3 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Dog Foster Care
June is National Foster a Pet Month, an entire month dedicated to helping recognize our furry friends in need in shelters all over the world. It’s an inspiring opportunity to volunteer at your local pet shelter, offer a donation, spread the word on adoptable pets, or even foster a pet to help share appreciation and lend a hand.
Fostering a dog brings a whole new experience to learn about and a community of foster families to bond with. If you decide to foster a dog yourself, you may want to consider a few things you can do in your home to make it as welcoming and safe as possible for them.
When you first transition a dog into your home, the new environment can cause some anxiety. However, preparing your home with objects of familiarity like food, water, and a nice warm bed can help the dog to quickly adjust. This will help ensure that you’re also protecting your belongings in the process. Here at HSNEGA, we’re here to help guide you through the journey.
Be Financially Prepared to Make Adjustments
Pet foster parents are not compensated for their time. However, the organization placing the pet typically provides food, medicine, and veterinary care. HSNEGA does provide all medical care and necessary supplies for your foster dog.
Most of the time, we don’t know the pet’s past. They may need a special diet, certain medication, or need adjustments in your home to protect from any accidents or damages. If you have other pets, or your foster dog is pregnant, nursing, or recovering after surgery and simply needs a place to recoup, they may need their own space. HSNEGA recommends a minimum of 2 weeks separation from other pets in the home in a separate room (without carpet recommended).
For easy management, pet foster parents most often save receipts of expenditures from extra toys or bones, to carpet cleaning or damaged furniture as they are tax-deductible, as long as you’re working with a 501(c)3 non-profit rescue. Others who are looking to foster long-term can leverage their home equity for permanent repairs or updates to create dedicated space in their home and additions that best support the pet’s needs. This allows you to get a lump sum of money to spend on whatever you see fit, even if you want to go the extra mile and build a custom dog nook under your stairs. Useful pet improvement ideas could include extending out a room, building a new room, installing a fence, or replacing carpet with moisture-repellent hardwood floors. In the end, each of these is a step to adjusting easier rather than dealing with housing and care restrictions for each dog you foster.
Fostering a pet is a rewarding experience with important responsibilities from fundamental care to creating a safe haven at home. Take a look at our 3 ways to get your home ready for dog foster care.
Essential Pet-Proofing Throughout Your Home
Since you don’t know if your new dog has received any training in the past, you’ll want to pet-proof the home before they risk getting into any trouble. Get down on their level for a perspective of what they could show interest in. For a quick checklist of essential pet-proofing, follow this handy list below:
- Hide any electrical cords
- Tie back curtains and tuck away any cords from blinds
- Keep toilet lids closed
- Keep trash cans and food in a closed cabinet
- Put all food behind closed doors
- Put small items, choking hazards, and sharp objects away
- Keep all pet toxins away and out of reach (medications, plants, insecticides)
You may want to consider gating off areas to avoid hazards completely. Once your dog is better trained and learns the rules of your home, you’ll be able to trust them better and make more areas of the house available to explore.
While you’re gone, you can safely crate them, keep them in the gated area, or set up a live camera with dog interaction that allows you to watch them anytime, anywhere. Such arrangements take some extra preparation before you leave, but it will give you peace of mind.
Modify Your Backyard
Consider fencing in your backyard to make sure there are no escape routes the dog can take when they are let outside. Look for any gaps and be sure to fill them in or block them off, and never leave them outside without supervision. Don’t forget to shield any outdoor projects such as gardening beds to make sure they don’t try to eat anything and cause you extra money for repairs.
As long as you take preventative measures to protect your property and landscaping, your backyard can be a fantastic place to bond with your dog and enjoy some summer activities.
Make sure your home stays consistently clean, especially if you decide to continue fostering pets. Each pet could have a different health condition such as a compromised immune system, bad habits due to separation anxiety, or other special needs. Plan out an effective cleaning and disinfecting process between pets to ensure everyone stays healthy.
Pay attention to soft surfaces including carpets that can affect your pet and harbor germs or debris. Carpet fibers make build-up easier resulting in trapping, therefore highly benefit from regular vacuuming and professional carpet cleanings. The step of staying sanitary in your home not only prevents the spread of diseases from pet to pet but to you as well.
Be Excited to Invite an Animal in Need Into Your Home
Fostering a dog or any pet is a big responsibility, but one that comes with an even bigger reward of helping them on their journey to finding their forever home and family. When you offer your love, care, and comfort in your home to your foster dog, you’re guiding them to be on the right path to adoption. Take your time to make your home a safe place throughout the journey. You may even be the one to decide to adopt your foster pet. Consider fostering a dog with HSNEGA today and help make a difference.
Give with Confidence
At HSNEGA, we want to remember the amazing rescues that come to stay with us. All of the animals pictured on this site have been with us at some point. Some have already found their forever homes, but some may still be here at HSNEGA! The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization (Federal Tax ID #58-0678817) and has received top recognition from the following charity rating organizations: