6 Reasons to Foster Now

April 14, 2020

6 Reasons to Foster Now

While in many cities animal shelters are considered essential services, they are still heavily affected by stretched resources, reduced staff and a lack of opportunities for walk-in adoptions. This puts shelter pets in a vulnerable situation and reduces their chance to find their forever homes. By bringing home a foster pet, you give them a second chance at a better life—and bring a little joy to yours during this time of uncertainty. 

If you’re still on the fence, we’ve got 6 great reasons why now is the perfect time to experience the joy of fostering.

1. You free up shelter space + help shelter staff.

  • By choosing to foster, you’re changing the lives of multiple pups! Beyond the one you’re fostering, you also help free up space so shelters/rescues can bring in more pets in need. As shelters experience limited resources, more and more animals need at-home caretakers. By taking on the care of one additional pet that needs TLC, you provide relief for the shelter and their limited staff – a unmeasurable gift. 

2. You help the shelter learn more about the dog – and maybe learn something about yourself.

  • A shelter can be noisy and chaotic and can be stressful for dogs, preventing some of them from putting their best paws forward. By giving these shelter dogs space and time to decompress, you give them an opportunity to come out of their shell. Their true personality shines, and you may discover that a dog who seemed shy in a shelter environment is actually the most playful ball-chaser. Or you may reveal that the aloof senior is in fact the biggest cuddlebug you’ve ever encountered. By learning about your foster, you’re helping them find their perfect home.

3. You have more time right now.

  • You may have considered fostering before, but decided that you are not home long enough to do so. Well, now you are – what a wonderful opportunity for all of us currently working from home, or even those of us who just want companionship. Now more than ever, you can provide a foster pet with undivided attention from the comfort of your home. 

4. Fostering a dog brings joy and provides companionship.

  • Both emotionally and mentally, this is a stressful time for everyone, and pets offer a really amazing way to alleviate some of that. According to Habri, dogs can help reduce loneliness and combat anxieties associated with social isolation by providing their companionship and unconditional love. Nothing is more joyful than the face of a pup waiting for a good scratch or more comforting than the warmth of their little bodies snuggling up to you. 

5. A pet adds structure and routine to your day.

  • A consistent routine keeps an animal balanced and calm—and the same can work for humans, too.  During this unprecedented time, it can be easy to let the days blend together, but when you have another life to look after, it inspires you to step out of your new shelter-in-place routines. Pets need daily structure to thrive. Your foster will need morning walks, a mid-day pee break, some spontaneous playtime with you, and definitely an evening stroll. No matter what your new routine will bring, you and your foster will help keep each other happy and healthy.

6. You’ll have every reason to go outside and stretch your legs.

  • While state stay-at-home orders are in effect, we are encouraged to responsibly get some fresh air – and walking a dog isn’t just allowed – it’s encouraged and expected. By taking your foster out for a walk, they get companionship, 1:1 attention, and time away from the shelter. You get fresh air, vitamin D, and the joy of knowing you’ve made two lives better – your life and the life of your foster, a priceless win-win for people and for pets. Thank you for thinking about becoming a foster! It means the world to us.

In summary, fostering a pet helps provide love, attention, and a safe environment to a shelter pup until they find their forever home. It also opens up space at the facility, so the shelter can continue to help other dogs in need. In return, a foster pup can provide company, joy, and can help alleviate anxiety and loneliness during this time of social distancing.

If you’re curious and want to learn more about fostering, check out our Guide for New + Fostering Pet Parents.