Here at OllyDog our passion and love for dogs runs deep. If you’re thinking of fostering a dog, first things first- paws up to you! Fostering is not easy, but it is an extremely rewarding and impactful process. By fostering a dog, you are helping change the lives of homeless dogs and creating more chances for these adorable pups to find a forever home.
Our Marketing Manager spoke to her cousin Sara, who has experience fostering puppies, for this blog! Sara has fostered and helped adopt 8 foster pups so far, and she doesn’t plan on stopping there! She first learned about fostering on Facebook and currently fosters through Soul Dog. This 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal rescue organization is proactive in animal welfare and advancing the need for spaying and neutering our pets to reduce overpopulation. Here are Sara’s go-to tips for anyone trying to get into fostering dogs.
Be up for the Challenge.
When your puppies first arrive, be sure you are in tune with how they are feeling and what actions they are displaying. Often these dogs have had a very difficult past, so be ready with an open heart and the ability to find proper training resources.
“One of the hardest fosters I’ve had was Daisy. It took a solid two weeks for her to feel comfortable around our family. So, I gave her more attention and time in the beginning and, of course, more treats! She’s now with an awesome family and is very gentle and sweet.” The lesson here is to ensure you have the time and energy to raise good habits in your foster pups! Do you have good experience in training dogs? Does your work offer a remote or flexible schedule? These are all things to think about before fostering.
Make sure you’ve got a good setup.
You’ll want to be sure you’ve got everything you need to raise a puppy. This includes crates, toys, healthy and nutritious food (this one is especially important), vet access, and a yard. Sara mentions, “ Having a yard was important for us to start fostering; this allows for a great space for the foster dogs to socialize with our dogs. This also helped potty train our fosters as well.” Puppies tend to have lots of energy, so as they feel more comfortable, you’ll want to ensure you have the appropriate space for these puppies to run around.
Already have dogs at home? Make sure that they are ready to be social!
“We knew our dogs were used to being around other dogs, but this is an important thing to know before letting fosters in the house!” It is important for any existing pets you have to do a meet and greet with any potential foster dogs. After all, you want your house to be a comfortable environment for all your animals. Sara mentions that knowing this will help your foster dog have a positive experience with socialization and allow for easier learning. She also recommends taking the pups out and about once properly vaccinated to get them acquainted with all the world has to offer.
Good thing they are cute, right? It’s without a doubt that you will have trying times with your foster dog. After all, there is a lot to learn! However, remember to keep patience top of mind. “It can wear on you in the beginning when the puppies aren’t listening and they end up chewing on your furniture or peeing on the floor. BUT, I will say that seeing the positive change that happens in these puppies is the most heartwarming experience, and their puppy snuggles do make up for a lot of the tough work!”
Use your Social Tools!
Adoption must be top of mind because that is the goal of fostering! So get ready to reach out to your community. Sara recommends posting on Facebook and Instagram multiple times. “I start posting my fosters as soon as I get them. I update my community on their personality, their progress, and what type of home I think they’d do best in. You never know who could be looking for a dog or what connections your friends may have”
With these tools in mind, you're ready to start fostering! We know you got this, woof!