A dog foster parent is someone who takes responsibility to care for a rescue dog until they are found a permanent home. This is a very valuable and praiseworthy job. Just like most things that are worthwhile, it has its benefits as well as its drawbacks.
What It Takes
First of all, a deep love of dogs is needed to become a dog foster parent, as many rescue dogs have a lot of issues. Some are sick and undernourished, and many have gone through bad experiences that have caused them not to trust humans.
As a dog foster parent, you may have to care for puppies that were too small to have left their mothers, who may need to be fed regularly during the night and day. Other dogs you may foster may not be trained at all, and may be rather stressed out due to the time they have had to spend in the animal shelter. As a dog foster parent, your job is to make sure that each dog you care for is brought into good shape, emotionally and physically so that someone will adopt them.
To be up for the task, you will need to have a certain amount of knowledge of how to care for dogs and have the time to give them plenty of attention. As a part of this unpaid job, there will be regular feeding, bathing and medication in some cases. There also needs to be enough space in your home and in your schedule to devote to the basics of caring for the dog. Exercising, playing, socializing and training are all a part of this.
Looking after rescue dogs can be a difficult and expensive task. There is no need for you to go at it alone. Affiliating with a rescue group may be particularly helpful, so that you can perhaps receive financial support, expert advice, and valuable veterinary care. Many rescue dogs will be neutered before they are given a new permanent home, so you can expect that you might have to exercise a bit of extra TLC if this is the case.
Life at Home
Your family at home will also need to be loving and forgiving. This includes any canines you may already have. Your current doggie family will need to be patient and well-adjusted with having a new stranger in their midst. Make sure that you factor in enough attention and playtime for your own dogs, so they won’t feel neglected.
As a dog foster parent, unless you are able to adopt every single dog that comes your way, you will need to be prepared to say goodbye to them once their forever home has been found. This time may be difficult for you, but it can be made easier by the knowledge that you have done an excellent job in giving this dog a brand new lease on life. Now you will be ready in case a new dog comes along that needs your help.