How to Keep Your Pets Safe When You Foster

Are you considering fostering pets, but something is holding you back? Well, it could be the fear of getting too attached to the foster pet and finding it tough to let go of it when it gets adopted. Well, that could be true, but you will be opening your home to a pet in need. You will be surprised to find even Poodle adoptions happening in shelters because a family suddenly felt they were not capable of keeping the pet. It could be heart-breaking to watch these animals suffer but truly fulfilling to give them a happy transition home till someone truly wants to open up their house to them.

If you have pets at home, you need to consider a few pointers mentioned by TrendingBreeds before fostering pets, which we have discussed below.

1. Schedule a Check-Up with a Veterinarian:

How to Keep Your Pets Safe When You Foster

Before you bring any foster into your home, you need to ensure your personal pets are healthy and not being treated for any contagious illness currently. They should be vaccinated and up to date against infectious diseases.

You should consider factors like the age and health of your current pet. Suppose your pet’s immune system is already compromised, which happens when they receive chemotherapy for cancer recovery or steroid therapy for an autoimmune disorder. In that case, you need to reconsider the idea of fostering a pet for your pet’s well-being.

If you have a dog that is a rescue and overly anxious around other pets, you should ensure it is ok to foster a pet as it should not stress your own pet.

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If you plan to foster a cat for a long time and own cats, you should get them tested for feline leukemia virus before you foster. If the test is positive, then the cats should not share the living space with cats that have not been vaccinated. You should discuss the foster’s vaccination schedule and current health report with the vet before you agree to foster it.

Fostering is a highly responsible task as you will offer a home to an abandoned or stray animal already stressed. You will have to focus your energy on this animal. If fostering a pet becomes tougher as your pets start suffering from mental or physical health, then maybe you should consider doing it some other time as it is unsuitable for your pets and the fosters.

2. Separate Your Pets from Foster Animals:

Do not introduce your pets to the fosters immediately. Your foster pet may look healthy, but it may be incubating some virus that will manifest after a few days for you to notice. Ideally, it is better to separate the pets for at least two weeks after they arrive in your home just in case they carry some infectious disease that can affect your pet too. This way, you can keep your pet safe.

While fostering a puppy, I was lucky that my Moyen Poodle was great around other pets and hence could easily adjust to the new pet at home, but that may not be the case in every foster household. It also works in favor of the animals to keep them apart for some time and slowly introduce them so that they can get used to the idea of being around another pet.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe When You Foster

This separation may not be practically possible always, and you can choose to avoid it if you have a healthy adult pet that is fully vaccinated. In such a scenario, the chances of infection transmission are pretty less. On the other hand, if you have a young puppy at home or an adult dog whose immunity is low, then better wait out these two weeks to introduce your pet to the foster.

If your vet guarantees your pet’s well-being, only then decide to foster animals. Stay in touch with the shelter vet to make this transition easier for your pet and the foster. You should also consult your vet to ensure your pet can be around foster animals.

3. Take Extra Precautions While Fostering Puppies:

If you are fostering puppies, you must be extra cautious to ensure they do not contract parvovirus. Until puppies are fully vaccinated, they can contract parvovirus, which could be life-threatening. Hence, try to keep them indoors as much as possible and keep them away from your other pets.

If you are fostering cats, they should have their own litter pans and bowls. Also, keep them away from your cats if they are FeLV-positive.

4. Allow Animals to Meet After Some Time:

It is great to introduce your pet to the foster as both the animals get to meet new friends. This helps your pet socialize with other animals easily and also adust to live around other pets at home. This introduction can be done after you are sure both the pets are healthy and ready to meet each other. Let them meet for short durations each day and keep them away the rest of the day to ensure they are slowly adjusting to the changes. Not all pets behave the same therefore give it some time. Cats can get territorial and fight. Hence, you have to prevent that behavior.

The Bottom Line:

Fostering pets can be a life-changing experience. It is not about saving the pet’s life and giving it a temporary home; also, you are creating a room in the shelter so they can rescue another animal.

To do it correctly, you must go through a lot of information before fostering a pet. It is not just about offering a pet a foster home but also about caring for your pets when you foster other animals.

In most cases, fostering is a great experience. Still, if you see your pet’s health getting affected due to stress and anxiety or other issues, you need to reconsider your decision and find the animal a new foster home.

Before making the fostering decision, it is better to consider your current scenario and how your pet socializes with other animals. You must make the right decision, suitable for your pet and the rescue.

Remember, fostering is a great way to give animals a loving home until they find their forever home. You are providing them that stepping-stone to help them reach their destination, which is a forever family.

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Marko Is the Founder and Director of Marketing at PoodleHQ. He is a proud owner of 3 generations of poodles, a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores animals of all shapes and sizes!

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