What’s involved in getting ready for a foster dog to stay in your home? Here’s my short list.
When I get a call that a foster dog will be staying with me, I may have a few hours or up to one day to get ready. How do I get ready?
Making the House Ready for a Foster Dog
Remove anything likely to get damaged.
I don’t have lots of tchotchkes around the house or delicate items. But I do have a lovely, sheer curtain hanging from clips in front of my oak and glass front door. It’s fine when Honey is here. But it’s never survived a single foster dog or puppy.
Do a thorough poop search.
I try to keep the yard clean. But if I missed a single poop bomb, our visitor is likely to find it—with his paws.
Block off or remove trash and recycling containers.
It has been many years since I’ve had a dog who raids trash cans. I’ve learned the hard way that Honey, and her predecessor, Shadow, are unusual in their lack of interest in trash cans.
Making Honey Ready for a Foster Dog
Take long walks.
For Honey, long, sniffy walks are the ultimate stress-reliever. I want her to be relaxed and comfortable when the foster dog arrives.
Pick up all her toys.
Until I know more, I don’t allow any toys or treats around Honey and a new dog in the house. It’s hard on Honey to not have free access to her favorite Nylabone or ball. But all play is supervised with a new dog.
Spend some cuddle time.
With a new dog in the house, Honey won’t be getting as much attention. While it’s just the two of us, I give her a deep massage and just spend some time being quiet together.
Making Myself Ready for a Foster Dog
Do as much of my work in advance as possible.
Adult foster dogs take much less time. But puppies? Forget it. I’ve never gotten more than three minutes of work done with a puppy in the house.
Look forward to having a dirty house.
There’s no point in cleaning too much. Within moments, I’ll have nose smudges on the glass front door (remember? I took the curtain down), new colors of dog hair, and probably even an accident or two to take care of.
Put the camera in my pocket.
Because I’m going to be overwhelmed with possibilities of cuteness.
Making Yourself Ready for a Foster Dog
I don’t think everyone should foster.
It was not possible for me when I had Agatha or Shadow. They were too reactive to other dogs.
And I knew even less about dogs than I do now (and I still have a lot to learn. A lot.)
But if you have room in your home and in your heart to provide a stable home for a dog (or cat) waiting for her forever home, consider fostering. You won’t regret it. And you’ll end up with some of the cutest pictures you’ve ever taken.
If you’re considering fostering and want to know more about our experiences, check out the following:
- What Does Fostering Cost Your Dog?
- The Best Thing About Fostering No One Talks About
- Fostering From a Dog’s Point of View
- When a Foster Dog Goes Home…
- Can Helping Pets Benefit Domestic Violence Victims?
Your Turn: Have you fostered an animal? Or do you see yourself doing it in the future? Why or why not?