The Important Role of being a Foster Parent

09/19/18 at 08:48 AM | Published Under Pet Care by Sandy Robins

Fostering a pet can be a real life-changing experience for that pet as it gives them basic social skills and possibly teaching them to interact around other pets too. Further, fostering older pets that have been saved from a life-changing event such as a devastating fire or flood or even years of abuse, means giving that pet an opportunity to gain confidence and trust humans. All this amounts to a better opportunity of being adopted into a wonderful forever home.

If it weren’t for the many wonderful no-kill shelters with foster programs, and the dedicated foster parents who open up their homes and their hearts to these deserving dogs (and cats), thousands more pets would be euthanized every year

The best way to become a foster parent is to start by volunteering at your local animal shelter or rescue group so that they consider you as part of their team and will call on you when the time comes. 

It’s also important to access if you are up for this task as it can be both emotionally and physically demanding and also gauging that you have time to dedicate to the pet or pets in your care. Small kittens and puppies need constant hands-on attention and so do any special needs pets.The best fostering situation is one in which there is at least one adult at home at all times. You also need transport to take your charge to the shelter on a regular basis for veterinary checkups and, possibly, for postoperative care.

Also, its essential to access your home as it usually means setting aside a room so that the foster pets are kept separate from your own pets. This will allow them to settle more quickly without the stress of having to associate with incumbent pets and it also ensures that your own pets are not exposed to any health risks.

Foster pets have been known to ruin carpeting and couches. So, their care environment is a great place to recycle your old furniture. Still, you should keep furniture to a minimum and be prepared for lots of cleaning up! 

Marci Kladnick of Los Alamos, California is a self-confessed “serial foster mother” working in conjunction with rescue organizations in her town. They know they can call on her at any time to foster young and old pets as well as the sick and the injured in emergency situations.

Kladnick keeps her fosters in a separate room and when it’s time for introductions to meet other pets to work on their social skills, namely her own incumbent menagerie, she has baby gates in place so that they can meet via smells and still be separate for their mutual safety.

Kladnick says that social media can be a very useful “tool” to tell the story about the pets in her care and ultimately finding them forever homes.

While adoption shelters typically will provide their foster parents with basic necessities like food and medication, foster parents are encouraged to spoil their charges.

 Of course, no dog can ever have too many toys! It’s a good idea to offer a foster dog or puppy a variety of toys such as soft plush comfort toys like the GoDog Fuzzy Wuzzy sheep that comes in various sizes. Plush toys make great play-prey toys and also transition to being comfort toys when it’s time to nap. 

Foster dogs should also be given the opportunity to play with interactive toys. Apart from giving them exercise, it’s an excellent way of introducing them how to play with people. Fun interactive toys such as Ultimate Ballz and the Ultimate Disc are great to initiate fun and games and teach them how to retrieve to keep the games going.

When it’s time for your foster charge to go back to the shelter to go on to the adoption floor, allowing them to take that one special toy with them will help with the transition in this next step to a forever home.








About the Author

Sandy-dog-554x1024 Sandy Robins

As the country’s leading multi-media celebrity pet lifestyle expert and  influencer, SANDY ROBINS documents the wonderful relationship that we have with our pets highlighting trends and innovative ideas as they happen.

Many dogs and cats have lifestyles that mirror their pet parents’ own lives. Nothing is too good for our fur kids. Consequently, the pet industry is a 58 billion dollar business – bigger than toys, candy and jewelry combined. Sandy documents this industry every step of the way  highlighting how these trends can improve our pet’s general health and well being and enhance our human-animal bond.


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