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Want to save a dog’s life, make the world a better place and have a lot of fun while you’re at it? Foster a shelter dog!
At PEDIGREE®, we’re huge supporters of shelter dog fostering and adoption — and right now the need is greater than ever. So if you’re thinking about opening your home to a rescue dog, here are some pointers to help you be an awesome foster parent.
Bringing home a foster dog requires some prep work, even if you already have dogs in your house. Here’s how to prepare, and what to ask at the shelter.
Many shelters will supply a collar, leash, food, bowls, dog bed and crate. But some dogs will come home with very little, which means you might need to gather all the essentials before they arrive:
Once you have the supplies your foster pooch needs, it’s time to do some dog-proofing:
Be sure to crouch down to a dog’s eye level to look for safety hazards you might have missed.
Ask the shelter about medicine your foster dog might need and find out how to administer it properly. Also ask about any rules the shelter has for fosterers. Many shelters, for example, don’t allow you to take a foster dog to off-leash dog parks and require your foster dog to be on a leash all the time unless they’re in a securely fenced yard.
Your job as a foster parent or family is to give a shelter dog a safe, loving home environment. This is where the fun comes in! All you have to do is to care for your foster pup as if they’re your own dog: Give them nutritious food, basic obedience training, tons of affection, socialization with other animals you might have and the daily exercise they need to be healthy and happy.
As a doggy foster parent, you also have to give them any medicine they need and take them to the vet if necessary. Shelters usually cover medicine costs and vet bills, so all you need to focus on is giving your foster pooch plenty of love, training and playtime.
When your time together is over, there are a couple important things you can do to help your foster friend find their forever home. First, give the shelter workers detailed information about the dog’s personality and behavior. Second, talk with potential adopters about your foster pooch and help them figure out if they’d be a good match.
That’s the chance you take when you open your home — and heart — to a foster dog. Who knows? You might decide you can’t imagine your loyal companion belonging to anyone but you. (And we hope that’s exactly what happens.)
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