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4 Tips to Follow When Fostering a Pet for the First Time

Fostering a pet is one way to see if you are ready to have a pet of your own. It can also be a good way to help out your local animal shelter.

It helps an animal in need and makes you feel good about your contribution.

Here are some tips to help you through your first fostering experience:

4 Tips to Follow When Fostering a Cat or Dog for the First Time

Know Your Limits

Decide how many animals you can realistically take care of at one time.

You only have so much space in your home.

It doesn’t do the animals any good if they aren’t receiving adequate care.

Fostering is more than just caring for an animal.

It is about giving them a chance to find a forever home. This will not likely be with you.

Part of fostering is giving the animals up so that they can be with their new families.

This can be emotionally draining if you aren’t prepared.

Know what your physical and emotional limits are before deciding to foster an animal.

Set Expectations

Have a foster agreement set up with the shelter. Know what is expected of you as a foster parent.

Make sure that you clearly communicate how many and what types of animals you are willing to foster.

This way there won’t be any confusion up front.

Some animals go into the foster program because they are sick or have other needs that need to be met.

Decide what types of issues you are willing to deal with while fostering.

Sick animals will need to be medicated and taken to the vet for checkups.

If your schedule is restrictive, this may not work for you.

Start off Slowly

In the beginning, it is a good idea not to keep the same animal for a long period of time.

You run the risk of becoming overly attached to this animal.

This will make it even harder when it is time to take the animal back to the shelter.

With time, you can consider keeping an animal for longer periods of time.

Another thing to consider is only taking on a small number of animals. You need to establish a routine.

As you get more comfortable with the process, you can take on more animals at one time.

This way you can avoid becoming overwhelmed with being a foster parent.

Create Pet Schedules

Fostering an animal is just like taking care of one of your own.

Consider creating a calendar to help you with scheduling all of their necessary visits with a vet, such as those at Evergreen Veterinary Clinic.

This is especially important if you are caring for multiple animals at one time.

It can almost be a full-time job just trying to get them all to the vet.

For younger animals, there are vaccinations that will need to happen on a certain schedule.

There will also be spays and neutering that will need to occur.

A calendar or pet tracker will help you to organize all of these activities.

Fostering an animal can be a rewarding experience.

Use these tips when you are starting your journey of becoming a foster parent.

Antoinette M

Sunday 6th of February 2022

Very interesting. It must be so rewarding to foster a pet.


Friday 1st of May 2020

Good to know, takes a lot more time than people realize, but of course it's worth it.

Dana Rodriguez

Friday 13th of March 2020

These are great tips. I would be afraid I would get too attached myself though. I am such a mush!


Wednesday 24th of January 2018

I have a friend who fosters cats regularly and it is fun for her and her family but quite the undertaking in terms of scheduling vet appts and keeping kitties happy and healthy.

Sarah L

Saturday 16th of December 2017

I have a friend who fosters kittens. She is a very good foster parent.

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