Difficult times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can cause many people to look for ways to volunteer and help. If you’re wondering what you can do, consider being a foster pet parent to a furry friend who’s still waiting for a forever home.
Before sending out your pet foster-parent application to every local shelter and rescue, ask yourself if you have the means to care for another pet, as well as the following questions:
- Do I have the time to devote to a foster pet? If you already have a pet, ensure you have time to care for their needs first. Current pet ownership will also help you gauge exactly how much time you need to devote to walking, feeding, grooming, and training a foster pet. While you may have plenty of time during quarantine, consider your normal schedule when determining your resources.
- Does my foster pet need to be comfortable around small children or other animals? Similar to considering your own pet’s needs and comfort level around other pets, determine if your potential foster pet needs to be able to handle other animals or small children, depending on your household. For example, if you have small children, a large dog who has been surrendered to the shelter because of aggression toward kids is not a good choice for your family.
- Is my pet comfortable around other pets? If your current pet is not fond of strangers, whether two- or four-legged, being a pet foster parent may put your furry pal in an uncomfortable situation. Cats are especially reluctant to welcome strange cats into their territory, while many dogs battle reactivity and aggression issues with other dogs.
- Can I handle a foster pet’s behavioral issues? Roughly half of the pets surrendered to animal shelters are cited as having behavioral problems that the owners can no longer manage. This is a key consideration since behavioral issues can be time-consuming, difficult, and emotionally draining to manage, but the rewards of changing a pet’s life are incredible.
- What health considerations can I accommodate in a foster pet? Caring for pets with special medical needs can be challenging, so ensure you can accommodate daily medicating routines and regular veterinary exams to keep your foster pet healthy.
Have you decided to foster a pet and have a pet of your own? Contact us to ensure your furry companion’s vaccinations and parasite preventatives are current to avoid disease transmission.