The joy of being a pet-parent is incomparable. Your pet becomes your baby and a sibling to your kids. But more than that, the journey of bringing home a puppy and raising them into a loving doggo is fulfilling. The amount of love and loyalty radiated by them keeps our soul happy and our heart healthy!
As much as we love dogs, not all of us can bring them home as pets. There can be many reasons for it but that shouldn’t stop us from loving & nurturing them. This pandemic has forced us back into our homes but has also presented an amazing opportunity to be closer to dogs. But how?
Fostering is majorly about preparing yourself and your family members to receive and give love freely to these abandoned or even tortured pets. Being a foster pet parent is a full-time commitment and would require you to plan and prepare for their daily needs, vaccines, medicines, and even their supplements, in fact, everything at all.
What do you mean by Fostering?
Fostering means, “bringing up a child who is not your own by birth.” In the case of a dog, it means bringing home a puppy/dog who is not your own and raising him/her by keeping their needs in check. More often than not, puppies/dogs who are sick, abandoned, exploited, crippled, or old age dogs are sent to foster homes so that they can have another shot at life.
Is Fostering different from Adoption?
Yes. These are two different terms with separate meanings. While fostering is usually for a certain period, adoption is life-long. While you are fostering a dog, you might end up adopting them too!
Why should you foster?
Foster homes are considered to be better than shelter homes. They give dogs a chance at a renewed life which is filled with love & empathy. But being a foster mom or dad also has its hidden benefits.
It has been scientifically proven that dogs are like a happy pill for us. Hugging and cuddling with them releases oxytocin in us. It is also known as the “love hormone” and that’s why you can’t help but fall in love with your foster doggos!
Fostering can also uplift people from a variety of psychological issues like stress, anxiety, and even depression. Dogs are the therapists that you didn’t ask for but they will make sure that you achieve the pink of your health while you are with them!
If you are planning on fostering a dog, and you have no prior experience of being a dog parent, then read on for some important tips that will help you be a better foster mom & dad!
5 Tips on fostering dogs
1. Have Patience
The first thing that a foster parent needs to realize is the virtue of patience. Remember, the dog has already seen the worst in his/her life. There is an immense amount of trauma, struggles, violence, etc which comes with them. They will be difficult to deal with because they will not trust you easily. They might also not allow you to touch or pet them. If they are toilet trained, that’s a plus but if they are not, then you will have an added task at hand. Each foster dog is different but if there’s one thing which is common amongst them is that they need to be dealt with a lot of patience!
2. Make your home foster dog-friendly
Make sure that your home has ample space for the kind of dog that you plan to foster. Large dogs require more space than a small-sized dog. Also, tidy up your rooms by removing unnecessary items lying across. These might not mean anything to you but a dog might end up gobbling them up. Place the items on a higher shelf or place them inside a cupboard to keep your dog safe. For example, shoes, toys, chargers, earphones, clothes, etc should be kept safely.
3. Train them
It is highly likely that the foster dog has not been trained to pick basic commands like sit, stay, etc. You might have to train them for better communication and an easy stay. Therefore, start with basic house training on the first day itself. Lookup for some basic dog training videos and reinforce them with treats. This will not only benefit you but will also help the dog in future foster homes. Think of it as a future investment that will bear fruits in the long run.
4. Use crates
Crates can come in handy to house train dogs for the initial few weeks. Also, if you are bringing a puppy to foster, crates/enclosures will help contain the over-excitement. Remember, crates are not meant to punish the dog but are meant to train them.
5. Socializing should be gradual
Don’t begin with your foster dog’s socializing process the very first day. Keep the first point in mind and only start introducing new people when the dog gets comfortable in your presence. Introducing people to a scared dog will further scare him. The same goes for babies. Keep a healthy distance between your baby and the pets until they get used to each other’s presence. Closely monitor the interaction between your pet and your baby in the initial days. The trick is to start slow!
Apart from these crucial tips, a few other things which should be kept in mind are -
- Ensure a nutritious diet for the foster dog
- Ensure that the dog is dewormed and fully vaccinated
- Stay in touch with a vet
- Click lots of pictures & record videos for memories
- Look for families who can adopt the foster dog
Fostering a dog can turn out to be the best decision you have ever taken if you follow these basic tips. You might lose your patience once in a while but never forget why you decided to foster in the first place. And we are sure, once the fostering period ends, you wouldn’t want to let go of the dog! If you need any pet-related assistance do not forget to call us on +91 8431620000.