How Many Dogs Can You Foster at Once?

When shelters are overcrowded, they turn to foster care homes for temporary placement until the dogs can be adopted by a permanent family.

If you’re passionate about fostering as a volunteer activity, then you might be wondering how many dogs you can foster at once.

We explore how many dogs you can foster at one time and who can foster a dog. We also provide tips on how to take care of multiple dogs.

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dogs foster at once

Who Can Foster a Dog?

The requirements for fostering a dog will depend on each shelter organization. But in general, you need to be compassionate and knowledgeable about dog behavior.

Usually, you have to be 18 years or older. Most foster parents are required to attend a foster dog orientation. 

Your home might also be visited by a member of the organization to see if there is anything that needs to be fixed before fostering. 

Once the training session and home visit are done, you will fill out a form and sign an agreement. 

How Many Dogs Can You Foster at Once?

Ideally, you can foster as many dogs as you want as long as you are giving them adequate shelter, food, water, and medical attention. 

According to ASPCA, 670,000 dogs are euthanized each year due to overcrowding of the shelters. This is a sad truth. 

Foster homes become helpful as individuals volunteer to provide temporary homes for some of the shelter dogs

However, the limit still depends on state rules and regulations. For example, in Illinois, a foster home should not exceed four animals at any given time.

In Colorado, the statute is more lenient. Foster homes may keep up to eight cats and dogs at a time.

These limits aim to reduce animal hoarding and the possibility of neglect that these furry friends may experience.

These laws are also important to reduce smell and noise in the neighborhood.

Check your state and local ordinances for guidance on how many dogs you can foster at once.

fostering dogs

How to Take Care of Multiple Dogs

Planning to foster many dogs? Here are some tips on taking care of multiple dogs at home.

Introduce Dogs Gradually

Start by keeping the dogs on leashes so that they can see each other. Introducing dogs is easier when the dogs already see each other in the shelter before you foster.

Stay calm and relaxed so they also feel comfortable with each other. Offer them treats when they interact gently. 

But if they seem tense, move them apart until they are calm again.

It might help to have another family member on hand to help with this step.

Be a Pack Leader

Dogs are social animals that adhere to a certain hierarchy. Assert yourself as the leader of the pack so that it will be easier for them to listen to you.

This may require a lot of training time, but it’s truly worth it. If you are not the top dog in the house, they will fight, make a mess, and will take charge.

Provide Special Care for Each Dog

Remember that most dogs from the shelter have a history of abuse, neglect, or medical condition.

You have to recognize those things in each dog. Learn how to help a fearful dog or one with separation anxiety

Treat all of your foster dogs equally by also providing each with their own things, such as dinner bowls, bedding, and toys. 

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Another way to provide special care for each dog is by spending time with each of them individually. 

Although you should spend time together as a pack, each of them needs to feel closer to you.

Bonding with them will guarantee that each dog gets what they need.


Can I Foster a Dog if I Work Full-Time?

Yes, you can.

This task is quite challenging, so you’ll have to undergo training and background checks from the shelter organization.

They will decide if you’re fit to foster a dog while working full-time.

Learn how to successfully foster a dog while you’re working full-time!

What Does it Mean to Foster a Dog?

It means temporarily bringing home a dog and taking care of them until they find a forever family who will adopt them.

Dogs need to be fostered because the shelter may be running out of space or the owner is currently going through something, like a disaster.

Learn the requirements of fostering a dog now.

Do You Get Paid to Foster Dogs?


But despite this, you won’t be spending a lot since the shelter usually provides the dog’s food and supplies.

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

If you want to get paid for fostering a dog, you may also set up private fostering arrangements.

Learn more about compensation, costs, and reimbursements in terms of fostering a dog now! 

What are the Pros and Cons of Fostering a Dog?

Saving a life is enough reason to foster a dog. This benefits you, the dog, and the community that tries its best to rescue dogs.

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.

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

Learn Your Limits!

All states and cities have pet limit ordinances. We know how much you want to foster all the dogs in the shelter, but the laws are there for a reason.

With fewer foster dogs, there is less chance of neglect in the multi-dog household and there will be less trouble in the neighborhood.

Aside from the number of dogs you can foster, there is also a limit to the length of time you can foster a dog.

Find out how long you can foster a dog to prepare for the task.