How do I get my home ready to be able to foster puppies or a shelter dog?
Preparing your home for your foster pet is a lot more than just checking off a list of needed supplies. The idea of fostering a dog is to help get her adjust to family life and home life. You want to prepare this dog for permanent adoption
First, make sure you meet the dog and learn as much as you can about her. so you know what to expect. Is this dog safe with cats? Other dogs? Children? Strangers? Does she prefer a quiet environment or have any medical issues you need to be aware of? What types of dogs does she like? What type of play does she enjoy, if any? Is this dog crate-trained?
Next, make sure there is nothing out that can be toxic to them, or any cords/wires that could pose a threat. Decide where you new foster will sleep. Do you have a dog bed and/or a dog crate? Do you have dog food, treats and toys?
Now bring her home and remember shower the new dog with love and attention; remember, like many shelter dogs, she has had a very difficult start to life—and you have no idea what she’s been through. Some things you might think of:
• Make sure all pets—yours and the new foster—have up-to-date vaccinations. You’ll also want to be sure you have a collar and ID tags for your foster; some shelters provide this (as well as microchips), but some don’t—and be sure you ask.
• Introduce slowly: Whenever possible, introductions should take place in a neutral environment like a park. If you have several dogs, introduce them one-by-one with the most neutral dog first. If you think there will be fights, introduce them on opposite sides of a chain-link fence and, to prevent territorial fights, you may need to separate them at meal or play time. If you have cats or small animals (such as rabbits or birds), use common sense and never leave them unsupervised.
• Teach basic commands: Basic tricks and manners will make your foster dog more adoptable and reduce her stress level.