5 Reasons to Foster a Dog


Maybe you love dogs and cannot watch the commercials on television asking for donations to help abused and abandoned puppies. Maybe you cannot drive near the local animal shelter because you’re afraid you will want to adopt every single dog in the place. Maybe you already walk dogs as a part-time or full-time job and have been looking for a way to help dogs that don’t have loving homes. No matter your reason, if you love animals and truly want to help, one of the best decisions you can make is to foster dogs.

1. You are saving a dog’s life



There is no question about the top benefit of fostering a dog: you are saving the lives of countless dogs when you choose to open your home to homeless dogs. First, every dog that you foster gets a chance at becoming adopted. You provide the love and attention that helps scared, ill, and sometimes abused dogs gain the confidence and training they need to be adopted by a forever family. By providing a foster home for dogs, you also reduce the number of shelter dogs that are euthanized each year because the shelters do not need to euthanize dogs that are not taking a kennel from another dog. And, you are freeing space in shelters for other dogs that need homes.

2. You give needy dogs the attention they require to become adoptable


Most foster dogs have never been in a loving environment before. Some have issues with chewing and house-training, while others have issues with their nerves. All it takes is a little patience, attention, and love from a foster family to get a dog to relax and improve socially and behaviorally. Over time, the work you put into a foster dog will pay off, and potential adoptive families will be greeted by a happy, well-adjusted dog that they want to take home and love forever. You will gain a sense of pride in knowing that you saved the dog’s life by giving him a better chance of being adopted.

3. Enjoy having a pet even if you can’t commit to having one of your own


Some people know that their lives are too busy to commit to adopting and owning a pet, yet they know they can serve as foster dog parents for a predetermined amount of time. This is one of the most rewarding perks of fostering a dog; you get to love and care for an animal without being tied down for years.

Some foster dog parents are more available in the summer, so they sign up to take in a dog during that time. Others are more available in the winter and choose to foster then. The point is that people who otherwise would not be able to own a pet still can care for a dog when they choose to foster, and they reap the rewards of loving and caring for a dog that so desperately needs a home.

4. Become part of a new community


People who foster dogs often rely on the rescue group and other foster families for support and encouragement. These relationships with the rescue and foster community lead to long-lasting friendships and bonds.

Foster dog parents and families enjoy sharing tips and strategies and discussing their foster pets’ progress with one another. They also work together at dog parks and training facilities to socialize the dogs and take pride in one another’s accomplishments and success in getting their foster dogs adopted by forever families.

5. You will feel good


Having a dog also is good for your health and happiness. Watching your foster dog play and petting him can lower your blood pressure and relieve stress. You also will get exercise by playing and walking your foster dog, and you will be less lonely.

While there may be times that fostering a dog tries your patience, the feeling you will get when you see the dog relax, succeed in breaking bad habits, and become ready for adoption is well worth the time and effort. Knowing that you have saved an animal’s life and prepared him for adoption will make you feel wonderful.



The benefits of fostering a dog are numerous. You won’t just improve the life of a homeless dog, but you will improve your life as well.


Jenny Wise for City Dog Expert

You can find out more about Jenny here

21 comments so far.

21 responses to “5 Reasons to Foster a Dog”

  1. Pawesome Cats says:

    Those are five great reasons to adopt a dog or cat! We rescued/adopted all four of our cats and they are extremely loving and affectionate. It’s like they know they got a second chance.

  2. Hindy Pearson says:

    It is such a wonderful thing to foster an animal. If, for whatever reason, you are unable to make a lifetime commitment, fostering is the next best thing. It allows rescues who rely on private homes to help save more lives, and for shelters to free up space, or have help in caring for dogs or cats who need more one on one attention then they are able to provide.

  3. sherri says:

    These are good reasons but I need more space for another pet and I’d end up keeping them all

  4. The Daily Pip says:

    We have fostered many animals and also have several foster failures. I also recommend hospice foster care for older shelter animals. Our family has provided hospice foster care for several animals and it was truly an amazing experience.

  5. Malaika Fernandes says:

    These are all the reasons i give people when i am trying to convince them to be a foster. Having fostered animals from time to time i know there is no better feeling in the world it may leave your wallet a little light but the joy it brings!!

  6. Golden Daily Scoop says:

    Those are great reasons, it takes a special kind of person to foster animals. We have many friends who foster and do amazing work for the animals in our community.

  7. Robin says:

    Fostering dogs and cats is a wonderful idea! I wish I had the ability. Knowing me, I would just end up keeping them all. I get attached so quickly! 🙂

  8. Sweet Purrfections says:

    Great reasons to foster a dog or a cat.

  9. Christine Caplan says:

    The best part of being a foster is that you’re making a HUGE difference for this animal and teaching them the manners they need to become a family member… or perhaps you become a foster failure and find that they fit perfectly in your home!

  10. Beth Patterson says:

    Those are all great reasons! I haven’t ever fostered, but I am so grateful to the people who do! I know it makes a world of difference to the dogs.

  11. Lisa Bregant says:

    I am moving in a few months and plan to start fostering when we get settled. I can’t wait! It has been a dream for a long time.

  12. Tenacious Little Terrier says:

    Fostering is wonderful. I really appreciated having a dog who had been fostered so I knew all about him! We’re not fostering currently but maybe in the future.

  13. Katie A says:

    I hope to one day be able to foster for the rescue I adopted Echo from. Thank you for encouraging people to foster!

  14. Cathy Armato says:

    Fostering definitely saves lives, I’ve seen that first hand several times. I love all the dogs I’ve fostered and seeing them off to a loving forever home is so rewarding! One of my fosters had severe kennel cough. I know that if he didn’t get fostered he probably would have been euthanized. A shelter can’t take the chance of keeping a dog with a highly contagious illness in the general population. They need to isolate them or send them to a rescue or foster. Space in ISO units and even with rescues is limited. That’s one big way fosters step in to quickly save lives. Many shelters now have Day Foster programs, so if a person is unsure about fostering they can start with that. A day out of the shelter environment does wonders for a dog!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs luv Us and We luv Them

  15. Jana Rade says:

    Fostering is on our list; once we actually have a place in which we can do that.

  16. Elizabeth Keene says:

    Hooray for fostering dogs and cats! I have a gigantic passion for this cause and cannot agree more with your assessment. Thank you for educating your readers! Beautiful husky!

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