Fostering FAQ’s

Q. Where in the country are dog fosterers needed?

Q. Will it cost me anything to foster a rescue dog?

Q. What supplies do I need to foster rescue dogs?

Q. Can I foster if I have children or other pets living in my home?

Q. Can I foster if I work full time?

Q. What if it doesn’t work out?

Q. Will I have a homecheck before I start fostering?

Q. What happens if the dog needs to go to the vets?

Q. I don’t think fostering is right for me. Is there another way I can help rescue dogs?



Q. Where in the country are dog fosterers needed?

Fosterers are needed in most areas of the UK as there are hundreds of small animal rescues all over, and many rescues rehome outside of their main catchment area. Transport can usually be arranged if you are not able to travel far to collect the dog.

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Q. Will it cost me anything to foster a rescue dog?

No – all the basic costs for the care of the dog are usually covered by the rescue. Some fosterers are happy to pay for dog food while the dog is in their care. Always check with the rescue about costs before you start fostering if you are unsure. (There may be some items you need to get prior to fostering, as per the following question…)

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Q. What supplies do I need to foster rescue dogs?

Some dogs come with their own things if they’ve come from a previous home or if the rescue has provided them, but if not – you will need:

  • a bed or something suitable for the dog to sleep on
  • suitable dog food and bowls for food and water
  • possibly a spare collar and lead if the dog does not already have these
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    Q. Can I foster if I have children or other pets living in my home?

    Yes, there are many dogs in rescue that have been assessed to be suitable to live with kids and other animals (of course, causion should always be used when bringing a new dog in to the house). Always make the rescue aware of the other family & animals that live in your home when you offer to foster a dog and during your homecheck.

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    Q. Can I foster if I work full time?

    This depends on the circumstances, the rescue and the dog. If you can ensure that the dog will not be left alone for long periods (usually around 4 hours but some dogs may need less) – for example, if you can come home at lunch time to walk the dog or arrange for someone else to see to the dog during the day – this is usually acceptable for many rescues. Some rescues might not accept offers of foster from full time workers.

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    Q. What if it doesn’t work out?

    Before fostering you should very carefully consider if it’s right for you and your home/family/lifestyle. Whilst there are a lot of dogs needing foster homes, it can cause more confusion and distress for them if they are moved to an unsuitable foster home and then moved back to kennels/rescue.

    If you are having problems, make sure you contact the rescue and discuss the issue. They should be able to provide advice on how to handle problem dogs or minor problems such as dogs forgetting their toilet training which can sometimes occur with dogs that have been in kennels for a while.

    Things can get hectic with a new dog in the house so be sure that you’re prepared to handle likely issues, read up on basic positive dog training methods and make sure you give the dog time and space to get used to the new environment.

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    Q. Will I have a homecheck before I start fostering?

    Yes, rescues will send a representative to your home before you start fostering to confirm that the home is suitable for a dog in terms of space and to chat to you about fostering and your lifestyle and your previous dog experience to ensure they can match you up with the right type of dog. A secure garden is usually a must. Homechecks can seem a little daunting but if your home is secure and you are sensible and knowledgeable/willing to learn about caring for dogs, there’s usually nothing to worry about.

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    Q. What happens if the dog needs to go to the vets?

    If it’s an emergency obviously you should take the dog straight to the vets and contact the rescue as soon as possible. If something isn’t right but it’s not an emergency, you should always contact the rescue to discuss the problem before taking a dog to the vets.

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    Q. I don’t think fostering is right for me. Is there another way I can help rescue dogs?

    Of course! Volunteers are needed in all areas of rescue:

    Volunteer transporters are constantly needed to move dogs out of the pound/kennels/a home and in to rescue care

    Volunteer homecheckers are needed to help rescues assess the homes of potential adopters and fosterers

    – Hands on helpers are needed in some rescues to help with the daily care of the animals, e.g. dog walking, mucking out kennels

    – Help spread the word about rescues and dogs in need by putting up posters in your local area and spreading links around the web (while you’re at it, why not add a link to fosterdogs.co.uk? Other links you might like to crosspost – http://RescueHelpersUnite.co.ukhttp://SaveTheStrays.co.ukhttp://VolunteeringWithAnimals.co.uk – Thank you!)

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