Are you thinking about fostering a dog but feeling overwhelmed? As a new pet parent, it can be both exciting and nerve-wracking to invite a new furry friend into your home. So why do people foster dogs? Fostering a dog is a great way to provide a loving environment for a dog in need, and it can also help you determine if you're ready to adopt a pet long-term. In this Mountain Hound post, we'll cover important aspects of fostering a dog to help you become a successful hound parent.
Tips for Fostering A Hound
Before bringing a foster dog into your home, it's important to make sure you're prepared. This includes having the necessary dog accessories, such as dog bowls (food and water), a dog leash, a crate, pee pads (not all foster dogs are house-trained) and toys.
It's also crucial to ensure your home is safe for the new dog, which may require removing any potentially dangerous items or blocking off certain areas of your home using pet gates. These look similar to baby gates, but some are taller to deter larger dog breeds from hopping over or have narrow gaps to prevent a sneaky escape! Don't forget to take the time to research the breed of dog you'll be fostering to understand their temperament and potential medical conditions better.
The First Few Days
The first few days of fostering a dog can be overwhelming for both you and your new furry friend. Being patient and understanding is important as your hound adjusts to their new environment. Give them plenty of love and attention, and make sure they have a comfortable place to sleep. Introduce them to any family members or other pets in a safe and controlled manner.
Training and Socialization
Training and socialization are among the most important aspects of fostering a dog. This includes teaching them basic commands such as sit, stay, and come and helping them become comfortable around other dogs and people. Take the time to provide plenty of exercise and opportunities for socialization, such as trips to the park or dog-friendly events.
Health and Wellness
As a new pet parent, taking care of your foster dog's health and wellness is important. This includes visiting the vet regularly for hound check-ups and necessary vaccinations or medical treatments. Ensure you're providing a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and keeping up with grooming needs such as bathing and brushing.
Because fostering a dog is usually a temporary arrangement, it can still be difficult to say goodbye when the time comes. Remember that your role as a foster parent is to provide a safe and loving home for a hound in need and that the experience can help prepare you for adoption or continued fostering. Don't hesitate to reach out to the organization you're working with for support during the transition. After all, it's tough saying goodbye to good friends!
Pros and Cons of Fostering a Dog
Let's take a peek at some of the pros and cons of fostering a hound because although we may say it's a rewarding experience, like most things fostering has its ups and downs, which all pet parents should consider.
Fostering a dog keeps a hound from living in an overcrowded shelter and opens up a space in that shelter for a new dog to stay.
Pet parents get to experience different dog breeds.
Fostering removes the pressure of long-term hound commitment, which is great for newbie pet parents exploring whether pet parenting is right for them.
A pet parent's resident hound will make new doggy friends!
Doing something good for the hound community will make you feel great.
First option for the adoption of a foster dog is usually extended to the foster parents – yay!
Foster dogs may have bad habits, such as chewing items they shouldn't or howling when left unattended. It's anxiety, folks, and sometimes our canine friends have been through too much.
Many foster dogs aren't house-trained or may have suffered trauma that has made them forget that peeing in the house is a big no-no. Thankfully, this issue can usually be quickly resolved with training pads, enzyme cleaner, and lots of pet parent patience.
Some foster dogs may have suffered abuse which may require some form of rehabilitation or therapy.
Fostering a dog can be heartbreaking, especially when it comes time to say goodbye.
Providing a safe and loving environment for man's best friend for however brief a period for most pet parents is a privilege rather than a job. Plus, it allows you to see if inviting a furry family member into your home is the right choice for you. So put your best paw forward and foster a hound today!