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Ask questions when starting to foster a pet

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Fostering a pet is a large decision. It can be a huge undertaking. As a foster parent you are taking on the responsibility of preparing another rescue animal for a forever home.

When bringing a new pet into the house, you should ask questions. If you have other pets in your home, there will be even more questions to ask.

Most people realize that when fostering a pet, they have problems. They can have a whole range of issues and so it is imperative that answers be sought. Even with problems, being prepared for those pets makes it more likely that they can be handled.

Most people would want to know how they will fit into their home. If they have children, especially little ones, the pet must be expected to be okay with children. Your kids should feel safe around this pet. Some dogs are cats are not good with little ones so that pet would not be appropriate for your home if children live there. That may be a pet more suitable to an adult only home or an older person’s house.

If you have other pets, there should be some assurance that this pet will fit in eventually with the ones that live there already. They may not hit it off at first, but as long as there is not a real problem, they can be worked into the family of pets after some time. This requires patience.

One thing to ask is if this pet is housebroke so you can make the proper arrangements and be aware they need a potty schedule. This way, accidents can be prevented by being on top of the problem and making sure they get out or to a litter box.

Depending on where you live, an important question may if the dog barks or not. Some communities tolerate barking better than others. Unless you have a property of several acres, someone could be bothered by incessant barking. All dogs bark and should when they want to alert you, but not all the time and for no reason.

A very important question to ask is if this animal bites. That is a problem that could be very hard to solve if small children or weaker or older pets are involved. The training to address this problem may have already begun ad there may be a program in place to follow.

Some pets are chewers or scratchers and this is something to work on immediately. Again, there may be some programs in place to stop this behavior. Maybe all that is needed is to continue the training in this area. If you have new furniture, this may not be the pet for you if you do not have enough time to work on this problem.

A very important question to ask is if this animal has any health issues that could affect the rest of the family, especially other pets. There is a danger of bringing a disease into the house. No one wants to put other pets in jeopardy. Credible shelters are filled with workers that love pets and would not put other animals at risk. Just for peace of mine, this question must be asked.

To keep the foster pet safe, a question of whether or not they jump fences should be ascertained. A jumper may need to live in a home where there is less danger if they jump a fence or a home may be needed with a higher fence.

Is your new foster dog going to be a runner? Will you need to be extra vigilant when doors are open or guests arrive? Putting the new pet in circumstances where running seems more of a solution than staying in a place where there are so many unknown factors could pose a problem. Once the pet is used to the household and feels more comfortable and less scared, it should not be an issue.

Asking all these questions may seem excessive, but they should be asked in order to up your chances of success.

As a foster parent you want to be able to care for a foster pet as long as needed to find them a forever home. If the pet is a danger to your household, they may be the wrong one to foster, but otherwise patience should save the day. There are so many pets that need foster care that the right match is sure to be possible.

For more information on fostering call All Breeds Rescue at 719-264-6460 and Training or the Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region at 719-302-8738 for information. There are tons of other shelters in Colorado Springs that will help you foster a pet.

Personal Note-today we will visit with a dog that may become our first foster pet and we will be sure to ask these questions. We will keep you updated.

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