Fostering an animal involves taking care of it until it is ready to be permanently adopted out. The “foster parent” will usually work with a rescue group or animal shelter. They will have to care for the animal in all ways – and that includes taking it to the vet if it gets sick or injured.
While fostering an animal is often extremely satisfying, it can become an expensive proposition, particularly if the animal destroys something. Animals shelters and rescue organizations are generally non-profits, which means they often won’t be able to pay for any damages that Fluffy or Fido caused. Given that, it’s prudent to look for ways to prevent such damage in the first place. Here are four ways to protect your home while caring for a foster pet.
Set Up an Isolated Care Space
Never let an animal have free run of the house, as it could easily get into something that it shouldn’t or hurt itself. This is especially apt to be the case if there is already another pet present; the resident dog or cat will often react badly to the new arrival. Therefore, set up a special room for the foster animal with everything it will need, like food and water dishes. Many shelters will send supplies along when the foster parent picks up the animal.
Use Epoxy or Polyaspartic Floor Coating
Epoxy is a resin made from polymers that are often used to protect hard materials like cement. It is inexpensive, durable and produces an attractive finish. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to dry. Polyaspartic floor coating is a newer material that first appeared in the 1990s. While usually more expensive than epoxy, it has the advantage of drying within an hour. It also produces little odor and few volatile organic compounds (VOCs) making it safe to use in your house. Both types of floor coating can resist an animal’s claws.
Check for Hazards
Some authorities recommend getting on all fours to examine the safe room from an animal’s point of view. The foster parent should look for potential hazards and temptations like electrical cords or holes where an animal could get lost. Other potential hazards include houseplants, which are often poisonous, and open toilets, where a small animal could drown.
Use Enzymatic Cleaners
Enzymatic cleaners contain biological compounds called enzymes that help accelerate chemical reactions. Such reactions include breaking down substances like vomit, urine, and feces. Enzymatic cleaners are thus effective pet stain removers. They are also biodegradable and non-toxic, which is essential for animals as they spend so much time with their nose to the ground.
Caring for a foster animal is a big responsibility that can be very rewarding. It will, however, require some preparation to prevent accidents and damage.