your family is important and if the dog is a fearful and is afraid of the children you should look to see if you could foster a different animal.

Dog aggression is problem that you could face with fostering.  You would need to see if the dog can get along with the other animals in the home.  Depending on the dog and its demeanor, it might try to assert dominance in the home over the animals.  This vying for dominance could create an atmosphere of aggression towards the other animals or family members. 

When taking on the responsibility of fostering a dog, you would want to know about his health status.  Also, you will need to have a written agreement between you and the shelter on which party is responsible for the dog’s medical and financial needs during the fostering period. I feel that the party that has the financial responsibility over the fostered animal will make the necessary medical decisions for the dog.

  • In the agreement, there should be a time frame as to the length of the fostering period. Fostering a dog for 10 years and having the shelter pay for all medical expenses can become a financial burden on the non-profit shelter.
  • Before the dog is brought into your home, you would want to have the dog cleared by the veterinarian that it is free of parasites such as fleas, ticks, ringworm, mange, etc. You wouldn’t want any of these ailments being brought into your home to be spread between other animals and family members.  With this responsibility of fostering, who is responsible for purchasing the necessary preventative flea/tick/heartworm medication.
  • You will want to know if the dog has any ailments like osteoarthritis or if it is diabetic and what maintenance medication (insulin) is needed for the dog.
  • If the animal has not been neutered or spayed, then the responsible party will need to make the necessary financial arrangements for the procedure.

What’s hard about fostering?

Some animals that are fostered will have medical conditions and not all the animals will survive the duration of the fostering period.

When fostering the pet, make sure that the animal has been cleared of contagious diseases and parasites like ringworm and tapeworms.  These conditions can wreak havoc on a home and get other animals and people infected. 

You don’t know what kind of environment the animal was living in before you decided to foster the animal.  In some cases, you might have to retrain and housebreak the animal. 

Getting attached to the animal during the fostering stage

This is known as “Foster Failures.”  Your goal was to foster the animal and you started getting attached to the pet.  Once you form that bond with the pet, it is challenging to give them to their new home. 

Once you start fostering, the rescues will tend to call you to see if you can foster other animals from their crowded shelters.

What are the advantages?

Fostering is rewarding and a lot of fun.  You have an opportunity to make a difference in an animal’s life by giving them a welcoming and loving home until they are moved into their forever homes. 

I work with a local animal control and I love fostering their kittens, especially the newborn kittens.  After a stressful day working as a veterinarian, I get the opportunity to feed the kittens and watch their ears flicker when they eat.  It’s the small things in life that make my job so rewarding.  When the kittens are old enough, I send them back to the shelter for adoption.  Usually, when one litter is old enough to be adopted out, I begin fostering the next litter.


See our blog on Pet Adoptions During the Pandemic –


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We are a place where pets and their people can feel at home. It's a place where wellness is maintained and supported from the time they’re newborns through their golden years.