Back to News

Published: Nov 22, 2011

Owning a pet comes with a lot of responsibility as animals rely on their human masters to feed, exercise and love them. Sometimes people need test runs to see if they're ready for the real thing. This can be done by watching a family member or friend's dog while they vacation, or choosing to become a foster pet parent.

According to, fostering can be a great way for people to share the affection of having a pet, but in a less permanent way. However, fostering is a serious responsibility and those interested need to make sure they're ready for the commitment.

The site reports that fostering an animal will require an owner to feed the animal at least twice a day, groom it, pet it and play with it so that the pet gets the exposure it needs to be well-rounded when it comes time for adoption. Properly exercising the animal is another must - VCA Animal Hospitals reports that dogs typically need two, 30-minute walks each day and cats must engage in several short bursts of activity to stay healthy.

Aside from the maintenance responsibilities, foster parents will also need to work on training. Many pets end up in shelters due to abuse, neglect or because a family is no longer able to afford them. Because of this foster pets may be anxious, fearful, poorly behaved or even aggressive at first. Foster owners need to be sure they are ready to deal with these issues to help the pet heal and become ready for adoption.