Foster dog experiences?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Chickerdoodle13, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm interested to hear about your experiences with fostering dogs. Eventually, I am interested in adopting a dog, but the shelter here is awesome about letting vet students foster and I thought it might be a nice way to see how a dog would fit in with my lifestyle and whether or not the dog was right for me. I could also make sure the dog gets along ok with pets at my parents' home so that when I visit for holidays, everyone will be ok with each other.

    The shelter will pay for food, vet care, and just about everything else while you foster. I have to contact them and ask how long fosters usually stay at foster homes and if there are any stipulations. I'm thinking about volunteering to photograph the animals at this shelter (looks like they just use point and shoot pictures which aren't always the most flattering!) and that way I could get to know the animals better.

    A lot of my classmates and upper classmen have dogs. I've been talking a lot with them and they seem to manage ok. After this first block (anatomy) ends around Halloween, the rest of the class schedules are quite lax and I live only about two minutes from the school and could easily run home during lunch breaks if I have a long day. The thing I really need to think about is emergency funds (or pet insurance) and during fourth year we have some long days while in clinics. Most people either ask room mates to let the dogs out on these days or they hire undergrads from the vet program to let the dog out and feed each day for the week of long hours. These are the reasons I'm not rushing into adopting because I really want to make the right decision since it will really affect my life. It would be really nice to have a companion to walk and hike with, and something to get my mind off studying for a while. There are many amazing dog parks near my apartment, and an awesome trail around the corner. As far as shots go, most of them I can get through the school very cheap and do myself, but they also have vaccination clinics as fundraisers for different clubs.

    I will not get involved with fostering for at least a month, but thought it may be helpful to hear others' experiences. Currently, one of my room mates has an FIV+ cat and she has been thinking about adopting a second to keep him company. I would rather her not adopt a second cat because sometimes she is not that great about cleaning up after the one she has. My mom suggested asking her if she would mind me fostering a dog instead of getting a second cat, and then I could take my time finding a foster. I think a calm dog would be a good companion for the cat, and probably less stressful for him (he is used to dogs) because the dog would not be in his space like a second cat would.
  2. SixFizzle

    SixFizzle In the Brooder

    Sep 1, 2013
    I have fostered dogs for many years. I currently have a 7mo old pit mix with a fractured T11 vertebrae and bad hip dysplasia that I am fostering.

    Fostering is very rewarding for both you and the dog. You really get to see their personalities, which is helpful when looking for the right forever home and you free up a spot in the shelter for another dog. So you save 2 lives!
  3. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    I'm going to be candid with you. First, I think it's great that you're putting a great deal of thought into whether or not fostering is the right fit for you and, while I certainly don't want to discourage people from fostering, I think that a person in your current situation should wait until life settles down a bit before they make a commitment to foster. Unfortunately, foster dogs don't come with a guarantee that they'll find their forever home within "X" amount of weeks. Each dog is different and no shelter or rescue can say with any confidence that you'll only have a dog for so long before someone steps forward to adopt it. We've been fostering for a rescue for a number of years now and yes, it's quite rewarding, however, there is a bit of a time commitment necessary to foster. We're very fortunate, in that we have the space and the time to devote to fostering (we tend to foster the seniors).

    There are many ways to help and I do think your idea of volunteering to take pictures of the dogs at your local shelter is a great one. You can also volunteer to take the dogs for walks or spend some outside the cage time with the dogs.

    As for your one roommate, unless she owns the place and you're renting from her, I would speak up and let her know that you're not in favor of her adopting another cat unless and until she can properly care for the one she has.

    Whatever you decide, good luck with your decision, and again, I commend you for really thinking this thru for as you stated, getting a dog will surely affect your life - whether it be permanent or foster.
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Thanks for the comments! It definitely helps me make a decision.

    If I found a dog that clicked with me, I would consider just adopting it. My hold backs are still finding someone to help me care for it if I need to go away for internships. I did however, recently get offered a job, which will mean extra money. That's still another huge consideration though, because as a vet student I have quite a bit of loan debt to worry about. It should not be a major problem to pay off after graduation, but my budget is definitely small while in school. If I adopted, I would want to get pet insurance. I have to do research into that and make some budget plans. Food is fairly inexpensive through the school, so that's not a huge concern.

    I plan to definitely volunteer with the rescue. I also want to ask more about how their fostering program works. They are extremely lenient with the vet students from what I hear, and the few people I've talked to who fostered would return the dog to the rescue when traveling or over holidays. Again, I need to speak more to the people in charge and find out from them.

    These are still all thoughts rolling around in my head, but I truly appreciate the comments and advice.

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