You’re Getting a New Foster Dog!
Here’s a handy dandy shopping list
Discuss dog food options with the rescue group. Your new foster dog may have allergies to certain products, such as wheat, chicken, or soy. If the dog’s rescuer has no preference on what food you should procure, check out dog food options online to see which one is well-rated among dog owners and within your means. This is one cost that you might be asked to cover while fostering; ask the rescue group if they have extra food to offer to you, even a few days’ worth. If you are purchasing yourself, check out your local grocery store or pharmacy – or a big-brand pet store such as Petco, PetSmart, NYC Pet, Unleashed, etc.
In tight spaces, such as New York City, a 4′ leash can be most practical, though a 6′ leash would be beneficial if walking through parks or spacious areas. We do not recommend retractable leashes, which can cause rope-burn and can become tangled around people / animals on a sidewalk. A leash may be provided by the rescue group, and if you need to purchase one, it is up to you whether to keep for a future foster dog or to donate back to the rescue group. Read more about leashes and collars on our site.
Collar and Harness
Every foster dog should wear a collar with a dog tag attached (unless you are instructed not to use one a collar due to neck injury, rash, etc). In addition, a harness can be a helpful tool for a dog who pulls, or as an additional device on which you can attach a leash for safety purposes. In many cases, a new foster dog may arrive to you with a collar; but if this is not the case, it is a worthwhile investment to purchase a sturdy nylon collar. A martingale collar, if sized correctly, will keep the dog from slipping loose even if he/she pulls backwards; this collar is used by many trainers, as well as face harness (Gentle Leader, for example) and body harnesses.
There are some ways to make a helpful DIY dog tag, or you can invest $10-$15 in a new tag from a pet store such as Petco or PetSmart. Tags can be used over and over again for each of your foster dogs, and are a must-have so a dog can be promptly returned if he/she gets loose. Include your phone number on the tag, at the very least. Some rescue groups provide dog tags for their foster dogs, with their number and name included.
“Adopt Me” Gear
A bandana or bright vest with the words “Adopt Me” can bring your foster dog attention while on walks. Carry with you our Foster Dogs business cards, to distribute if someone is potentially in adopting your foster dog!
A dog does not need an expensive bed in order to get comfortable. In fact, a used item such as a towel or sweatshirt is perfect since it won’t cost you anything and will be plenty of comfort to foster dog. Sometimes, a Dollar Store or Big Lots will have cheap towels if you don’t have any of your own to offer.