It’s National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day! Wellness fans were asked to define their pet adoption experience with One Word & One Photo–here are their responses.
Considering Pet Fostering? Here’s What You Need to Know
Fostering a dog or cat can be a very rewarding experience. Many times, animal shelters rely on foster pet parents in emergency rescue situations. For example, a foster pet parent can prevent an animal from being euthanized by temporarily housing the pet until a safe option becomes available. They can help an animal recover from a sickness by providing special, individualized care or they can help keep a close eye on a litter of kittens until they are old enough to be adopted.
There are many reasons to consider fostering pets and just like adopting, it’s a good idea to think things through and ask a few questions before you bring home that wriggling, furry bundle of happiness.
1—What are the characteristics of the foster animal? Are you able to accommodate the animal’s size and medical/behavioral issues?
2—Will the pet get along with other people/pets in your household?
3—How long will you be fostering the pet? It’s best to compare expectations with the animal shelter before you agree to foster to make sure you’re on the same page.
4—Will the pet need training during the time you are fostering him/her? Many shelters rely on foster parents to assist with training or working with problem behaviors in order to help the pet become more adoptable.
5—Will the animal shelter be providing/financing veterinary care while you’re fostering?
6—Will the shelter/rescue group provide you with pet food while you’re fostering?
7—How will the dog or cat meet potential adopters? Will you attend adoption events or interact with the potential adopters in any way? The shelter may request that you take photos of the pet and/or provide a written description of the pet and its behavior so the shelter can post to Petfinder.com or to a social media page.
8—Will you have a say in who adopts the foster pet? Many animal shelters allow pet foster parents to be part of the decision on which adoptive family to pair the pet with.
10—If you fall in love, will you be able to adopt the pet?
When you foster animals, you free up space for the shelter or rescue to save another life. Plus, you’re providing important socialization for the pet to live a long and happy life. Fostering can be rewarding, yet, you’ll want to ensure you and the shelter have matching expectations of what fostering means.
Have you ever fostered a dog or cat? What’s been your experience? We’d love to hear your stories on our Facebook page.
When you rescue a dog from the shelter, you give him a second chance at life. Here are 10 ways you can get off on the right paw.
1– Talk with the shelter staff. Have them introduce you to their favorite dogs. Tell them what you’re looking for in a pet. Let them know what pets you already have and whether you have children. They’ll guide you to one that’s a good fit.
Find a dog who matches your temperament. If you enjoy lengthy hikes or other athletic endeavors, a high energy dog like a lab mix may be good for you. On the other hand, if you have small children or are looking for a dog who loves to snuggle, an older, more mellow dog may be a better option. The shelter staff can help you narrow your choices.
2- Once you’ve narrowed your choices to 2 or 3 dogs, see if you can take them each for a walk. Getting them away from the kennel environment will help many dogs relax and show you more of their personality.
3- Introduce your other family members to your candidates. This will help eliminate unpleasant surprises once you get home together.
4- If you already have a dog at home, see if you can bring your current dog in for a “meet and greet” or trade towels/blankets with each dog. The idea is each dog smells the other and begins to get accustomed to the other’s smell so they aren’t completely new to one another.
5- Once you’ve made your choice, determine where your new best friend will spend the first few days at your home. Even if your new friend is house-broken, the stress of moving and a new environment may cause him to “forget.” If you confine him to a kitchen, you’ll have easier clean up, yet, he’ll be able to adjust to family life.
6- If you plan to crate train, get the crate ready and decide where it will go in your home. When your new pet comes home, leave the crate sitting in its area with the door open and let him explore the crate on his own. You may find he enjoys being in it when he’s relaxing.
7- Aim for a calm schedule the first few weeks with your new pet. Take a few days off work if you can, and avoid planning travel right after adoption. Stick to scheduled meal times and walking times. The first few weeks are a critical adjustment time for everyone. Give yourself time.
8- Take your new friend to your veterinarian for a full checkup shortly after you bring him home. This gives you a baseline on health and temperament independent of the shelter.
9- Your new pet may benefit from doggie training classes or other forms of socializing such as dog parks. However, it’s important to discuss this with your vet and watch your pet’s temperament. Not every dog does well in these environments.
10- Make sure everyone in your family is onboard with the training plan. When everyone adheres to the schedule and uses the same commands, it’s easier for your dog to learn.
By giving a shelter dog a “forever home,” you’ll be deeply rewarded. You may find yourself the recipient of deep gratitude from your pet.
What tips do you have for a successful adoption?