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  • Writer's pictureElise Wong Huey Wen

What to Expect When Fostering a Dog for the First Time

Fostering a dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience for first-timers. While it may seem daunting at first, many first-time foster parents have found it to be an incredibly fulfilling and educational journey! It is a chance to give a dog a temporary home, help them adjust to life outside of a shelter and prepare them for their forever home. ❤️

Besides, fostering also serves as a unique test for potential dog owners, allowing them to experience first-hand the responsibilities and joys of raising a dog. It provides an opportunity to learn about the daily routines, training needs and emotional support required to ensure the well-being of a furbaby.

(Photo via Danil Nevsky)

By fostering, individuals can gain valuable insights into what it truly means to have a dog as a part of their lives, helping them make an informed decision when considering long-term adoption. However, if you have never fostered before, it is natural to be unsure of what to expect.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Patience is key: Remember that your foster dog may be scared, anxious or confused during the first few days or weeks. Give them time to adjust to their new surroundings and don’t be discouraged if they don’t warm up to you right away.

  2. Set boundaries: It is important to establish boundaries for your foster dog right from the start. Decide the areas of your home they can access and which ones are off-limits. If you have other pets, be sure to introduce them slowly and monitor their interactions.

  3. Prepare for the unexpected: While most dogs adjust to their new surroundings fairly quickly, some may have medical or behavioral issues that require extra attention. Be prepared to handle any challenges that arise and communicate regularly with the animal shelter or independent rescuer you are fostering for.

  4. Socialisation is key: Fostering is a great opportunity to help a dog learn socialisation skills. Take your foster dog on walks, introduce them to new people and other animals, and provide plenty of positive reinforcement (praises and treats!) when they exhibit good behaviour.

  5. Start training early: Initiate training from the early stages is crucial in setting up your foster dog for success. By investing time and effort into training, you can help prevent avoidable behavioural issues and make it easier for them to find their forever homes. If you need assistance, there are many dog trainers available who can provide guidance and support. You can also find credible online resources by conducting a quick search or exploring dog-related content on platforms like Instagram.

  6. Take lots of photos: One of the best things about fostering is seeing your foster dog grow and change over time. Take plenty of photos and share them with the animal shelter or independent rescuer you are working with. These photos can help attract potential adopters and show off your foster dog’s personality.

  7. Saying goodbye is hard: Fostering a dog can be an emotional experience especially when it is time to say goodbye. Remember that you have given your foster dog a chance at a better life and that they will always hold a special place in your heart! 💘

As a first-time foster parent, it is important to do your research and be prepared. Do actively reach out to local animal shelters or independent rescuers to understand their fostering process and requirements. They can provide guidance, support and resources to ensure a successful fostering experience!

Overall, fostering a dog can be a wonderful experience for both the dog and the foster parent. By keeping these tips in mind and staying open to the unexpected, you will be able to provide a safe and loving temporary home for a dog in need.

Are you unsure about fostering? Well, don’t let misconceptions hold you back from this rewarding experience of fostering dogs. Be sure to read our article entitled Busting Fostering Myths: The Truth about Fostering Dogs to debunk those myths! 🫡

Please send us a DM on Instagram or send us an email @ if you would like to ask us any questions! We looove to chat!

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