Woman Holding a Puppy in Her Arms | Taste of the Wild

Looking for a fulfilling job that doesn’t require a fancy resume or a stifling business suit? Consider joining the ranks of pet fosters.

Scroll through most pet adoption websites and you’ll see a vast array of dogs and cats of all shapes, sizes and ages looking for forever homes. What you don’t usually see are the pet fosters who quietly work behind the scenes to help make sure these forever homes are found.

Pet fosters provide a temporary home — and any special care needed — for homeless pets until they’re adopted. While the details of a foster program vary from shelter to shelter, most rescue operations go above and beyond to make fostering appealing. Donated supplies such as food, bowls, bedding and toys are often made available for foster parents. Shelters will typically cover veterinary costs as well.

Why would pets need a temporary home?

  • Some rescue organizations don’t have brick-and-mortar buildings to house homeless pets and rely entirely on the kindness of foster parents.
  • Pets may come from situations that did not provide proper socialization. These pets may be fearful and need to learn to trust and be calm around people and other animals.
  • Pets may have behavior issues like separation anxiety, and need a calm and patient person to help them overcome their fears.
  • Occasionally, pets may need a place to recover from injury or surgeries such as spays or neuters, or a place to raise newborn litters until they’re ready for adoption.
  • Shelters can become overcrowded, and placing some pets in foster care helps minimize the number of pets euthanized.
  • Pets that have been in a shelter for a long time may need more personal interaction than they’ve had in their cage or kennel.

The benefits of being a pet foster

  • If you can’t commit to having a pet long-term, fostering gives you a “pet fix” when you need it.
  • It’s rewarding to know that the simple act of opening your home could save a pet’s life.
  • Helping a fearful or shy animal transform into a trusting, calm and loving pet is incredibly fulfilling.
  • What’s not to like about raising a litter of puppies or kittens?
  • If you have kids, fostering can teach them how to be respectful and responsible with pets.
  • Your other pets may like the company of a new playmate.
  • Foster pets can chase away loneliness (conveniently, that works both ways).

Submit your application now

If you have an open heart and the time to commit to fostering a pet, why not look into pet rescues or shelters near you? These organizations are happy to explain the rules of their foster programs. In most cases, it doesn’t require any special training. And if you’re a foster failure, that’s OK too — that means you fell in love with your foster pet and just couldn’t let go, making you a forever family.

The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.