7 Things You Need to Have to Foster an Old Dog

Foster A Senior DogThe whole idea behind fostering a senior dog is that you help senior dog rescue organizations in the recovery efforts of traumatized or sick pets that need special attention. You have to care for it and assess the animal’s personality and behavior to find him/her the best home possible.

In view of this, it is obvious that¾besides your deep love for dogs¾you and your home must have certain characteristics that make you “the right person for the job”.

This is a list of 7 things you need to have to be able to foster a senior dog:

  • An apt home

What is an apt home? One that is safe and comfortable for an old pet. For example, the yard has to be fenced, and if it is a rental, your landlord has to authorize the dog’s temporary presence at your home.

It is normal that the senior dog rescue organization asks for a home visit before giving you a dog.

  • The right personality

People who foster animals have to be highly kindhearted, tolerant, and dedicated.

You must be an adaptable person with a good attitude and lots of sense of humor, since you will have to help an old dog get over the shock of being left alone or abandoned, and help him/her adjust to another home.

  • The time

You can’t foster a senior dog if you are never home. You need at least an hour to care for and exercise with him/her, and must spend lots of daily quality time together to make him/her feel safe and loved.

  • The Know-How

This may be the first time you foster a senior dog… that’s OK… but you should have, at least, some experience with dogs.

The senior dog rescue organization you are working with can help you identify the right dog for you to foster based on your knowledge and situation, and they will also provide a lot of useful information and training to help your mission.

  • The money

When you foster a dog, you must have the money to pay for the food and unexpected situations that arise. Normally, the senior dog rescue organization pays the medical bills, but everything else is on you.

  • The gear

The senior dog rescue center will give you a leash and collar, but you have to get all the rest: food and water bowls, bed, blankets, towels, and toys. It may also be a good idea to purchase a crate.

  • A car

It may not be necessary, but it is good to have a car in case of an emergency or just to take the dog to adoption fairs or on potential adopter’s home visits.

Adopting An Older Dog

Thinking about bringing a new pet into your life?

Consider adopting an older dog. They love to snuggle and snooze. Best of all, seniors already know bones are for chewing and backyards are for eliminating. But before you sign the adoption papers, consider how this pet will impact your life.

At the Sanctuary for Senior Dogs in Cleveland, Ohio, the staff urges potential owners to think about the time and care commitment involved.

“We try to stress that it’s not that much different from a dog of any other age,” says volunteer Deborah Workman.

Other things to contemplate include:

Life Span. Dogs already live such short lives. And, in fact, it may be the only real downside to ownership. With an older animal, the time you have together is much shorter.

Health: Older dogs tend to have more health problems. Do you have the financial resources and extra time needed to care for an ill animal?

Patience: A six month adjustment period may be needed.

“It takes a little longer for a senior dog to really settle in and become part of the routine,” says Workman. “People have to be willing to give them a chance.”