Share your home with a lovable pet.

By Stacey Leasca
April 15, 2020
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It’s time to invest in dog treats and cat toys because it appears everyone is fostering or adopting adorable animals right now.

In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus pandemic shut down the globe, pausing life as we knew it. And while some people took it as the time to experience the virtual world, others took it as their opportunity to finally bring home the pet they were longing for. After all, what better time then quarantine to make a new furry best friend?

And truly, if you’re fostering or already fully adopted a pooch you’re not alone. Shelters in New York, Los Angeles, and beyond are actually (thankfully) running out of animals because so many people are looking for four-legged quarantine companions. But, if you’re still on the hunt for the right dog that’s okay. One will come your way. Be ready by learning exactly what it takes to be a good foster (or adopter) from the experts at Petfinder below.

Credit: John P Kelly/Getty Images

What are a few things people need to consider before fostering?

“Fostering a pet is an incredibly rewarding experience, but before bringing a new foster pet home, it’s important to understand that while the commitment may be shorter term, the daily needs of the pet you foster are the same as those of a pet you’d adopt,” the experts at Petfinder shared with Travel + Leisure.

Prior to taking home a foster pup, be sure to ask the shelter about the entire fostering process, how long most pets stay with a foster, and ask what the adoption process looks like in case you decide to take that route.

“Make sure you understand the critical role you’ll play in the pet’s development as a foster family,” Petfinder said. “In addition to keeping a pet healthy and fed, pets need socialization, training, and patience to become great companions for their future forever family. It’s a big responsibility.”

Who makes a great foster candidate?

To be a successful foster parent, the folks at Petfinder say you need to possess a few key traits.

“You will need a compassionate nature, the cooperation of your family or roommates, flexibility, and some knowledge of animal behavior,” the team explained. Don’t worry, there are plenty of books out there to help you learn more about the mind of a pet.

How should people prep their homes for foster?

If you own your own home you’re in the clear. If not, make sure to gain permission from your landlord before adopting a pet.

Next, the Petfinder experts say if you have other pets in the house it’s important to ensure they are up-to-date on vaccinations and plan to keep your foster pet separated from your current pets for a bit just in case. Then, comes a little housework.

“Before welcoming a foster pet, it’s important to pet-proof the home and prepare a space for the foster pet to stay,” Petfinder says. “Providing a safe and healthy environment means looking at your home from a pet’s viewpoint to find and remove possible hazards — like sharp objects, choking hazards, breakables and toxic materials, or chemicals that could be accessible.”

Then, all you need to do is stock up on essentials to make the transition easier for everyone including pet food, leash, and bowls.

What if you want to eventually adopt the animal?

In order to foster a pet, you’ll most likely already need to meet the same requirements for adoption of the pet, which can help hasten the process. “Because of this, foster parents often have an option to adopt their foster pets,” Petfinder said. “But, each organization has its own policies and procedures, so be sure to check with the adoption group.”

Ready to find the dog, cat, bird, or another companion of your dreams? Start your search now. Just remember that due to the pandemic, many organizations have have changed their policies on fostering. Be sure to reach out to local shelters and organizations to see they're affected and how they're working to place animals.

And hey, if fostering isn't right for you right now, you could always make a financial support or donate supplies to keep these adorable critters happy and healthy.