Lifestyle

Foster a dog! Open your home (and heart) to a pooch in need

An absolutely paw-some initiative

If you love animals, the thought of having a dog will very likely have crossed your mind many times before.

Though with job schedules, money restraints, family ties, being away for holidays, alongside the endless list of other commitments, it’s not always such a practical idea.

However, having a pooch totter around the house could be set to change with foster care.

The fostering programme allows you to welcome a dog into your home for a short-term stay, where you’ll be helping them out while not having to commit for life.

[Credit: Dogs Trust]

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, offer two schemes you can sign up for – Home from Home or The Freedom Project.

The Home from Home initiative is a conventional fostering plan that involves caring for a homeless hound while the charity hunt for its forever home.

While you will have to spare time for play and walkies, everything else the dog needs ­– such as food, bedding, toys and treats – will be provided for you.

Meanwhile, The Freedom Project is an incredible resource that invites people to foster a dog belonging to a family fleeing domestic abuse until they can be reunited again.

[Credit: Dogs Trust]

To keep the canines as safe and calm as possible during their transition period, opening your home (and heart) to a foster dog does involve a certain set of criteria.

Foster pet parents must be 18+ and able to travel to their local rehoming centre regularly; it is also preferred if you live in a household without children and no other dogs or cats.

Chatting about the process, Sabrina Holder from Dogs Trust Kenilworth, explained the foster carer model works wonders for dogs who find it difficult to adjust to kennel life.

[Credit: James Barker]

Sabrina said: “Older dogs, very young dogs, pregnant mums or dogs who are poorly particularly benefit from having all their home comforts and TLC from their foster carer.”

She continued: “We are particularly looking for people who would be happy to care for a larger dog, such as our beautiful Great Dane, Zara.

“Zara is a gorgeous seven-year-old who had lived in the same home since she was a puppy. She arrived with us in April due to a change in her family’s circumstances and although we love her to bits, as she has been with us for a while, we would be delighted if she could be welcomed into a foster home until she finds her new forever family.”

Our heartstrings are well and truly close to pinging.

To offer a doggy lifeline, click here: Dogs Trust.

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