Start Dog Foster Program
Starting a dog foster care program comes with its challenges; but the rewards are worth the obstacles. For starters, once a dog is placed in foster care from a shelter, the animal cannot be taken back into the shelter if the person doesn't feel "it's just not working out." A new home will need to be found.
It won't be all fun and games to start. You don't know the dog; and the dog doesn't know you; so naturally, you both may have your guard up. But, with patience and a bit of trust, the two of you will develop a friendship.
During the first few weeks, leave the dog alone while eating (especially chewing) and sleeping. Kids will want to take caution when approaching the new dog and not do anything to make the dog feel anxious or uneasy - do not pull the dog's tail or tease them with laser pointers (this goes for cat foster care).
Dogs will want to be fed a daily diet of healthy dog food. Foster care parents can discuss food options with an animal shelter coordinator or volunteer, if they are unsure what to feed dogs. Dogs will need space to learn and release stress; and this is why having a fenced-in backyard will be helpful. Foster parents will be able to play with the dog, exercise with him/her and teach the pup new tricks.
Grooming dogs is a must. Groom dogs regularly to keep fur from matting up and creating discomfort. Fur protects pets from sunburns and coldness, after all. Most importantly, grooming dogs helps discover deer ticks that may be hiding within the fur.
Bring the foster dog into the animal shelter or local dog kennel once or twice a week to find a forever home. Be in-touch with your local animal shelter coordinator; and in the meantime, provide the dog with love, support, and care.
- Jenn Smith