June is Foster-a-Pet month, a month the Petco Foundation sets aside to encourage people to temporarily house a homeless dog. The Petco Foundation estimates that if only 2 percent of U.S. households fostered one pet a year, unnecessary euthanasia in shelters could be eliminated.
One of the biggest barriers to this, though, is uncertainty over what’s involved. There are a few misconceptions about dog fostering that can keep you from missing out on a great experience. Here are some of the most common myths about pet fostering.
If you’ve ever been to a shelter, you know there’s a wide range of dogs there. You’ll see dogs of all sizes, temperaments, and backgrounds. Check into the policies of your local foster organization since they can vary from one area to another. Typically, you’ll be matched with a foster coordinator who will work hard to find the right pet for you—and that includes temperament.
We all know someone who became attached to a dog after having it around for a few days. But chances are, you’ve watched someone else’s pet temporarily without having issue letting go. As a foster parent, your relationship to your temporary houseguest will most likely be similar to that. If you are thinking about getting a new pet, though, fostering can be a great way to find the perfect dog while also providing a short-term home for pets that don’t have one.
When a foster dog leaves your home, it will be to go to a new forever home. Yes, the dog will need a little time to adjust, but soon he’ll find himself surrounded by new family members who love him. In no time, he’ll feel like he’s finally home. In the meantime, he’s spending time in a warm, loving environment with someone who will give him plenty of attention rather than in a shelter.
The single most important qualification to becoming a pet foster parent is that you have a love for animals. You don’t need to be a professional trainer or a veterinarian to care for a pet who needs a home. Simply feed and dote on the dog and you’ll be a natural. That said, there are some training basics you can implement during the time the dog is in your home.