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How to Become a Foster Dog Parent

Fostering a dog is an easy and smart way to do good and also improve your quality of life! With over 10,000 rescue organizations in the U.S., there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fostering as the details vary across organizations. Although a basic level of research is important for finding the right match, becoming a foster for a rescue dog is easy and has three primary steps:

  1. Agreement – Make sure everyone in your household, including any partners or roommates, are in agreement to welcome a temporary foster dog into your lives. If you rent, you should also make sure your landlord or property manager is ok with your short-term furry friend.
  2. Application – Complete a foster application for the rescues or shelters you wish to foster a dog through. Applications are key in these organizations being able to match you with a foster dog that will probably fit your lifestyle best. In addition to basic information about you, the applications usually contain other terms, such as protocol for any medical emergencies, etc.
  3. Availability – Share your availability with the rescue or shelter so they can coordinate and plan for your new foster. Most organizations request a minimum two-week commitment in order to avoid subjecting the dog through too much change, but fostering until the dog is adopted is always preferred. In some cases, organizations may look for short-term fosters (generally under two-weeks while a foster is away or if an adoption is pending).

After your application has been reviewed, you are typically connected with a volunteer foster coordinator who will help match you with a foster dog and arrange for logistics. Some organizations will even provide foster manuals or require a foster orientation for first time dog fosters.

The Complete Dog Fostering Guide with Jess of @101Fosters

Advice for a First-Time Dog Foster

Tips for Bringing Home a Foster Dog

What to Expect the First Day with Your Foster Dog

How to Introduce a Foster Dog to Your Dog

How to Make Crate Training a Foster Much Easier

5 Tips for Feeding a Foster Dog

Obedience Training a Foster

Fostering Puppies Tips: 5 Things You Should Do

Don’t forget, if you are fostering puppies, you are required to pay puppy tax in the form of cute photos and videos. If you can, consider fostering a mamma dog and her puppies!

Jess was recently a guest on Bark Building’s Fostering & Adoption 101 Virtual Chat which is now on YouTube.

Read Our Interview with Jess on Her Fostering Experience