Could You Foster a Dog in Need?


Could You Foster a Dog in Need?

If you have ever watched animal rescue shows on television, you have probably seen some of the sick or injured dogs or puppies be placed with a foster caregiver. These dedicated volunteers provide much needed help to dogs recovering from their ordeal, whether its from physical abuse and neglect or lack of socialization. Do you think you could foster a dog in need?

Fostering a dog is a big responsibility and requires a real commitment from the whole family. Anyone who wants to foster a dog or a puppy should have some experience with dogs. Dogs that have been abused or neglected are often the most difficult to foster. They have fear and trust issues and will need someone who knows how to slowly, gently encourage their confidence and teach them to be social and how to play. Certain breeds will require foster caregivers with specific experience. Naturally, very large dogs or dogs that have a tendency toward aggression when afraid, will not be suitable for homes with young children or other pets. These dogs will need a person who is able to be firm yet gentle in handling behavior issues.

You will need to learn specific things that may frighten the dog and help him to learn to adapt to different triggers. For example, he may be afraid of your other dogs loud barking or of thunder. He may feel afraid if there are a lot of people around him. He can slowly be desensitized to the things that he fears. This will allow him to be a good candidate for adoption.

It is important that you have an appropriately sized house, for the size of the dog you will foster. Someone will need to be home during the day and have time to spend with the pup. The dog may require a special diet or medication. You may have to take your foster pet to the veterinarian for treatment of injuries. There are some other things to consider before you volunteer for fostering. Do you have children? Are there other pets in your home? The workers at the shelter or the rescue will be able to match you with a pet that will be the best fit in your household. Keep in mind that some of the dogs in need of fostering may not be house trained or have even the most basic manners. This will be an additional challenge for you to take on.

Its a good thing for a foster dog to just learn how to part of a normal home. You will be surprised how after a slow start, the pup you’re fostering, will be at ease as a member of the family. This transformation is what foster caregivers are striving for. There is a true sense of satisfaction in giving these dogs a chance to live a happy, healthy life with a loving family.

It takes a certain kind of person to be able to invest time and love in a neglected or injured dog, and see him become healed and healthy, then to give them over to another family. Animal foster caregivers volunteer knowing that they will fall in love with their temporary pet, then turn them over to a permanent home. These volunteers make all the difference in shelters and rescue being able to find homes for many of the dogs brought to them. Many of the dogs not suitable for adoption when they arrive, would likely be euthanized.

If you think you have it in your heart to foster a dog in need, contact your local humane society or a local breed rescue. While it can be challenging, it is also a very rewarding experience.

Joseph M. Sabol is a world class Doberman breeder. Please go to or to for further information.

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