Before you foster:
- First think about your four legged children at home:
- Are their vaccinations up to date (<12 months since last vaccine for the 5-in-1 vaccine and kennel cough and <3years for rabies vaccine (in certain provinces (KZN) rabies are done yearly).
- If you have your own puppy make sure he is fully vaccinated – a fully vaccinated puppy already received 3 sets of the 5-in-1 and at least one rabies vaccination. One puppy vaccine is not enough to give your puppy good protection against viruses like distemper and parvo – which can be fatal.
- It is recommended to have monthly flea and tick control in place with a topical agent like Advantix, Frontline or Revolution before fostering
- Consider how your dog might respond to a new edition. Especially old or anxious dogs may not enjoy to share your love with a stranger.
- A few questions to ask regarding the four legged foster child:
- Was the pet kept in quarantine for at least 2 weeks after rescue? The incubation period of many viral and blood borne infections can be up to 2 weeks (some can take as long as 4-6 weeks before becoming symptomatic). When rescued from questionable areas the risk for parvo, distemper, kennel cough, ringworm, ear mites, mange and other intestinal parasites like giardia, coccidia and worms are high. These are all contagious to your pets and some will even infect humans.
- Does the foster child have any symptoms like a cough, a skin condition, excessive itching, diarrhoea, scooting, decrease appetite or vomiting?
- If it is an adult dog did he have his vaccinations within the last year and not less than 2 weeks ago? If it is a puppy who only received his first or second vaccination – his immunity will still be poor against common viruses therefore keep them away from all public places until the third vaccination. Are worming and tick and flea control in place?
- If it is an adult dog or puppy close to puberty (6 months) neutering or spaying is highly recommended before fostering.
- What is the pet’s temperament like? This is especially important if you do not have experience with pets with behavioural problems or if the foster pet will share your home with children and other pets. It is also important to ask why the pet is up for foster care and whether he was fostered before.
- A few questions to ask yourself?
- Your main motivation for fostering?
- Do you have the time, the space and patience for a foster pet?
- Who will be responsible for the expenses (food, vet bills, blankets etc.) during the foster period?
- Will you be able to care for this foster pet as if it is your own pet but be able to let them go to a forever home when the time is right?