Preparing Your Home for a Foster Animal

Fostering an animal
Fostering an animal


Mary Margaret Penrose is a professor of law at the Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas. When she is not teaching subjects such as constitutional law and gender discrimination, Mary Margaret Penrose engages with local charities and community groups. Meg Penrose is especially interested in pet rescue work.

Fostering an animal is one of the most direct ways in which a person or family can support a local pet rescue. Foster families care for a cat or dog while a rescue or shelter continues to advertise the animal to potential families, in hopes of finding the pet a forever home. There are several steps individuals and families can take when preparing their home for a foster animal.

Arguably the most important action every pet owner must take is to prepare their own animals for a visitor. This includes taking medical precautions against possible infections and illnesses. All pets at a foster home should be up to date on vaccinations. Any owner unsure of fostering due to health concerns should consult with a trusted veterinarian.

Individuals must also prepare their living space for a new animal. Cats and dogs are curious species and, once comfortable, will be eager to explore their new surroundings. The key to effectively pet proofing a home is to fully appreciate an animal’s ability to get into trouble. Removing toxic substances, choking hazards, wires, plants, and plastic items from reach is a great place to start, but foster parents will need to remain vigilant as a pet moves throughout the house.

Finally, foster families must secure their yard. No foster animal should be left unattended outside. If a yard is not fenced in, foster animals should remain leashed.


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