Your primary role as a foster parent is to be a loving and patient caretaker while your foster dog acclimates to domestic life. Your “job” as a foster parent is to learn all about the dog’s personality and behaviors, in order to help find a great adopter. Once you are approved by the rescue group and confirm your commitment to fostering for a certain duration, please keep your promise. It’s important that you keep your commitment, for the pup’s sake.
You can help facilitate the process by starting to do the following:
Be patient – Part of fostering is about taking a risk– an exciting one!– and you can’t always know everything about your incoming foster dog before they arrive. Stay patient and understanding when learning about your foster dog’s personality and behaviors– it will be a big help to the rescuers and to the dog’s future adopter!
Training – Some rescues work with a trainer, and are happy to connect you if you want to have a call or session with them to make sure you are following the rescue’s guidelines, as well as properly handling and training your foster dog. Many dogs are treat-motivated and respond well to positive reinforcement. Remember: consistency is key!
Slowly and safely exposing the dog to new things – Ask the rescue if it’s ok to take your dog to the dog park, or to introduce the dog to kids, other dogs, and cats.
Help the rescue promoting the dog – The best way to get exposure for your foster dog is by having the dog wear brightly colored “Adopt Me” paraphernalia whenever you leave the house. The rescue might be able to provide you with a leash sleeve, vest, or bandana for your dog to wear, and Foster Dogs can provide you with foster business cards to hand out to interested adopters you may meet.
Taking good photos and videos – High quality pictures of your foster dog can significantly improve adopter interest. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a good picture. Check out our helpful photo tips, from foster parents and photographers!
Using social media to promote your dog – Sharing pictures and short descriptions of your foster dog on your social media profiles (e.g., Facebook, Instagram) can get your extended networks interested in possibly adopting your foster dog. Some dogs might be adopted quickly from the rescue or shelter, but some might require a little more work and promotion. Keep your messaging positive! Tag #FosterDogsNYC on Instagram if you want us to promote your foster pup.
Share what you’ve learned with the new adopter – After spending days, weeks, months with your foster dog, you’ve gained knowledge about this dog’s temperament and interests. Complete our fun, helpful “All About Me” sheet for the dog’s new home.