Your Guide to Becoming a Dog Foster Parent

There are so many different things you need to consider before deciding to become a foster parent for a dog. If you’re willing to take the noble step of fostering here is a guide to help point you in the right direction.

All dog parents need to know what they’re getting into before adopting a dog, but being a dog foster parent might be harder. You have to know how to love dogs and let them go on to wonderful loving families, which can be hard for anyone, especially doggie lovers. To ease the stress of researching how to be a great foster parent, we created your guide to being a dog foster parent. 

Your Guide to Becoming a Dog Foster Parent. Boston Terrier Society.

Is Fostering a Dog a Good Idea?

All dogs need homes. Fostering a dog allows for a homeless dog to temporarily have a loving home while another dog gets placed in their spot at the shelter. It allows for more dogs to be showcased in the shelter while all the dogs are still comfortable and loved. 

You always need to consider your personal life though, because if you or the people and animals in your home aren’t ready to have a foster dog, it can be tricky to foster. Additionally, once you have the foster dog, you need to work to get it adopted, and that can mean attending adoption fairs and going to the shelter at least once a week. You need to know that you have that time capability in your schedule before you foster. 

Of course, one of the hardest parts about fostering dogs is learning how to let them go. Saying goodbye is hard for everyone. For a lot of dog lovers, it’s harder to say goodbye to animals than it is for family and friends. 

The critical thing to remember is that you’re changing a dog’s life when you foster. You’re giving them the love they deserve before sending them into a loving forever home. If you’re thinking about fostering a dog, you can go into it knowing that you’re doing it for a great cause and that you’re making a difference. 

With time, the saying goodbye part gets easier, and you learn to appreciate the fact that you’re making a difference. As a dog foster parent, you’re helping these dogs get what they always wanted: a home where they feel safe and loved forever.

How to Become a Dog Foster Parent

If you’re looking to start your journey as a foster parent for a sweet homeless dog, it’s best to get all the small research things out of the way first. Look into how you can best help your local organization, examine your home to make sure it’s fit for a dog, and talk to your family members or roommates to make sure that they’re on board to help foster the dog. 

To participate in a pet fostering program, you should reach out to your favorite local shelter or rescue organization and ask for an application to foster a dog. You’ll most likely fill this out, get approved, and then the shelter or rescue group will help you to find a dog that most suits their needs as well as fits in your household. 

Check out my complete list of Boston Terrier Rescues in the United States and Canada, Boston Terrier Rescues.

Do I Need a Special Certificate to Become a Dog Foster Parent?

Typically, foster parents who are applying do not need to have any sort of certifications to get a foster dog. However, they will need to go through several steps before they get the dog. These steps can range from an application to vet check records of your current dogs. 

Some sites also ask that you have things in your home to protect your future foster dog. These protective measures could include covers over your trash cans or a fenced backyard for them to play in and be safe. If you want to look into how to dog-proof your home, you can check out this article I have written, How To Dog Proof Your Home

What Can I Expect as a Foster Parent?

When you first apply to foster at your chosen shelter or rescue group, you are going to want to get answers to all your questions. Be sure to check your selected organization’s website, ask a staff member, or Google what you might need. Make sure that you know the following:

  • Who pays the vet bills?
  • Do I pay for the necessary gear (leash, crate, etc.)?
  • Who is responsible for training?
  • Does the dog need any medication?

If you have other questions, you need to ask about your house, your family, and pets; you can look at their website or a website like the Best Friends Guide to caring for foster dogs.

Will I Get Paid to Become a Dog Foster Parent?

Typically, foster parents are not compensated for their work. However, they can be eligible for tax deductions if the shelter or rescue organization ask foster parents to pay for trips to the vet, medications, and supplies. 

Most dog foster parents will tell you that they wouldn’t even think to ask for money, mainly because the gratitude they get from giving their dogs a home is enough. However, if you think you’ll need help fostering your dog, be sure to foster for a shelter or organization that can provide some of the expenses. 

Can You Foster a Dog for a Week? Or Are All Positions Long Term?

Most positions for shelter dogs are long term, as they stay with you until they are adopted. If you’re great at getting the word out, showing off your dog, and attending adoption events, they might get adopted in a week or two. It also depends on the breed of dog, as some dogs are harder to get adopted (such as pit bulls) whereas others go in a few days (Boston Terriers :)).

If you’re worried about the time commitment, we would suggest that you contact the local shelter or organization you’re planning on fostering for and ask them what time frame dogs usually stay in the home for. 

Where Can I Become a Dog Foster Parent?

It is essential to do research about the shelter before you foster. You’ll want to look at not only what the shelter offers, but also the values that those shelters have. For example, if you’re against euthanizing dogs in shelters, then you need to look for a no-kill shelter. 

If you’re struggling to find a place to get a foster dog, you can look at websites like Pet Finder where they list out places to adopt or foster. You can also search online through Google, and find local areas that are putting out ads or calls to action for fostering animals. 

Here is a list of Shelters around the United States specializing in Boston Terriers, Boston Terrier Shelter is the U.S. & Canada.

Final thoughts…

When fostering a dog, you need to know what you’re getting into. It’s important to realize that you’re going to be taking on a tremendous (but rewarding!) responsibility. Make sure that you’re setting limits with your shelter, working with local organizations to find the right dog, and communicating with friends and family to get immediate support. If you keep all these things in mind, you’ll be helping dogs find their forever homes in no time. 

Smiling and crying at the same time while they leave for that family who will love them forever is something that can’t be replicated. You’ll learn to crave the feeling of getting a dog a home.

With all that information, you’re ready to become a dog foster parent! Head over to your local shelter or rescue organization, and ask them how you can get started today. And remember, you can always come back here to review your guide to being a dog foster parent! 


Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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