May is National Pet Foster Care Month, which means that now is the perfect time to consider becoming a foster pet parent. By fostering a pet, you can provide a temporary but loving home for a dog or cat while opening up a space at the shelter for another animal to be cared for. In other words, by fostering one, you are saving two!
Fostering is a rewarding experience that comes with plenty of advantages and a few potential downsides. Knowing what you might experience will help you be prepared for the joys and challenges, too.
Staying at a foster home gives pets a better chance of finding the right forever family. Shelter life is often overwhelming and stressful but moving to a foster home helps pets relax and let their personality shine through. They may learn to accept affection and become more socialized with people and other pets.
Kids in the foster home will get a chance to learn about different dog breeds, show empathy, practice responsibility and even play outside more. And after living together for a while, the foster family can provide an accurate and insightful description of the dog or cat, which in turn helps them find a better long-term match.
With all the advantages of fostering a pet, there are some potential downsides. Since they may be coming from tough conditions, the foster pet might chew up stuff around the house, have potty training accidents or bring some emotional baggage with them. Some will have health issues that are yet to be discovered. And when it is time to say goodbye, it can be heartbreaking to let go. Knowing that you have provided a happy home and helped your foster dog or cat find a new forever family makes it easier, and you can look forward to helping another pet just as soon as you’re ready.
If you’re not ready to serve as a foster home for pets, you can still help out! You can volunteer or donate to your local shelter to help keep operations running smoothly. Even sharing adoptable pets or telling your stories about successful rescues on your own social media will help bring awareness and inspiration to others who may decide to foster a pet and save a life while brightening their own!