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Fostering Fundamentals

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and bring a new animal into your home. Good for you! You are not only doing your part to fight animal homelessness; you are also relieving the burden on your local animal shelter. You may already have a pet or two at home, but since your foster pet won’t be a permanent member of your family, you’ll need to make special arrangements when planning and preparing for his care. Read on to find out how to provide a good foster home to an animal on his way to a lifelong home.

  • Peter Casella

Make the right match
After you’ve decided you are ready to foster, selection of your temporary houseguest will be one of your most important considerations. Choosing the right animal will help ensure a positive experience for all; choosing the wrong animal will create chaos in your home and can cause him or your own pets serious harm.

If you are considering fostering young puppies or kittens, you must obtain proper training first. Young animals require lotsof work, which can include hourly feedings, stimulation for urination and defecation, intense house- or litter-box training, and specialized health care and disease prevention. For this reason, I have chosen to foster only animals older than four months; you might make a similar “rule” depending on your schedule and experience.

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