What to Expect When Fostering a Dog

It is important to know what you can expect when fostering a dog, as it is something that you will not want to take lightly. There are thousands of dogs across the country that need homes, and fostering one can be very rewarding, but it is also a huge responsibility.

What to Expect When Fostering a Dog

Getting Acquainted

You will find that a vast majority of dog foster organizations have volunteers who help foster parents get acquainted with their new foster dogs, so the transition will go as smoothly as possible.

By getting to know the dog before making the commitment of becoming its foster owner, you will be able to determine whether or not it is a good fit for you.

While there are a number of issues you may have to deal with when it comes to fostering a dog, it is still important that you get to know the one you will be taking care of before making a final decision of any kind.


All organizations that set up foster dogs with temporary owners have certain rules that you must abide by in order to go through them. Many of these organizations require their foster parents to attend at least one or sometimes more orientation classes.

There are also organizations that will send people out to check on the welfare of the dog to ensure that it is properly being taken care of, similar to when you agree to foster a child.

Length of fostering

The length of time that you will have to foster a dog will depend on a number of things, including the type of dog, any health or behavioral problems it has, the breed, and how quickly it adapts to its new environment.

It can take even longer to find a dog a permanent home if it has certain issues/restrictions, such as not being good with children or other pets.

While you have no way of knowing exactly how long you will be taking care of the dog, you should just assume that it is indefinite. Some dogs only need to be fostered for a couple weeks or months, while others do not find permanent homes for a year or even longer.

Other Pets

If you have other pets in your home and are planning to foster a dog, it is crucial that you make sure all of your current pets are up to date with all of their vaccines/shots. It is highly recommended that if you have another dog, you should introduce it to the new one in an environment that is more neutral than your home, such as the parking lot of the foster organization.

Medical Issues

If you are fostering a dog with medical issues, such as diabetes or some other condition that requires regular treatment, you will need to be consistent. Animals that have these kinds of medical problems have to be taken care of properly on a regular basis or they will suffer as a result.

If you aren’t ready to take on the responsibility of giving the dog medication or injections on a regular basis, you should think about choosing another dog without medical issues to foster.

Behavioral Problems

Many of the dogs that need fostering have behavioral problems, including aggressiveness and hyperactivity. Dogs with these kinds of behavioral problems can be a real handful, so you will need to be prepared to deal with them until someone comes along who is willing to give yours a permanent home.

Before you make a final decision as to whether or not you want to foster a certain dog, make sure that the foster organization will be willing to take back the dog if there are any serious problems that will mean you can no longer take care of it.

Fostering a dog is a serious responsibility and it is one that you will need to be completely committed to for it to work out.