June is Foster A Pet Month! This is definitely a great cause! Fosters provide a crucial link between shelters and forever homes. Pets may need fostering for a variety of reasons: some are too young to be left alone, some need medical attention, some need socialization, and some just need a place to stay until they get adopted. A local Champaign, IL vet offers some advice on preparing for your first foster in this article.
(Don’t) Start Young
If you’re a first time foster, you may want to avoid fostering puppies. Baby dogs are adorable, but they can also be a handful. It’s best for them to go to someone with experience. Another reason to request an older dog—perhaps even a senior—is because they have a harder time getting adopted, whereas puppies often find homes very quickly.
One thing we can say for sure about Fido and Fluffy? They have a knack for mischief. You’ll need to be super thorough about petproofing. Start by removing or securing toxic plants, such as lilies and rhododendrons. You’ll also need to address things like wires and cords and plastic bags. Chemicals and medications should also be safely stored away. Ask your vet for tips.
Set Up A Quiet Space
Going to a new home—even a temporary one—is a big deal to our furry friends. Have a quiet, comfy spot set up for your new buddy. If you have room, you can use a spare bedroom. Put a baby gate at the door, so your furry ward can still see and hear you, and won’t feel isolated.
Check Your Outdoor Space
If you’re fostering dogs, you may be required to have a private outdoor area for Fido. While parks and trails are great, they may not be appropriate for all dogs. For instance, it’s not safe for puppies to be around other dogs until they’ve had all of their vaccines and boosters. Do some outdoor petproofing as well!
Don’t Expect Perfection
Fostering can be very rewarding, but it’s also hard work. You may also find yourself caring for a pet that is very scared and/or traumatized, or maybe hasn’t been properly socialized. Just be patient, and focus on giving great care. It’s a beautiful experience watching animals thrive with great TLC!
Do you have questions about your foster pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Champaign, IL pet hospital!