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Fostering Companion Animals Part 2

July 13, 2016

Fostering Companion Animals Part 2

Bringing home a new foster is fun and exciting. It is best to prepare your home prior to bringing home any new companion animal. A new environment can be scary to a foster that has had little stability or socialization. A quiet, secure private room is the best place to house your new foster. Make sure he or she has access to clean water, food, litterbox if needed, and a bed or sleeping area. Cats usually like hiding places, so it’s important to provide them with a box, tunnel or even a small kennel with the door left open. Toys for enrichment will help your foster cat feel at ease and build trust with their human foster parents. Kenneling a foster dog depends on the dog; it is best to discuss kenneling with the foster group and follow their advice. Don’t be alarmed if your foster is shy, hides or does not immediately seek attention; just be patient and don’t force them out of their comfort zone. Please note that pregnant moms and litters will require a secluded room for several weeks.

Adreas and McFly

Introducing dogs to one another should always be done on neutral ground. When introducing two dogs, make sure that each is on a non-retractable leash and that each person handling each dog is able to maintain control of their dog. The dogs should be brought closer together slowly and if the meeting is positive, they should be allowed to sniff each other while on leash. If you are uncertain about how to introduce your foster dog to your own, the rescue group should be able to provide guidance and in some cases will provide training. A foster dog should never be left unattended unless it is kenneled or sequestered in its own room.

Andreas Mcfly 2

A foster cat should be isolated from other pets at first. If there are other cats or dogs in the house, they should be allowed to sniff the foster cat through a door; the foster cat will be able to sniff the other pets under the door as well. You can use treats or toys on either side of the door to encourage a positive association for each companion animal. Cats can be tricky to acclimate if there are other pets in the home; whether or not it is possible will depend on the temperaments of the foster cat and the other pets in the home. If the foster cat will only be in your home for a short period of time, it may be best to keep him or her separate rather than try to acclimate with other pets.

Fostering companion animals requires time, commitment, patience and a caring nature. The reward is absolutely worth the effort and the gratitude that you feel from your foster in return is truly heartwarming.

Contributed by Heather Baldwin, CSR at Grand Avenue Veterinary Center

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