Many people think they can’t afford to foster a pet due to the expenses involved. Your expenses as a foster parent should actually be minimal.
What are the costs of veterinary care?
All veterinary care should be paid for and provided by the foster organization’s veterinarian. The foster organization should let you know if the pet is due for any treatment, vaccinations, etc but may ask you to schedule the appointments. Make sure you discuss how they want veterinary appointments handled prior to bringing your foster pet home. If you take your foster pet to a veterinarian on your own they will most likely be unable to reimburse you so it’s important that you use their veterinarian and that they’ve approved the visit. Most importantly, know who you should contact after hours if your foster pet needs emergency medical care.
Will the foster organization give me supplies?
Your foster organization is your ally and will support you in every way possible. In most cases, the rescue organization or shelter can provide many of the essential supplies needed. They sometimes get items donated so if there’s something special that you need for your foster pet they may have it. However, please keep in mind that these organizations have very limited resources, so any supplies you can provide on your own will enable them to help even more pets.
If you are fostering for a non-profit group any supplies you purchase for your foster pet may be tax-deductible so hang on to your receipts.
Here are the essentials you’ll need when fostering a dog:
- Dog food and bowls for water and food
- Leash, collar and dog ID tag
- Method of confining for possible quarantine and/or training purposes, like a dog gate or crate
- Dog toys and treats
It’s also a good idea to have an enzymatic pet stain remover on hand.( (Even if your foster dog is house trained there may be a few accidents as he gets used to your home and routine. An enzymatic cleaner removes the odor the dog can detect preventing him from making that spot a bathroom area.)
If you’re fostering a cat you’ll need:
- Cat food and bowls for water and food
- Collar and ID tag
- Litter box, cat litter and scooper
- Method of confining to allow for slow introductions to your family and home (ie A bathroom or quieter bedroom)
- Cat toys and treats
- Some type of scratching post or scratcher
NOTE: These are just the necessities. You can absolutely provide anything else you think will make your fostered pet feel loved and welcome while in your home.
I’m interested in learning more about fostering a pet.
In the meantime, you can look for local pets in your area, spread the word about fostering pets to everyone you know and/or make a donation to your local pet rescue organization. Every little bit counts and helps save a life.