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Fostering Dogs 101

The foster program makes the transportation arrangements. You can also volunteer to transport the dog yourself. Generally, it costs $77 for the transport (which the receiving party pays), but the fee is waived for non-profit organizations. Dogs are transported all over the country; however, more dogs are transported from the South to the North most often, as there are fewer dogs available in the North. “The dogs are transferred from and to everywhere. However, there is a greater demand up North because they seem to have gotten the message better to spay and neuter their dogs,” said Watkins-Farrington.

How to prepare your home for a foster dog

First, Watkins-Farrington suggests having “an open dialogue with your family and making sure everyone is on-board.”

To prepare the physical space, Watkins-Farrington recommends creating a space in your home that is quiet and separated in some way. There’s no need to hire a carpenter to build a custom dog house; you can probably use what you have at home. “The dogs need a quiet place they can be to acclimatize to your home,” she said. “You can have a crate, a nice blanket, dog food, and water ready for them,” said Watkins-Farrington. She also suggests introducing the dog slowly to family members and/or other dogs and animals you may have.

Food that is formulated for sensitive stomachs is recommended because foster dogs often have intestinal problems.

“We also use lots of baby gates until we’re really sure of how house-broken they are,” said Watkins-Farrington.

If the dog is noted to have any behavioral problems, Watkins-Farrington said she has consulted with a trainer for additional help.

Failure to foster

Whatever your reasons for wanting to foster a dog, it is crucial to remember that it is going to leave. “Don’t get too attached. Some people end up keeping all the dogs. That’s called ‘failure to foster,’” said Watkins-Farrington. Failure to foster especially needs to be addressed if you have children. “Most people who foster dogs have older children because they are better able to understand the dog is going to leave,” she said.

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Cris Carl writes for Networx. Get home & garden ideas like this on

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+ add your own
3:44AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013


11:52AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

I'd love to foster dogs someday but my knowledge is more with cats. I will soon be volunteering at my local shelter and possibly fostering cats so I hope to learn alot more by volunteering.

9:01AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

Shelters are so over crowded right not that fosters are desperately needed all over the US, Canada and other countries. This article provides insight as to what it takes to foster. It is edifying knowing that you are helping a creature that nobody else would or could help!!

The caveat: be prepared to fall in love!!

2:21PM PST on Jan 19, 2013


2:31AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

The more we give, the more we get from our loyal furry friend

2:39PM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

Fostering can be hard, as letting go is always sad, but if you cannot adopt, it is a responsible choice.

10:24AM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

Foster parents are very special people.

12:35PM PDT on Jun 7, 2012

thank u

11:43AM PDT on May 16, 2012


11:42AM PDT on May 16, 2012

Thank you

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