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Give your foster animal lots of attention and affection. The animal may have had a difficult life before coming to your home. Your love and attention will help heal the animal’s psychological wounds.
Learn as much as you can about pet care. Before you bring your foster animal home, learn as much as you can about caring for that particular type of animal. Read about feeding, grooming, and training. Study our guidelines carefully, and know the warning signs that may indicate the animal needs veterinary attention.
Make your home pet friendly. Before you bring your foster animal home, make sure you pet-proof your home. For example, remove poisonous plants and protect furnishings. Keep the animal’s room warm and comfortable. Also, take steps to prevent the animal from escaping.
Keep your pets up to date on their vaccinations. All animals should be current on vaccinations that protect them from diseases. Before you bring home a foster animal, consult your veterinarian to make sure your own animals have received the preventive treatment they need to keep them safe.
Keep foster animals away from your own pets, at least initially. A foster pet may come into your home harboring contagious diseases. Even though your pets are vaccinated against many diseases, it’s a good idea to keep the foster animal away from your pets for at least a week as an added precaution.
Recognize your limits. Fostering requires a great deal of time and energy – both emotional and physical. Don’t overextend yourself by fostering animals too frequently or you may burn yourself out.
Return the animal to the shelter on time. The Shelter depends on you to make its program work. If you have an animal that must be returned to the shelter at a certain time, make sure to do so. If you decide to adopt an animal you foster, you must go through the shelter’s normal adoption process. If a friend or relative wants to adopt the animal you are fostering, that person must go through the shelter’s adoption process also.
Understand that some foster animals will not survive. Many animals that arrive at the shelter come from unknown backgrounds. Despite your best efforts, the animal you foster may develop a severe illness that cannot be treated. Do the best you can to help the animal, but accept the fact that you cannot save them all.
Understand the requirements to become a foster parent.
Enjoy being a foster parent. Although fostering takes a great deal of time and commitment, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.