According to the ASPCA, over 7.6 million cats and dogs end up in shelters every year.
What’s even worse…according to the statistic, only 2.7 million of them end up finding homes.
That means nearly 4.9 million animals are put down every year, simply because they can’t find homes and shelters can’t care for them all.
It’s an unfortunate problem that’s been caused by a number of factors including puppy mills, breeders, and irresponsible dog owners.
Many of these dogs end up in shelters. And, while most shelters do their best to help animals in need, they are not a nice place for a dog to live his life.
Even worse, thousands of dogs are put to sleep every day in shelters simply because there’s not enough space to care for every dog in need.
While this problem is horrific, one good thing has come from it—the concept of dog fostering.
Years ago, people noticed the need to help dogs who were in shelters and began opening their homes to dogs in need. Today, many homeless dogs get to eat nutritious meals and enjoy cuddles on the couch with their doggy foster parents until they find their forever homes.
If you’re a dog lover but can’t commit to owning a dog for 10+ years, fostering might be a great option for you.
Why? Because when you foster a dog, you simply agree to a short-term commitment of housing a pup while he waits for his forever family.
It’s much like fostering a kid. You act as a temporary caregiver until the pup gets adopted by someone else.
Not sure whether it’s the right choice for you? Here’s 6 reasons to consider opening up your home to a dog in need…
Reason #1 to Foster a Dog – Save a Life
Of course, the number 1 reason to consider becoming a foster dog parent is because you can help save a life!
With so many dogs being put down every day due to overflooded shelters, you could help prevent the unnecessary deaths of sweet innocent dogs who simply want a family.
With many. if not most of these dogs, there is NOTHING wrong with them—they simply need a chance in life.
You may think, “Oh, it’s just one dog.” But, between everyone who fosters, thousands of dogs’ lives are saved every day.
Reason #2 to Foster a Dog – It’s Fun
Having a dog is downright fun.
Whether you’re into long walks in the park or cuddles on the couch, a foster dog can help you make the most fun out of each and every day.
There’s truly nothing that compares to coming home every day to a dog ecstatically wagging his tail with joy simply because of your presence.
Reason #3 to Foster a Dog – It’s Flexible
We all know dogs are a huge responsibility. Therefore, bringing one into your home is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
That being said, when you foster a dog, you get connected with a community of people that make having a dog in your home a little more flexible and easier.
For example, you may want to foster a dog, but you can’t commit long term to dog ownership. Fostering allows you to enjoy the presence of a dog in your home, with the knowledge that the pup may only be with you for a few weeks or months before he goes to his forever home.
Or, if you’re fostering a dog and have an emergency come up, there’s a good chance that someone in your network will be able to “cover” for you and take your foster dog if a situation occurs where you can no longer keep the dog in your home.
Last but not least, foster dog parents are typically ready and available to help out if you need to go on a business trip or a family vacation and don’t want to send your foster pup to a boarding facility.
As you can see, fostering is much more flexible than actually owning a dog.
Reason #4 to Foster a Dog – You’ll Make New Friends
Speaking of foster dog parent networks, fostering a dog is a great way to meet new people and establish lifelong friendships.
Between dog rescue events and other dog fostering activities, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get to know new people.
There’s nothing better than finding a group of friends who love dogs just as much as you do!
Reason #5 to Foster a Dog – Happy Goodbyes
Saying goodbye to a dog as a dog owner often means that a dog needs to be put down or is going to be given away.
Both of those circumstances are sad goodbyes.
However, when you foster a dog, you can ensure that all your goodbyes are happy goodbyes, because you will very likely be able to see the progress of your dog and stay in touch 🙂
Of course, it might be slightly sad to see a pup leave your home. But, you should also be overcome with happiness that your foster pup has found his forever home with people who will love and cherish him.
Reason #6 to Foster a Dog – You Might Find Your Forever Furbaby
The term “foster failure” exists for a reason…
That reason: so many doggy foster moms and dads fall in love with their foster pups that they end up adopting them!
You may not go into a foster situation planning on actually adopting a dog. But the truth is, fostering is a great way to really get a feel for whether a dog is right for you or not.
Think of it as a trial period.
When you adopt a dog from the shelter or a breeder, you often don’t know what kind of dog you’re bringing into your home.
While fostering, you get a few weeks to get to know your pup before you decide whether he is a right fit for your home or your family.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Regardless of whether you strictly stick to fostering or you end up adopting your foster pup, it’s important to provide the dog you’re looking after with a solid routine and some training.
To help your foster pup adjust to his new living situation and adhere to basic training, I recommend that you check out my program The Dog Calming Code.
Over the years, over 37,000 people have used the methods in The Dog Calming Code to successfully transform their dog’s behavior. It’s been used for all types of behavioral issues from aggression and biting to recall and crate training.
(Or, if you’re fostering puppies, my Puppy Coach training program might be a better fit!)
Best of all, you can use the same training methods on every single dog that enters your home!
And, while you’re at it, I hope you’ll download my FREE guide to 13 things every foster dog parent should have in their home.
Getting prepped ahead of time will help make the transition to having a new dog in your home so much easier.
As a dog lover, I hope you’ll seriously consider taking the leap and fostering a dog in your community this year.
It’s a great experience, and the satisfaction you’ll receive from saving a life is truly immeasurable.
~Doggy Dan 🙂