A great way to help during this challenging time is by fostering a pet. Furry friends who are still waiting for their forever family need love and attention, but they also have other unique needs. Before sending out your pet foster-parent application to every local shelter and rescue, ask yourself if you have the means to care for another pet and the following questions:
- Can I handle a foster pet’s behavioral issues? Roughly half of the pets surrendered to animal shelters are cited as having behavioral problems that the owners can no longer manage. This is a key consideration since behavioral issues can be time-consuming, difficult, and emotionally draining to manage, but the rewards of changing a pet’s life are incredible.
- Do I have the time to devote to a foster pet? If you already have a pet, ensure you have time to care for their needs first. Current pet ownership will also help you gauge exactly how much time you need to devote to walking, feeding, grooming, and training a foster pet. While you may have plenty of time during quarantine, consider your normal schedule when determining your resources.
- What health considerations can I accommodate in a foster pet? Caring for pets with special medical needs can be challenging, so ensure you can accommodate daily medicating routines and regular veterinary exams to keep your foster pet healthy.
- Does my foster pet need to be comfortable around small children or other animals? Similar to considering your own pet’s needs and comfort level around other pets, determine if your potential foster pet needs to be able to handle other animals or small children, depending on your household. For example, if you have small children, a large dog who has been surrendered to the shelter because of aggression toward kids is not a good choice for your family.
- Is my pet comfortable around other pets? If your current pet is not fond of strangers, whether two- or four-legged, being a pet foster parent may put your furry pal in an uncomfortable situation. Cats are especially reluctant to welcome strange cats into their territory, while many dogs battle reactivity and aggression issues with other dogs.
Don’t forget to contact us to make sure that your current furry friend’s parasite preventatives and vaccinations are up to date to avoid transmitting diseases to your foster pet.