I recently started fostering a tiny 4 weeks-old female kitten who has reminded me of the importance of fostering to save lives and decrease overpopulation. She has an upper respiratory infection and will go back to the shelter when she turns 8-weeks-old. By that time, she will be vaccinated, spayed, and ready to be up for adoption. Today, I want to share seven tips for those people that might be fostering a dog or cat for the first time.
1-Get your home ready to receive your new friend by blocking hiding spots, remove hazards, and having an isolation area.
2-Always remember that the goal is to help the foster pet grow healthy and find their forever home. You must be ready to let her or him go but you might get attached to your foster baby.
3- Keep the foster pet in an isolated space for two weeks until he or she is comfortable, and then it can be introduced to your own pets. It is good to use a playpen or spare bathroom.
4- If the foster is a puppy or kitten, it’s essential to keep track of the feeding schedule, weight gain, water intake, and stool. Puppies and kittens should gain up to 10% of their body weight daily.
5-It’s crucial to spend around two hours a day to exercise and play with your foster since socialization is an integral part of the pets’ health.
6-Familiarize yourself with common diseases seen in rescued pets such as flea infestation, ringworm, tapeworm/roundworms, heartworm, upper respiratory infection in cats, and kennel cough in dogs.
7-Notify any changes in your foster pet’s health to the foster coordinator or person in charge. Some changes can include weight loss, soft stools, or vomiting. If the animal is unconscious, lethargic, bodily injury or has trouble breathing… remember that the best thing to do is call the emergency line or an emergency clinic.