How To Become A Foster Dog Parent

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Dog with foster parentThe stigma that shelter dogs are bad dogs is a stereotype that is mostly untrue. Unfortunately, too many dogs are in shelters, and people are scared to adopt them because they think there must be some bad reason that they were sent to the shelter.

However, the majority of the time, the reasons for the dog being sheltered are unrelated to the dog’s behavior. Many dogs find themselves in shelters because they are lost, abandoned or the owners are unable to care for them any longer. Sadly, the dog is simply no longer a priority in that family’s life.

Article Overview

Reputation Of Shelter Dogs

For many shelter dogs, what people consider as “bad behavior” is obtained through living in the rescue facility. We want to be clear and say that this is no one’s fault. These dogs are living in a high-stress environment, all alone.

Many of them were in loving homes and then found themselves in a shelter where they are surrounded by many dogs, strangers, new sights and sounds and less than comfortable living quarters. Stress manifests itself in the dog becoming anxious and possibly even destructive. Again, this is no one’s fault.

We realize this isn’t the case for all dogs. Unfortunately, some dogs are abused or are poorly trained, and as a result, have less desirable traits even before entering the shelter. Few of these dogs are a lost cause, though.

In fact, foster dogs can live more comfortably and learn to trust and love humans even if they’ve experienced abuse in their lifetime. These dogs can live in a less stressful environment and learn how to behave in a home, which can help get them adopted sooner.

You can help care for these adoptable dogs by giving them a temporary home until they find their forever home. This is a great way to help many dogs throughout your life, and perhaps you will create a bond with one that you cannot part with and give it a forever home yourself.

What Does It Mean To Foster A Dog?

When you foster a dog, you agree to take in a homeless dog and care for them for a predetermined amount of time or until the dog is adopted. Dog fostering is extremely rewarding because you can help a dog without adopting it.

Pet fostering is only a temporary commitment, and it gives you an opportunity to know what it’s like to have a dog in your home. Dog foster care also frees up a spot in the shelter to help another dog in need.

Why A Dog May Need To Be Fostered

There are many reasons a dog may need to be fostered:

  • The shelter may not have enough physical space to take in every dog. So, when you foster a pup, you keep a dog from potentially being euthanized due to overcrowding.
  • Foster puppies need a home because they are too young to be adopted and need a safe home to stay in until they are old enough to be adopted.
  • A dog is recovering from surgery, illness or injury. Malnourished pups may also need extra meals and special food to help them get back to a healthy weight.

How Do I Become A Foster Dog Parent?

To participate in pet foster programs, speak to a local shelter or rescue group about how you can foster a dog. (You can also visit You’ll most likely need to fill out an application, and after approval, the shelter or group will help you find the right dog for your household.

What’s It Like To Foster A Dog?

Dog and puppy fostering can be emotionally challenging but also rewarding. Watch the short video below to see some of the struggles and many of the joys of fostering a dog.

Questions To Ask If You Want To Foster Dogs

You will be an essential factor in helping the dog find its forever home. Once you find a location to foster pets through, you’ll want to get some questions answered.

  • Who pays the vet bills?
  • Who pays for the dog’s food, microchip, leash, crate and other necessary gear?
  • Are there any meetings you’ll need to attend?
  • Where will the dog be meet prospective adopters?
  • Are you responsible for training the dog?
  • Are there any requirements for those who want to foster animals? (Do you need a fenced-in yard? Can the dog handle stairs? Do you need to be home with the dog all day? Is the dog good with children, cats and other dogs? etc.)
  • Is there any medication that will need to be administered?

Why would you foster a puppy?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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Samantha Grybowski
October 29, 2019 12:11 am

My name is Samantha Grybowski and I live in Aburndale Fl, I want to foster a dog can you send me the info I need to do so please my email address is

lita robbins
July 19, 2018 6:35 am

i would foster any kind of dog I just need to know how to go about it

teddy lee dodd
October 23, 2019 9:39 pm
Reply to  lita robbins

i am good with pets so please send me email so i can no how to go about doing it i am from mcminnville tenn 931 474 7077 ask for teddy

teddy lee dodd
October 23, 2019 9:36 pm
Reply to  lita robbins

i want to become foster parent for dogs can you send me email and let me no how to do it