Category Archives: Pet foster

Why Should You Foster a Pet?

By Linda Cole

My neighbor is a crazy cat lady, like me and my co-writer Julia Williams. We are proud of our label and would do anything to help a cat or dog. My neighbor is also a foster mom who nurses litters of kittens that have lost their mom. She gives pets a quiet place to mend a broken leg or heal from the abusive home they were rescued from. Working with our local animal shelter, my neighbor puts a lost soul back together so the pet can be adopted out to a forever home. If you love pets and have been searching for a way to help out your local shelter, opening up your home to animals in need is one of the best things you can do.

I recently wrote an article about an organization called Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet. Instead of a soldier being forced to give up a family pet, this organization helps find foster homes to care for the soldier’s pet while they serve our country overseas. Because of caring pet lovers who open up their homes to these temporary pets, shelters across the nation have fewer animals to care for. The soldier can deploy knowing their pet is being well cared for, and they don’t have to wonder what happened to them.

Shelters have seen an increase in the number of pets surrendered to them across the country. An estimated 8 million pets end up in shelters every year and many healthy, adoptable animals are put to sleep because there just aren’t enough people to adopt them. Friends, family and neighbors have all been caught up in an economic downturn that sometimes doesn’t leave them with a lot of choices when it comes to a family pet. I’ve been fostering a friend’s dog to give my friend a chance to get back on his feet financially. It doesn’t matter how long it takes; this is one dog that will not end up in a shelter.

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What Does a Pet Foster Parent Do?

By Julia Williams

I’ve loved animals for as long as I can remember, and have always looked for ways to help them. Volunteering at my local animal shelter is one way I do this. The actual acts of walking the dogs and petting the cats is very enjoyable; seeing so many beautiful animals without forever homes is the hard part. Even so, I do it because it makes me feel good to know that for a brief moment in time, I make a difference in their lives.

Wanting to do more, I signed up for the pet fostering program. Pet foster parents are critical to the success of animal shelters and rescue groups; without them, there would be a lot less “happy endings” for homeless animals. Thanks to kindhearted pet foster parents, countless kittens, puppies, cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals can be in safe, loving environments until they are ready to be adopted.

However, as gratifying as becoming a pet foster parent might be, it’s not for everyone. It can require a lot of time and energy, especially when caring for newborn puppies or kittens that need to be bottle fed every two hours. Fostering a pet is also a very emotional experience, and some find it heart-wrenching to say goodbye to the animals they so vigilantly nurtured for weeks. It takes great courage to let them go when what you really want to do is keep them near you forever.

As fate would have it, I never got to find out if I had what it takes to be a pet foster parent. Shortly after completing my home interview with the shelter’s volunteer coordinator, I discovered two tiny kittens living in a flea infested shack. They were near death from flea anemia, so I took them first to my vet and then into my home. After nursing them back to health, I couldn’t bear to give them up. I moved out of state soon after, and my current three-cat home isn’t big enough for me to become a pet foster parent. Nevertheless, it’s always in my thoughts and something I may still do someday. In the meantime, I’ve written this article for those who’ve thought about pet fostering and want to know what it entails.

What does a pet foster parent do?

Pet fosters open their hearts and homes to provide temporary care for animals in need. They provide basic care such as food, water, shelter and medicine (if needed), along with copious amounts of much-needed love. Foster parents may be required to potty train young puppies and kittens. If you foster an adult dog that has yet to be taught basic house manners, you might be asked to start this training. If the foster animal becomes ill or injured and needs veterinary care, you’re usually required to transport them to the shelter or to a designated vet for care.

Why are pet foster parents needed?

Animal shelters and rescue groups often receive underage kittens and puppies that need special attention and around-the-clock care. Feeding, nurturing, socializing and training these tiny creatures into adoptable animals is best accomplished in a home environment.

Sometimes, adult dogs and cats need a break from the high-stress environment of a shelter. Placing them in a temporary foster home can help calm them down, improve their temperament, and increase their odds of becoming adopted. Adult animals recovering from surgery or an illness also benefit from being in a loving home environment, and usually get well much quicker.

Pet foster parents also care for animals that would be difficult to nurture in a shelter environment, such as puppies and kittens with weakened immune systems, orphaned or feral kittens, and dogs needing one-on-one behavior rehabilitation.

How much does it cost to foster a pet?

Shelters and rescue groups generally provide all the food, supplies and medical treatment while the pet is in foster care. All you have to provide is time, energy, and a safe, loving home that gives needy animals a better chance for survival and adoption. However, most animal shelters are nonprofit, cash-strapped organizations. If a pet foster parent is financially able, and wants to provide supplies for the animals in their care, it’s always greatly appreciated.

How long do animals stay in foster care?

Most foster pets typically require a commitment of between 2 to 8 weeks. Occasionally, situations arise where a longer foster period is needed.

If you think you have what it takes to be a good pet foster parent, why not give it a try? Just contact your local animal shelter or rescue association to enquire about their particular pet fostering program. Yes, you will probably get attached to your foster animal, and yes, it will likely be very hard to let them go. But the happiness of knowing you helped an animal survive and become a cherished family pet, is priceless.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Fostering Animals – Jake

As I mentioned yesterday, my husband and I fostered two pups a few months ago. They were only about 3 days old when we got them, so it meant a lot of feeding (every two hours), a lot of cleaning (they grow up fast and learn to chew everything), and a lot of training (because you have to teach them how to live in a pack).
While it was a lot of work, I wouldn’t change a thing and I’ll do it again in a second. I christened the pups, Jake and Jasper, and I only named them after they were 6-weeks old. Why? Because I was not completely confident in my ability to successfully raise an animal (it’s been awhile) and both pups had a lot of problems. 
First off, their mom had stopped caring for them.  Someone had dropped the mom and her litter off at the rabies/animal control facility’s door only a few hours after they were born. Momma didn’t stand much of a chance. When we saw her, she had already given up on life and her stress and depression had cost three of the pups in this litter their lives. Not from abuse, mind you – simply from neglect. So when we picked Jake and Jasper, they were only 3 days old, had already lost 3 siblings and were hungry, dirty and hypothermic. Luckily, all three problems were remedied immediately and you can read about our saga.
I want to talk about what happened after their successful recovery. 
Jasper, as I mentioned before, is now living in a beautiful home with a very loving family. Jake, has not yet been that fortunate. 
Jake, the Chow / Shar Pei mix, still resides at the rescue, but it’s not a hard life. He’s living with lots of friends on a large ranch in cool weather and is given a great deal of attention as he waits for his forever home.   Although he has yet to find a home, I know that he will soon. He’s too great of a dog not to be adopted by a loving family. 
Jake had a lot of things to overcome in his first few weeks of life, including pneumonia and entropy.  The important thing is that he overcame them. He’s a beautiful dog and if you’re looking for a puppy with lots of love to give, Jake may just be the one for you.
I hope you’ll visit Circle L Ranch at PetFinders and see for yourself. He’s a calm pup with lots of patience; he’s built like a linebacker, is smart as a whip, and loves kids and other animals. He won’t even shed much! What else could you ask for in a dog? 
And if you’re not ready for a new addition to a family, why not try fostering? It’s a short-term fix for the puppy withdrawal we all go through and you get the satisfaction of saving a life.  
Besides, they need you… 
Find an adoptable pet in your area at!
Stacy Mantle

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Fostering Animals – Jasper

There’s something to be said for fostering pets….
Let me share my own foster experience with you – and bear in mind – I’m the most neurotic, over-protective animal person in the world. Seriously. If you knew me, you would understand that I’m not exaggerating here. I also “keep” everything – from worn out shoes to stray kittens. 
So I really believed that fostering was not for me. I thought that I would have problems giving up two beautiful puppies that I bottle-fed every two hours for 3 weeks and later potty-trained and taught tricks too. 
Turns out, I was wrong. 
Oh – I’m not saying it wasn’t difficult, because it was. But, I was working with a strong, reputable rescue that I trusted and I knew that it would be unfair to keep the pups when I already had three large dogs (and 18 cats) of my own. So when I was ready, I released them for adoption. 
I just got an email from the adoptive parents of Jasper and I couldn’t be more proud. His new family has glowing recommendations about him, he’s got his own toys, his own bed, his own bowls and even his own cat! (Okay, maybe not his own cat, but the cat is still a playmate.)
He’s become a traveler. He’s been to the Grand Canyon, North Carolina (cross country trip, even) and has seen the snow. These are all things that I never would have been able to give him because let’s face it, loading three hundred-plus pounds of dog in your car and controlling them while you’re driving is not for the feint of heart. 
And that is Jasper’s story. Am I happy that I rescued the little guy? You bet. Was it worth the time and energy I put in to save a “mutt”? Just ask his new owners. I think they will agree that he’s one of the best things that’s happened to them… 
Fostering is not easy, but boy – when it works out like this has, it’s sure worth it… 
I want to encourage our readers to foster a puppy or kitten (or an adult dog or cat who has fallen on hard times) today.  Yes, I know you get attached. Yes, I know it’s hard to let them go. But trust me, when you hear about the outcomes that go along with fostering, it’s well worth the effort.  Tomorrow we’ll talk about Jake who had a very different outcome but is just as great of a story!
Contact your local animal control or rescue association and find out how you can help an animal.
Find an adoptable pet in your area at!
Stacy Mantle

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Fostering Animals 101

Let’s face it. The economy has wrought devastation and destruction on many, and pets are often the causalities of economic war. Many people don’t think of animals the same way that we do, and pets are often discarded, abandoned or turned in to rescues. Occasionally, it’s just necessary for the safety and health of the animal. 
And this is where we must, as a society, do our part in the world. Fostering is one way that we can save a life. 
In November, my husband and I fostered two puppies who were only three days old. We plan to do a lot more fostering as this was so enjoyable. So, for the next few days, we’re going to regale you with tales of how to foster, what our experience was, and how it all turned out. 
The Down and Dirty
The first thing about puppies is that they sleep, eat and poop. In that order. In fact, that’s all they do. They are like human infants, but their eyes and ears are sealed. At the age of 5 days, they operate solely on touch and smell.
These two are each eating about 0.50 – 1 oz of Esbilac fluid every 2 hrs or so. This works well for me, because it’s hard to get me away from the computer that often. If I hear a puppy crying, it forces me to get up and attend to them. Good for me, good for the pups. As they mature, we recommend a well-balanced diet of CANIDAE food – you won’t need to switch them out later in life and it’s a very high-quality food. 
Tricks We’ve Learned
Don’t spend money on the bottles you get at pet stores, as they are largely inefficient. We are using a Playtex Ventaire, which is perfect for the pups. The bottle vents excess air itself, is curved and has a larger nipple for easy puppy suckling. (Wow… Never thought I would be talking about nursing anything… I’m just VERY happy that it deals with puppies and not humans. :)
Heat is very important to these little ones. Right now, we have them in an enclosed room with no drafts, away from the other pack members (despite our pack’s affinity for new arrivals, we opted for isolation for safety reasons). We use an electric blanket on low placed on the floor, the small crate they are kept in are kept on that, and if they still get chilly, we add a magnetic heat pack under the box towels they sleep on. This way, they can decide where they want to be. They can crawl pretty well….
The “Messy” Side
Since they can’t even defecate on this on their own, we have to use a warm, wet cotton ball of paper towel to “copy” the mother’s licking/cleaning response. This is the bad part of the event. Puppy poop is sort of disgusting… I would get into other poops, but you know… Do it twice, before and after feeding, in order to cover your bases.
Although these guys are too little to play, we learned a lesson from the numerous squeaky toys that we bring in for our other pets. They’ve learned that if it squeaks, it’s a toy. Not a great lesson for your pets if you’re trying to foster… We’re working on establishing the difference between live pups and chew toys with Cheiss right now.
Please consider taking in some fosters of your own. Tomorrow we’ll discuss some of the success stories of foster!
Find an adoptable pet in your area at!
Stacy Mantle

Find CANIDAE Retailers Near You!

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.