DogsnHomes simply wouldn’t be able to continue it’s rescue efforts without the support we receive from our incredible fosterers.
Some puppies need a few days to settle in before they go to their furever home, whilst other pups may not have a home lined up for them when they arrive at DogsnHomes HQ.
Occasionally, we will need to provide an emergency foster home for a dog. In all of these instances, our fosterers are on hand to give the pup a warm bed, a loving home, a big cuddle and lots of reassurance.
One of our incredible fosterers and volunteers has written a fabulous blog post on what’s actually involved in fostering a pup! It makes for an interesting and informative read, so make yourself comfortable and grab a cuppa!
Hi, I’m Holly, one of DogsnHomes volunteers. I work on social media & fundraising as well as being one of the network of fosterers. I am writing this with the most adorable foster pup, Amy, nestled into my lap, and my laptop and a book nearby because you’re not allowed to move when a puppy is sleeping on you, right?!
Being a foster parent is a privilege. We are the first port of call for dogs arriving in the country who might need a little more time to adjust before going to their forever families. It is a big responsibility as the actions we take will shape how the pup develops and copes with UK life.
When a dog arrives it has just been through one of the biggest upheavals of its life and transported for days across countries; then they may have been split from their siblings / companions and entered a totally alien environment (that we call home) alone. Many of the dogs will have never lived in a home, heard a dishwasher, walked past a moving car, played with toys or had multiple strangers trying to interact with them at once. As fosterers, we work hard to let them know everything is ok, that these new sights, sounds and experiences are normal and there is so much fun to be had!
Fostering is hard work. Be under no illusion that it’s all cuddles and cuteness (although there is a healthy dose of that which makes it all even more worth it!). There are a lot of early mornings, late nights, interrupted sleep, cleaning up and needing to remain vigilant at all times!
The work begins before a foster pup arrives. I will coordinate with DogsnHomes to ensure I have all the necessary kit, which the charity provides: bed, blankets, bowls, food, toys, medications etc. I also have a personal stock of towels, furniture coverings, a stair gate and cleaning products! The house will be ‘puppy-proofed’. Wires are tidied, breakable objects stored away, house plants put out of reach, sofas covered and the stair gate installed.
When a dog comes into my home I place no expectations on him or her at first. They need time to decompress, get to know their surroundings and mostly sleep! It’s a balance between helping the pup adjust to the expectations of how to behave in a UK home, and allowing them to exhale and relax.
If they are with me for a short period (i.e. a weekend) the priority for me is ensuring they relax, feel safe and start to become familiar with the absolute basics, like going outside to toilet. All my foster dogs are restricted to the (hard floored!) downstairs so I will sleep in the kitchen with them to provide that reassurance.
If with me for longer, I will work to start adjusting them to their new life. They will learn to sleep independently, walk on a lead once allowed out (dogs newly arrived into the UK must not leave the property for their first 48 hours as per legal requirements) learn some basic commands, learn to be left alone for short periods and start to interact with more people / dogs. In my case, my resident rescue dog helps very much at this stage as a foster dog will often look to her for guidance and reassurance. A shout out to Nova who is a very good and tolerant girl!
Every fosterer will go about it slightly differently. We are all experienced dog owners but every foster dog is unique and we have to adapt to their specific needs. The support provided by DogsnHomes is excellent should we have queries, concerns or assistance.
Although it’s hard work, fostering is hugely rewarding. Knowing you’ve played an active role in helping a dog, whose life could have turned out so horribly, transition to the wonderful life they deserve makes every lost hour of sleep, every indoor poo and chewed sofa leg TOTALLY worth it.