Guide For Foster Dog Parents

Every year, around 3.3 million dogs are given up to American animal shelters across the country.  That makes for a lot of sad puppy-dog eyes. 

Unfortunately, these charities can’t house the poor pups fast enough or cater to their needs alone. This is a sad reality in our country, but there is a way you can help. This is where fostering comes in.

If you have the time and space to foster a dog until their forever home is found, here’s our guide on how to become the best foster dog parents you can be.

Why Become Foster Dog Parents?

If you’ve been thinking about getting a dog but you’re not sure you’re ready to make the full commitment, fostering can be a great first step.  Or maybe you’re an experienced pet-parent that is in-between dogs right now and not ready for a new forever pup but still want some doggy cuddles. 

You can care for a dog short term and make sure it’s the right choice for you, and at the same time, provide a dog down on their luck with all the love and support they need.

Maybe you already have a canine friend that would like some company, or you are just a lovely person that wants to help transform a dog’s life. Either way, fostering a dog is a great way to make our world a little better.

What Do You Need?

Besides the usual supplies like food and water bowls, kibble, and toys, the most important thing to have when fostering a dog is time. Some foster dogs may be very scared and need a lot of patience before they will feel comfortable and come out of their shells. Any dog also needs your time throughout the day to train them, take them for walks, and of course, have lots of cuddles.

Your rescue center will help pair you with a dog that suits your current commitments and living arrangements. When fostering a dog, it’s also a good idea to visit them several times beforehand so they can get used to you and your smell.

If you don’t live close to the shelter you are fostering from, you will also need a suitable vehicle to safely transport your pup home. Stop by a pet store to pick up the basics. Often, your animal shelter will help pay for the cost of food and veterinary bills. This might not always happen, so check and ensure you can bridge any financial gaps. 

Prepare Your Home

You may need to dog-proof your home and provide a safe space for your dog to be when you first take them home. They will want to settle in at their own pace and should have somewhere quiet and out of the way to do that. 

A crate at the house is also a must-have, as it will keep your foster dog safe and help them feel secure. Try to hide or cover anything that could be chewed, scratched, or swallowed. Some rescue dogs may not have been taught the difference between toys and furniture. 


Make sure you have an easily accessible vet picked out in case of emergency. Your animal shelter may be able to advise on good veterinary services in your local area. 

Help Us Help Dogs!

There is so much joy to be had from becoming foster dog parents! Rescue centers are desperate to give dogs loving homes. Now, with this guide, you’re a little bit more prepared to be a foster dog parent. And if you want to adopt a new friend for keeps, you can choose Best Friends Animal Society Utah and Nuzzles & Co.  As a matter of fact, that is how Claudia ended up with the famous Hugo.  He started as a foster pup that she fell in love with. 

At Hugo Coffee Roasters, we also help rescue dogs every time you buy our coffee! Check out our selection of craft coffee with a great cause.