What do I have to do to foster a dog?

All the volunteers should take a responsible approach fostering a dog – it’s not a toy to keep yourself entertained during the social distancing. And furthermore, fostering during coronavirus pandemic is even a more complex task than ever before. I hope my tips will help the readers make an informed decision.

Step1. Think twice before application

From my experience fostering leads to adoption in 80% of cases. Everyone who wants to participate in this program should understand their capacities. People without a stable income and people having frequent business trips aren’t recommended to participate. The end of social distancing period will become a major challenge for relationships with a fostered pet. And all the volunteers should keep this in mind before taking a dog to their homes.

Step2. Prepare your home

Volunteers should regularly disinfect and air their homes to prevent coronavirus. I recommend volunteers to isolate the potentially dangerous objects out of the dog’s range. Any medications, chemicals, cleaners, pest control products and sanitizers should be hidden on high shelves or childproof cabinets. Houseplants should be moved because many of them may be toxic/poisonous for a dog. Foster dog parents should use a dog chew deterrent spray to isolate the pets from wires. And the most easily accessible wires should be put into PVC pipes. Toilet lids should be closed to prevent drowning or drinking the water out of them. The most popular solution is moving all the potentially dangerous objects into another room that is always closed.

Step3. Prepare your yard

Volunteers should make sure that their yard is also safe because the dog will definitely have access to it. They should make sure that there’re no holes in the fence to prevent dog from escaping and contacting with potential carriers of coronavirus. Also it’s important to make sure that only pet friendly pest control is used in the yard. The dog should be bathed every time when it returns home during COVID-19 pandemic.

Step4. Prepare the prescription medicine and specialized diet

Some animals require specialized diet and medicine. These should be purchased prior to getting a pet home because delivery is much slower during the pandemic. Having other pets in a house there’s a risk of one pet stealing other’s food. This problem can be solved by preparing a separate feeding zone for every pet or with help of RFID feeders for multiple pets.

Step5. Introduce the foster dog with your pets

Volunteers’ pets should be vaccinated and tested negative for FELV/FIV. The best case scenario is taking a dog or cat to to shelter and testing their behavior on this stage. If neither of animals are acting aggressively – that’s a green light. Foster dog parents should observe their animals behavior very attentively during first 14 days. As a rule, there will be no problems if the pets get along during this period.

Here is the list of questions one should ask himself before fostering a pet:

– Do I have enough time for a new pet?

– Do I feel comfortable having a new pet in my house?

– What if my pet gets sick?

– What if the foster pet doesn’t get along with my pet?

– What if I can’t handle it and want to return the foster pet back?

If you feel like you are ready to take on a foster pet, congratulations! You are about to embark on a very rewarding journey. Just be sure to do your research ahead of time and be prepared for anything. And most importantly, have fun!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *