Learn about the animal
Taking the time to understand their history, behaviour, and medical conditions can avoid any surprises. Knowing their history means you can give them the time and space they need to adjust to a new environment as well as being aware of any potential obstacles.
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Puppies are cute, but they're like having a two-year-old. Walking, puppy school, toilet training, and keeping them out of trouble is a 24-hour job. If you're new to fostering, go for an older dog! Plus, the golden oldies have a much harder time getting fostered and finding homes.
Be (very) patient
Many of these animals have been neglected, had their human pass away, travelled a long way, or come with medical issues and stress responses. It takes about six to 12 weeks for a pet to settle in. Your foster may test your patience at times but it's important to keep your cool.
Prepare for adoption
You may think it's OK to have them sleep on your bed and the couch, but their forever home may not. It's your job to help your foster get a forever home and not be returned to the shelter again. A well-behaved dog is the best adoption candidate.
Letting them go is definitely the hardest part, and possibly why many fostered pets are inevitably adopted by their foster parents. When a temporary home becomes a forever home, we lovingly term these pets 'foster fails.' Saying goodbye to animals you've bonded with is tough, but know that you've made a huge difference to their lives.