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Fostering a pet is a meaningful and rewarding experience for both parties involved. The animal has a caring and loving home where they will be taken care of until they can find a permanent new home or go back to the shelter, and you get to spend time with a pet who will love you unconditionally.
But the thing is that as fun and exciting as fostering a pet can be, it is still a responsibility. Especially if you have never had a pet before and have no idea how to take care of one, you must prepare yourself and make sure that you are ready to welcome this new experience. That said, below are a few things you should keep in mind before you decide to foster a pet.
- Decide the kind of pet you want
First and foremost, you need to be sure of what kind of pet you are willing to foster. Some shelters and rescues may make you sign a form that you should accept whatever animal they assign to you, but in most cases, you can decide which pet you want. If possible, it is recommended that you pick an animal that you have plenty of knowledge and experience in. Sometimes, you may have to medicate the animal, and many shelters know this is increased responsibility. Make sure to let them know if you are not ready for it.
- Understand that it’s not permanent
This may sound silly, but it’s an important point to remember. Whether you choose to foster a dog, cat, hamster, rabbit or any other animal, understand that at some point, you will have to return them. Remember that they are staying with you on a temporary basis. Especially if you really love animals, it can be easy to get attached and this only makes it harder to say goodbye.
- Consider your own resident pets
If you already have pets of your own at home, make sure that they too are ready to welcome a new addition to the family, even if it’s just temporary. Contrary to popular belief, they may not always get along well with the foster pet. They may not understand and think that they are getting replaced, leading to agitated behavior. About a week before your new foster pet arrives, make sure that your existing pet does not experience any kind of stress. Also, make sure they have separate sleeping areas.
- Make sure you have the space and time
If you foster a pet, the shelter will provide all the basic necessities like food, toys, bedding, litter, etc. what you have to do from your part is spend time with them, care for them, and let them know how it feels to have a loving home. Make sure you have the time and space for it.