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I am an American-Irish solo world explorer who travels with her rescue pup. This is a place for dog & travel lovers to come together to share tips & more. We want to inspire you to go on adventures with your best (furry) friends!

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3 Reasons to Foster a Puppy

Fostering a puppy can sound intimidating. It doesn’t have to be though. Last summer, my then-partner and myself fostered a German Shepard puppy for 3 weeks. We had previously fostered two kittens from the Dublin SPCA and decided we wanted to foster a puppy. We had been getting weekly Foster Appeals from DSPCA asking if anyone would take these dogs or cats for a few weeks. When we saw the German Shepard puppies we jumped on the chance.

german shepard puppy
This is me and Rosey a few days before we went back to the shelter

What is fostering?

Fostering is when you take a dog or cat from the shelter for a few weeks. The reason why animals go into fostering could be for a few reasons. The most likely reason is that they need a few more weeks to either heal from a sickness or they need to get a few more shots. In our case, Rosey needed to have a few more checkups and shots before she was ready to go to her forever home. By fostering, animals can be in a nicer home environment while they are waiting for their time to find their forever home. It also frees up space in the shelter, so the rescue can bring in more animals.

Reason 1: Get your puppy fix

We love puppies, but my boyfriend already had two dogs and I was not in the position to take in a dog long time. Over the summer we had some free time, so we decided to get our puppy fix by fostering a puppy. We got all the good and the bad! We had puppy snuggles and cute play time, but we also had house accidents and nippy puppy time. Since we weren’t in the position to adopt a dog, we were able to play with a puppy for a few weeks! By fostering a puppy, you can get your puppy fix without the long term commitment.

german shepard puppy lying on blanket
Rosey on her favorite blanket. You can see the dog bed, food bowl, and toy which were all provided by DSCPA.

Reason 2: See if a dog is a right fit for you

If you aren’t sure if you are ready for a dog, fostering a puppy is a great way to find out. By fostering you basically have a dog without any of the expenses. When you pick up the puppy from the shelter, they give you a dog bed, toys, and dog food. The shelter covers all the expenses so you just get to see what it would be like to have a dog in your house. The great part about fostering is that if you decide that a puppy is a right fit for you, and in particular the one you are fostering is right for you, you have the first right to adopt that puppy. The shelter will ask you if you want to adopt the puppy before you bring it back. You still have to pay the adoption fee, but often, it is reduced. If you decide that you aren’t ready for a puppy, you can bring the puppy back to the shelter no problem at all and no money spent. Then the puppy will be ready to find it’s forever home!

fostering a puppy playing in the grass
Rosey loved the play in our yard in the tall grass!

Reason 3: Literally saving lives

I don’t think I understood how fostering saved lives until I actually did it. Going to the shelter to pick up your foster pet, you see that the shelter is absolutely full. Rosey needed to get her puppy shots still before she could go to her forever home. If we didn’t foster her, she would have had to stay in the shelter. By her taking up that space in the shelter, then the DSPCA couldn’t rescue another dog. That dog could have died in the street if the shelter couldn’t have rescued it. Fostering allows the shelters to rescue more animals and to provide the animals they have rescued with a better time while waiting for their forever home. All animals prefer a home to a shelter and by fostering you can provide that.

German shepard puppy playing with tug toy
Rosey playing with her tug toy provided by the DSPCA

Objection One: I’ll get too attached

I hear this one all the time. People say that they can’t foster because it will be too hard to give up the animal. They are right, it was hard to give up Rosey. I cried when I said goodbye to her. I loved her very much and she will always have a piece of my heart. It was worth it though. Why? Because I was able to give Rosey a stable, warm, and loving home while she was getting ready for her forever home. I allowed her to get out of the shelter for a few weeks while allowing the DSCPA to rescue more dogs just like her. The pain I felt giving her up was worth it. I can handle that. The puppies don’t have a choice if they want to be abandoned or in a shelter. I know that now Rosey is in her forever home who loves her so much and I helped get her ready for them.

Fostering a puppy can be a very rewarding experience. You can see what life would be like with a puppy without the long-term commitment. You are saving more animal lives and giving this one a loving home before it’s forever home. I will always love Rosey and know that I helped her have a long happy life.

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