Caring for a foster dog is an incredibly rewarding—yet challenging—way to make a positive difference in the life of a sweet pup. Fostering dogs can help them learn social skills, increase their chances of getting adopted, and ultimately save their lives.
If you’ve never cared for a foster dog before, taking one home for the first time can be an intimidating and nerve-wracking experience. Check out these handy tips for ensuring your new furry friend is well care for during this transitional stage in their life (and yours)!
Create a Calming Environment
Dogs that require foster care have often experienced inhumane treatment. As such, they will likely feel nervous or anxious when taken to a new, unfamiliar location by someone they have never met before.
To help ease their anxiety, try to create an environment that is as calm and welcoming as possible. Avoid having a bunch of people over to meet the pup on their first day with you, as such overstimulation may make them more nervous and uncomfortable. Instead, try to make your space as quiet and serene as possible.
If your pup is particularly nervous, consider taking additional measures to quell their anxiety. For example, you could give them treats with CBD oil, give them plenty of physical contact, take them on a walk, or give them toys to play with.
Pet-Proof Your Home
Before bringing home a foster dog, it’s important to pet-proof your space. In addition to protecting your belongings, pet-proofing your home will help keep your dog safe from any potentially dangerous items they may accidentally ingest. Essential steps for pet-proofing your space include:
- Moving any small, potentially harmful objects out of reach of the dog
- Blocking access to electrical cords
- Storing any chemicals out of reach
- Moving breakable items out of reach
- Installing baby gates to block off areas you don’t want your pup to explore
Spend Quality Time With Them
One of the goals of fostering a dog is helping the pup learn valuable social skills so they will be able to acclimate to their forever family more easily. As such, you should seek to spend as much time as possible with your foster pup. Cuddling with them or playing with them will help teach them positive relationships while taking them on walks will allow them to get the positive stimulation and exercise they need.
The amount of time you should spend with your foster dog will vary depending on their energy level and needs. However, you should try to spend at least a couple of hours a day with them.
Try To Maintain a Consistent Feeding and Bathroom Schedule
Another tip on taking home a foster dog is to be as consistent as possible. Trying to keep your pup’s eating and bathroom schedule as consistent as possible will help make the transition from the rescue facility to your house as smooth as possible.
In addition, it may also help the dog avoid any gastric distress or digestion issues. Before bringing your foster dog home, simply ask when and what they were fed at the shelter and when they were taken out so you can keep their schedule consistent.
Hopefully these reminders help lessen the challenges and increase the rewards of welcoming a new foster dog or two into your life.