Things To Expect For First Time Dog Foster Parents

Things To Expect For First Time Dog Foster Parents

Dogs are amazing, right? But not everyone can have one of their own.

If having your own dog doesn't fit your life right now, don't worry, you won't miss out on puppy love. Fostering could be the perfect solution. When you foster, you're not on your own. You take care of the dog day by day, but a foster organization has your back with things like vet visits and any big challenges that come up.

Still, fostering is a big deal. Let's dive into what you can expect if you're thinking about fostering a dog for the first time!

It Takes Time To Adjust

Patiently Training a dog

You and your new foster pup are new to each other. But most foster dogs don't come from great situations.

They might not really trust people yet. They might be used to a shelter environment, which can be crowded, loud, and uncomfortable. As a foster parent, you need a lot of patience. You need patience for the dog, but you also need to be patient with yourself!

Having a dog in your home for the first time is a big change. Both of you need time to get used to each other.

Behavioral Issues

Dog Playing Rough

No dog is born perfectly trained and knows a million tricks. But some foster dogs have a harder time than others.

Their past experiences can leave them with challenges. These challenges may include leash reactivity, separation anxiety, or fearfulness. Take time to understand your foster dog's behavior. Try to figure out why they're doing what they're doing!

💡 BONUS TIP: Use positive reinforcement techniques to help them learn how to behave better.

Foster Dog’s Medical Needs

Dog Vet Care

Sometimes foster dogs have pre-existing health conditions. This is especially true if you're fostering a senior dog. Foster groups can help you with the financial aspect of dog healthcare.

But it's up to you to give medication, set up vet appointments, and keep an eye on their health. The foster organization can also help you find a good veterinarian.

💡 BONUS TIP: Your dog's vet is a valuable source of guidance and support!

Establish A Routine

Creating Routine with your dog

Dogs thrive on routine! But if you have never had a dog before, you might not know what kind of a routine a dog needs. Think about how fostering will fit into your schedule. Dogs need fed and walked during the day. They also need training, playtime, and lots of attention and love. Setting up a routine can help your foster friend feel secure and comfortable.

Know What You Need

All dogs need basic supplies. This includes food bowls, a bed, toys, and grooming supplies. They also need a harness and leash for walks. You may also want to get a crate. Baby gates can help you keep your dog out of rooms you don't want them in. Having these essentials is important for fostering a dog.

Emotional Support - For You!

Emotional Support With Your Dog

Fostering a dog can be hard work. You can reach out to other foster parents for support and guidance. The foster organization can also provide support, too. Make sure you communicate with the foster organization or shelter you're fostering through. They are there to support you and the dog every step of the way! They may have extra resources and help for challenging situations. Don't hesitate to reach out to them for support.

What If I Don't Want To Give The Dog Back?

It is natural to develop a strong bond with your foster dog. But often, your role as a foster parent is temporary. It can be really hard to say goodbye when your foster dog is adopted. But you should take comfort in knowing that you helped them find their forever home.

Of course, that forever home just might be with you. Many foster pet parents run into this scenario. They become very attached to their foster pup, especially if they're living with them for a while. In that case, many fostering agencies will help you become a "foster fail." For some people, being a foster fail is the best thing they can be. A foster fail is a pet foster parent who adopts the dog.

In that case, the dog becomes entirely yours. Foster-to-adopt is a pipeline that many foster organizations like. They know your home is good for a dog and that the dog is a good fit for you.

At Joyride Harness, we want to help shelter pups as much as we can. That's why we have our Paw It Forward program to help rescue organizations. New foster parents should also check out our blog, where we share lots of tips and tricks for taking care of a dog. And if you need a harness for your foster, shop Joyride today; we make harnesses that fit every dog!


Share this post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.


Headquartered in sunny Los Angeles , CA, we are committed to providing products that will make you and your dog happier and better with each other and out in the world.

learn more