Have you considered adopting a pet, but you’re not yet sure if it’s in the cards for you? Will you be spending an unexpected amount of time at home in the next few months and want to contribute some good to your community?

Consider fostering a pet! Fostering is the perfect way to get to know animals before making a commitment to keep them indefinitely. Whether you choose to foster a fun-loving dog or a fluffy shelter cat, fostering is a great way to help an animal while getting to know an animal.

Benefits of Fostering a Pet
Fostering an animal has an endless list of benefits. From having a companion to experiencing the joy of dog or cat snuggles, fostering is a wonderful experience for most families.

    • You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about animals in general while getting to know what sorts of pets would make good additions to your home.
    • If you already have pets, fostering a shelter animal is the perfect way to see how your current pets would behave when bringing another animal into your household.
    • Most importantly, the foster pet themselves gets to experience a loving home. You can provide a safe, clean, and stable home for the pet for weeks or even months, helping keep the pet out of an overcrowded shelter.

A Few Considerations
Before you foster an animal, consider whether you have enough space in your home for the animal you’re considering. A large dog is going to require a larger home and play area. If you’re in an apartment or townhome, you’ll also want to consider their pet policy in case certain (or all) animals are prohibited. Violating pet policies can lead to fines or even evictions.

Spend some time considering whether you are patient and understanding enough to welcome a dog or cat, even temporarily, into your home. The animals may not be housetrained or litter trained. If a puppy or even older dog is especially lonely or uncomfortable, it’s not unusual for it to chew or tear up items. Additionally, cats not used to being indoors have the potential to claw inside furniture. It’s not unlikely that some of your home items may become damaged from a foster pet, so be sure you are patient enough to deal with this behavior.

Taking the First Step
Think you have what it takes to foster a pet? If you’re ready to learn more and take the first step towards fostering a pet, take a look at agencies that help pair animal lovers with foster pets. Some places you may consider include:

    • PetFinder
    • Petco Foundation
    • ASPCA
    • Local shelters

You never know what will happen when you begin fostering. You may find that you become so attached to the animal, you decide to take them in permanently. On the other hand, you may find that you love providing temporary homes for animals and being part of the process of uniting the animal with a welcoming family. Whichever is the case, you and your foster pet are sure to benefit immensely from the experience!