How to Foster an Animal – Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that animal foster parents are badly needed around the world? In the United States alone, there are about 3.9 million shelter dogs and 70 million stray cats. According to an ASPCA report, the United States comprises of 13000 animal shelters, and around 2.7 million animals are needlessly euthanized during a time of crisis. It is a common occurrence for shelters to receive cats, dogs, and rabbits every day. They are either stray or are abdicated by their owners.

If you want to help one of these animals, you must know that it is a huge responsibility but a rewarding one, nonetheless. This article is a guide for first-time fosters who are interested in improving the life of a shelter animal. Continue reading this insightful piece on how to foster an animal in the right way!

1. Decide If Fostering Is Right for You

The first crucial step is to make up your mind on whether you can really handle fostering and everything that comes with it. Remember that there is a huge difference between thinking of doing something and actually doing it.

It is possible that the idea of fostering may seem appealing at first, but not so much when you start practicing it. In such a case, it is essential to ask yourself some important questions that will help make the fostering experience pleasant for you. Some things to ask yourself are:

  • Can I deal with animals with behavioral or medical issues? Can I handle a hyper kitten or puppy at all times?
  • What size animal can I handle? And do I have prior experience of handling one?
  • Should I consider short term or long term fostering? Are two weeks going to be enough? Or a few months or years?
  • What pet can I foster? A kitten, cat, dog, rabbit? Which one do I like best?
  • Can I foster multiple animals at the same time? If yes, then how many should I foster? And should they be all the same animals or different ones?
  • Can I give enough time to my pet? How can I make time for my new furry member? Will it be possible to allocate time before work, after work or during holidays?

2. Consider Your Budget and Fostering Expenses

You must know that raising an animal can be quite expensive. You will need to have enough money so that you can take care of their basic necessities and some unforeseeable expenses.

If you want to keep your foster pet in the best condition, which you obviously wish to, you will need to get high-quality food and treats for it. This will be imperative if the foster animal is malnourished. To ensure that it bounces back to good health, you will need to feed it wholesome and nutritious food. For feeding purposes, you will need to get food bowls and dishes as well.

You will also need to invest in pet products like accessories and toys so that your foster animal happily settles into its new life. Leashes and collars are the two essential accessories that you will have to get to ensure your pet’s safety and security. You will also have to allot money for the foster pet’s medications and vet visits. Make sure that your budget has enough money to accommodate your animal’s expenses.

3. Make Sure Your Other Pets Don’t Get Affected

If you already have a pet at home, you will have to ensure that it doesn’t get upset with the addition of a new member into your home.

Stray animals can bring along diseases, which can spread around. Before you take a stray animal home, take it to a vet, run some tests, and see whether or not it has a medical condition. When you bring a new pet to your home, train it in such a way that it gets along with your old pet.

4. Play and Socialize with Your Foster Pet

Give a day or two for your new foster pet to get accustomed to its new living space. Be gentle with it – speak softly, caress it, and be nice to it all the time. It is likely for the animal to be scared and anxious already. You have to stay friendly with the animal no matter what.

Once your foster pet becomes comfortable in its new environment, start its training. Make sure that you give your new pet a reward in the form of a food treat. If it is a dog, it is also crucial to take it for a walk as it will be a great opportunity for the foster animal to socialize and make new friends. You don’t want your new pet to become lazy over time, which is why you should play with it with pet toys.

5. Consider Behavioral Training

Soon enough, your foster animal will find its permanent home, so it is crucial that you train it properly.

Different animals require different types of training. If it is a dog, it must understand and act on the basic commands like sit, stay, lay down, etc. In case the foster pet is a cat, potty training is a must.

6. Take Care of Its Health

It is important to look for signs that may suggest that your foster pet needs medical attention. Monitor your pet’s health at all times. In case of any signs of allergies or illnesses, take the foster pet to the vet right away.

Consult a local shelter to see if they have an animal breed you are looking for. Once you have picked the animal you want to foster, you will be asked to fill out paperwork. If you get selected, a fostering group will get in touch with you for a house inspection. If they find your house befitting for raising an animal, you will get a heads up for fostering the animal!

As I said, animal foster parents are badly needed around the world.  If you are the right person, please do not delay.  The love and satisfaction of taking care of these beautiful animals will bring much joy to you.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: