Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Pets

Lifestyle Pets

Ask the Pet Expert | Adding a foster dog

I'm considering applying to be a foster for a local dog rescue but am not sure how my 6-year-old Lab will react to having another dog around or to that dog leaving for a forever home. How can I prepare my dog and what should I expect?

It's always recommended, even sometimes required, that you take your pet to the rescue or shelter to meet the potential foster dog. If all goes well with that meeting, you will be ready to take the new foster dog home with you. The rescue or shelter may want you to come in for additional meet-and-greets because shelters can be stressful for your dog and the foster dog, so their first encounter might not be perfect.   

For the first couple of weeks, keep both dogs in a controlled environment. Initially, the dogs should not be off-leash together. You can do this by crating your new foster dog in his own portion of the house, away from your dog. This will allow him to comfortably become acclimated. Dogs react because of stress, and you want to make sure the new dog has acclimated before allowing off-leash play and interaction. I always recommend having a trainer or rescue rep available to call on during the first few weeks. 

Dogs being adopted from foster care typically do fine with leaving that home for a new one. Your dog may be used to being the only dog in the house currently, so once the foster dog leaves, he'd be the center of attention again. If you notice your dog is saddened by the foster dog leaving, you can offer to foster on a regular basis and save more animals. This is a great way to better socialize your dog and maximize the number of lives you save by keeping a spot open in your home.

This week's expert is Danielle N. Payne, volunteer and foster coordinator with the Baltimore Humane Society. Send your questions to sun.unleashed@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Ask the Pet Expert | Dog barks at neighbors
    Ask the Pet Expert | Dog barks at neighbors

    I adopted a 2-year-old shepherd mix from the shelter a few months ago. He's a great dog and very smart, and has never made a mess in the house. When I came home from work today, my neighbor said he's barking at her every time she walks by with her dogs. I know what she means because he does that...

  • Ask the Pet Expert | Dog weight loss
    Ask the Pet Expert | Dog weight loss

    My chocolate Lab is about 15 pounds overweight. We've tried low-calorie foods and cutting back, but he's hungry and not losing weight. I've heard I can try supplementing with pumpkin or green beans, but what are the best ways to help my boy lose weight?

  • Ask the Pet Expert | Dog flu is going around
    Ask the Pet Expert | Dog flu is going around

    I'm hearing that a dog flu is going around. What symptoms should I look for, and when should I take my pet to the vet if he's sick?

  • Ducklings trapped in storm drain rescued by Harford sheriff's deputy and civilian
    Ducklings trapped in storm drain rescued by Harford sheriff's deputy and civilian

    A Harford County Sheriff's Office deputy and civilian employee rescued three ducklings Monday that were trapped in a storm drain behind a building on Main Street in Bel Air.

  • Cats in hats
    Cats in hats

    What started as a lark — and to honor the grandmother who taught her to knit — has turned into steady work for Sara Thomas, author of "Cats in Hats: 30 Knit and Crochet Patterns for Your Kitty" (Running Press, March 2015). Here are some photos.

  • In Alaska, a wood bison is born in the wild, the first in a century
    In Alaska, a wood bison is born in the wild, the first in a century

    It’s a baby wood bison! The wood bison calf — part of a herd reintroduced into the wild in Alaska — was born last week, the first new critter of its type to draw breath in the wild in more than 100 years.

  • The Owl Bar to auction off historic fixtures
    The Owl Bar to auction off historic fixtures

    Historic fixtures from the Owl Bar, including bar stools and six wooden banquettes that the restaurant's operators say date back to 1903, will be put up for auction on May 31.  A portion of the proceeds from the auction of the fixtures and other donated items will benefit the Baltimore Animal Rescue...

  • March for the Animals is postponed
    March for the Animals is postponed

    Update: The Maryland SPCA says, "To assure the comfort and safety of everyone planning to attend today's March for the Animals, we have decided to postpone the March. We want to be sure that all attendees are able to participate without concern. We are disappointed, surely, but know we will all...

Comments
Loading

59°