A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
Whether you’re a family with a few dogs already, experiencing empty nest syndrome, or simply looking for something meaningful to do, fostering a dog can be a source of great joy in your life. There are many reasons why you should consider being a dog foster family that you may not have thought of.
Whether you’ve recently lost a canine loved one, or your human children have gone off to college, dogs provide outstanding companionship and love. You can work with a shelter to customize the personality type of the dog that you foster to ensure that you bring home a snuggler, a buddy, or whatever type of companionship you may be seeking.
It’s mutually beneficial.
While you enhance the quality of your own life, you will simultaneously be helping out the entire pet adoption industry by easing the burden on overpopulated shelters. It may seem minor to have one dog at your house for a few weeks or months, but it all adds up.
You can become part of the solution.
When you make the decision to foster a dog in your home, your friends and family become aware of the enormous need to help stop the homeless pet epidemic. You can take the opportunity to educate your friends and family on the statistics that are staggering. If, as a result, just one friend or family member decides to adopt from a shelter (instead of buying from a breeder), you’ve now helped out exponentially.
You will make new friends.
By getting involved with a local dog rescue, you will certainly be meeting other like-minded individuals. Most rescues provide an immense amount of communication and support, often provided by other volunteers. There are events and functions you can attend and you needn’t worry about ice-breaker strategies..your dogs do it for you!
It’s a chance to role-play parenting.
In the case that you’ve not been a dog parent recently, fostering can provide you with the opportunity to see if your current lifestyle would be conducive to committing to the next 15 years with a dog. It also gives you the ability to consider specific dog breeds, sizes and ages that might be best for you long term.
If you’ve ever found yourself rooting for the underdog, becoming a foster parent will bring you great joy. No matter what level of a commitment you can make, it will have a ripple effect in terms of how much it helps. Talk to your local shelters and find a good fit for you and them and feel good about your contribution to your community!