Can I Foster a Dog If I Work Full Time?

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Are you planning to foster a dog? This volunteering activity is so rewarding because you’re helping to care for and love a dog in need.

But fostering can also be extremely challenging. The dog may not be crate trained, they may have behavioral issues, and you also have a full-time job that takes up your time.

You’re probably wondering, can I foster a dog if I work full time?

The answer is yes! 

Find out if fostering is right for you and learn everything you need to know about combining fostering a dog with working a full-time job. 

foster dog at full time

What is Dog Fostering?

When you foster, you are temporarily taking care of a dog while they wait for a permanent home.

You’ll house them, feed, bathe, and exercise them while they live with you.

6-8 million pets go into shelters every year and only 4 million ends up getting adopted.

Remember that you are a temporary guardian, so the shelter may provide some of the food and supplies that your foster dog needs.

Can I Foster a Dog if I Work Full Time?

Yes, you can foster a dog while working full-time. In fact, aspiring veterinarians do this for experience in their field. 

It will depend on the organization that is entrusting the dog to you. You may be required to undergo a background check first.

They may check your home, your schedule, and look into the other members in your house. 

Some organizations also require you to undergo training especially if you have zero experience with dogs. 

How to Foster a Dog While Working Full Time

Fostering a dog is like having a child. You need to juggle multiple priorities, from maintaining your home to going to your job, to feeding and caring for your dog.

Here are some tips for dog fosterers to make your life easier.

Ask Questions First

The first few days of fostering will not be easy. This adjustment period can be smoother when you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

That is why it’s important to ask the shelter more about the dog you will be fostering.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Where did the dog come from?
  • Is there a history of abuse or neglect?
  • Are they neutered or spayed?
  • Are they house-trained and crate-trained?
  • Do they have behavioral issues?
  • Does the dog have special needs?
  • What will be my financial commitment?
  • Who arranges visits with potential adopters?
  • What if I end up adopting the dog?
  • What if I can’t foster the dog anymore?

Watch as Taylor Domer shares how to prepare for welcoming a foster dog in your house.

When you know the answers to these questions you will have a better idea of what to expect when you bring the dog into your home and how to cater to their individual needs.

You’ll also be prepared for any expenses you need to properly take care of the dog. 

If you know in the first place that the dog food will be provided by the shelter, then you don’t have to stockpile too many supplies for your furry guest.

Make Sure Your Foster Fits Your Lifestyle

If you work full-time, then don’t pick a puppy or a high energy dog to foster. Puppies in particular will need more time for training and exercise which you may not be able to do.

Pick a dog who doesn’t have separation anxiety so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re gone during the day. 

Dogs with low energy levels also need less time to be exercised. These breeds include:

  • Basset Hound
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chow Chow
  • Havanese
  • Mastiff
  • Papillon.

Unless you can hire a dog walker, then don’t foster a high-maintenance dog while working full-time.

Spend the First Few Days With Them

Try to get your foster dog on the weekend or when you have a few days off work. 

This way you can familiarize them with their new home and environment before having to leave them to go to work.

Help them get comfy in their new home and give them your full attention to make sure they feel safe and loved.

FAQ Dog Fostering

Do You Get Paid to Foster Dogs?

No. You don’t get paid to foster a furry friend.

Despite this, the shelter may provide food, medicine, and vet care. 

Tax deductions are also possible for foster parents who drive the dogs to an appointment and pay other expenses.

Even students on a low budget can foster, as long as they have the time and effort to do so.

Learn more about the costs and reimbursements when fostering a dog now! 

How Many Dogs Can You Foster at Once?

As long as you pass the background check done by the shelter, then you can foster multiple dogs at once.

How many dogs you foster will depend on your time, space, and the needs of the foster dogs. 

If you have a large home with a big yard you can take on a few dogs at once. If you live in a small apartment, one or two dogs will be your limit.

Learn more about how to foster more than one dog at a time.

What are the Pros and Cons of Fostering a Dog?

Fostering a dog offers a lot of learning experiences for you. When you temporarily take care of a dog, you’ll know if you’re ready to adopt a permanent one!

It’s also fulfilling to know that you helped save a life.

However, fostering a dog may also mean getting attached to a temporary companion. You’ll have to accept that they will find a permanent home sooner or later.

Many dogs in the shelter are also not trained. So, expect your house to become a total mess.

Weigh the pros and cons of fostering a dog before arriving at a decision!

Fostering a Dog While Working Full-Time is Possible!

Let a furry guest crash on your couch for a while.

You can foster a dog while having a job, but make sure to strike a good balance between the two.

To make the adjustment period easier, pick a foster dog that fits your lifestyle. A low-maintenance dog that requires less exercise and training may be the best option.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions to the shelter organization and try to spend the first few days with your dog!

Another thing to consider when fostering a dog is the cost. Find out whether you get paid for fostering a dog or not!