Pros and Cons of Fostering a Dog

They say not all homes should have a dog, but all dogs should have a home. 

Getting one dog out of the shelter or the streets may seem insignificant to some, but to that dog, you are a hero. That’s what fostering does.

But just like any other commitment, fostering is not a piece of cake. There are pros and cons to fostering a dog.

We explore the various pros and cons of fostering a dog and some tips for successful dog fostering.

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dog fostering pros and cons

Pros of Fostering a Dog

Here are some benefits of fostering a dog.

It Costs Less

The shelter or rescue group may provide the food, supplies, and veterinary care that your foster pup needs. That means you don’t have to break the bank.

In fact, tax deductions may also occur when you send the dog to the vet. 

Remember that it depends on the shelter or rescue group what they will provide for your dog. And this does not mean that you won’t spend a dime on your furry guest.

If you want to spoil your foster dog, you may buy them some dog toys, bedding, and treats.

Sense of Fulfillment

When you’re fostering a dog, you gain a sense of fulfillment knowing that you helped save a life. According to APSCA, 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year in the US.

Not only did you help a dog, but you also gain a new friend. They will brighten your day and be a good companion to you along the way. 

It’s a great help to shelter groups when you provide a temporary home for dogs until they get adopted. 

When someone finally provides a permanent home for them, it will leave a wonderful feeling in your heart. 

It can make you sad at first because of the emotional attachment, but it’s blissful knowing that the dog will have a much better life with their new family instead of getting put down.

You’ll Know if You Make a Good Fur Parent

A great thing about fostering is that you can have a dog for a few weeks or months without taking full responsibility for them.

You get an adequate dose of animal love and send it off to their owner after some time.

For example, you won’t cover all the costs for their food and vet bills. You’re also not required to train them, although it will be very helpful to you.

Fostering will also teach you, your partner, and your children a lot about dog behavior and how to be a good dog parent.

With these experiences, you can make a decision on whether or not you’ll be fit to be a dog parent.

Will you be able to afford their supplies? Do you have enough time to feed and care for them? Are you dedicated enough to give them affection all the time?

You are Part of the Community

When you foster, you get involved. You are connecting with other people who love dogs just as much.

You’ll meet a lot of people, make friends with a few, and learn more tips from them. 

This community can help you when you’re in trouble as if they’re a family of some sort.

Cons of Fostering a Dog

Unfortunately, fostering a dog may also have disadvantages. Expect the following when you’re planning to foster.

Foster Dogs Come with Baggage

Most foster dogs were neglected, abused, or homeless for a long time. Some have never lived inside a house at all.

These things are challenging to deal with, and you might feel like you’re not doing enough to support them, but you’ll watch them grow in many ways.

Ask the shelter about your dog’s history to understand what things may trigger them and how you can help them overcome their trauma. 

Your House will be a Mess

Most shelter dogs are not house-trained, crate-trained, or trained at all for that matter.

Aside from staining your carpet, they may chew on your shoes and furniture when left unattended. 

Although you are not required to train them, expect your house to be a mess. You’ll need to spend on puppy-proofing your home

Prepare supplies, such as a dog gate and crate.

You’ll Miss Them

Remember that fostering a dog is not the same as adopting. You’re temporarily giving them a home until they find a permanent one.

This can be because the shelter is lacking space, or because the owner needs to recover from a disaster for a short time.

Sometimes, military personnel gets deployed and their dog needs temporary yet long-term care from a reliable family.

Letting them go is one of the most painful experiences you’ll have. It’s hard not to get attached after spending weeks or months with them. 

On the bright side, your furry guest will have their forever home, and you’ll have more time to save another dog.

Tips for Successful Dog Fostering

Fostering a dog is not an easy task. To make your experience more rewarding, here are some tips to make fostering a success.

Ask Questions

Researching is not enough when you’re fostering. To go through the adjustment period, you need to get to know the dog better by asking the local shelter itself.

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.

Know Your Limits

When you’re fostering, someone’s life depends on you. It does not matter whether or not it’s for the long-term.

The dog will receive all the care and love you are willing to offer. You’ll have a special bond with one another that you might consider adopting.

It’s normal to be attached, but if you can’t give them a forever home, then don’t let your emotions overpower your impracticality.

Before writing a letter to the shelter about adopting, ask yourself if you can afford dog care, and if you have enough time and dedication for it.


What Does it Mean to Foster a Dog?

When you’re dog fostering, it means you’re bringing a furry friend home and taking care of them until they find a permanent family.

Yes, you are a temporary companion since the shelter may be lacking space, or their real owners are facing situations like military deployment or disaster recovery.

Learn the requirements of fostering a dog now.

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

This depends on the rescue group entrusting the dog to you.
In general, you are allowed to foster a dog while working full-time. 

You’ll undergo background check and training at first, so be prepared to show them that you are willing and you can manage your time.

Remember that fostering a dog is not a lifelong commitment, so don’t hesitate to help save a dog’s life by being a foster parent.

Check out some of our tips on how to foster a dog while working full-time.

Do You Get Paid to Foster Dogs?

Usually, foster parents don’t get paid for their job because it’s a volunteering activity.

However, 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.

All of these things depend on the shelter group.

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

How Many Dogs Can You Foster at Once

You can foster multiple dogs at once as long as you pass the requirements of the shelter.

Take note that they may consider your time, space, and the needs of the foster dogs when making this decision. 

Learn more about the number of dogs you can foster here.

Welcome a Furry Guest to Your House

If you have a kind and caring soul who wants to help dogs, then fostering can be a great idea.

Being a foster parent has its pros and cons. 

While you’re saving a life and gaining a sense of fulfillment, your house may be a total mess and you’ll have to deal with the dog’s behavioral issues from their trauma.

But with determination, you can overcome the learning curve and adjustment period. 

Soon, you’ll be able to juggle other aspects of your life while fostering a fur baby.

Know your priorities. Learn how you can work full-time while fostering a dog like a pro now.