An Easy Way to Fit a Dog in Your Life!

There are many people who would love the experience of having a dog in their lives, but feel they are not ready at this time, to make a life long commitment. So how can someone have a dog in their lives and not commit to a life long experience?

An easy way to fit a dog (or cat) in your life is by volunteering as a “foster parent.” What does “foster parenting” as we know it have to do with dogs?

The kind of foster parent I am talking about is becoming a person or a family that will take care of a dog (or cat) while it is waiting to be adopted. The foster parent or family’s main responsibility is to provide love, exercise, a place to live, food and socialization for the pet.

This type of foster parenting will allow you to have a dog (or cat) for several weeks, a few days and possibly longer. It will give you the great feeling of accomplishment and pride because you are providing a homeless dog with the comforts of home and the feeling of being loved. Being in the atmosphere of a loving home instead of a stark cold kennel helps prepare a dog for the challenge of finding a “forever home” and gives you, the caregiver, the opportunity to share in an animal experience that you thought you would never have.

Many people feel that committing to a long-term relationship with a pet does not fit their lifestyle, but on the other hand feel that they would love to have a pet for a little while in their lives. This is where foster parenting is perfect. It does not matter if you live in an apartment, work full time or if you have a house and a yard. There is a pet to fit your current lifestyle.

The beauty of this type of pet fostering is two fold, you get the joy of having a pet and the pet has a temporary loving home, which is so much nicer than being in an animal shelter.

What do you need to be a “foster parent.”? The first requirement is >b>patience along with understanding and the ability accept the idea that the pet will need a little time for adjusting to you and its new home. Even the best-behaved dogs will need some time to adjust to new surroundings and people. A foster parent or family has to have the willingness to work with the pet they get.

A foster parent has to be able to set a standard of “house rules” for the dog and the household and be consistent in following them, the objective here is to set the dog up for a successful new adoption in a forever home.

It is important that you never leave the dog unsupervised while you are in this learning about each other period. When you are not around to supervise, it is important that the dog be crated or confined to a small area until you learn its habits. This is where it is important that you really take time to study your new pet. By learning of the dog’s quirks, likes, dislikes, fears, and other issues you are helping the rescue agency find the perfect home for the pet. You are really doing a great public service and the rewards are overwhelming.

How do you go about becoming a foster parent?” The first step is to make certain you are ready to take on this responsibility and that you can provide the needed care and time. Once you are certain that this is something you want to do for a certain period of time, then it is time to call or visit your local rescue group or animal shelter.

Most rescue groups or shelters provide just about every thing you need from pet supplies to needed vet care. Some organizations do require that you provide food and of course, some toys. Just make certain that when you call or visit, you have a list of questions to ask and that you get the answers.

The rescue groups and shelters are more than willing to help you correct any behavior problems you may have with the pet and you have to understand that even if you were fostering a child, there just might be a problem or two that has to be worked out.

Many have found that keeping the new pet on a leash and close by you when you are home gives you an opportunity to learn its behavior mannerisms and the chance to correct any behavior you find that needs some changing. Teaching the dog, basic obedience is a plus, along with house breaking (if necessary) and socialization manners. Socializing a homeless dog is one of the best gifts you can give your pet, as many have not had the opportunity to meet new people and to see the world as we live in it. Socialization for a dog is one of the most important secrets for a successful adoption.

The purpose of fostering is twofold as I said before, you get a chance to have a pet for a short time and you are setting up an otherwise homeless dog for the opportunity to find a successful forever home.

It does require patience, understanding and a willingness to spend time and some effort to see the situation from a dog’s point of view and to help the dog become a happy well-adjusted pet. It will be one of the most rewarding things you have ever done and guess what, you just might try it for a second time or you might keep your pet in its forever home with you. What more can you ask?