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Tips To Help Care For A Rescue Foster Dog

If you're hoping to give back to your community and make a difference while also indulging your love of animals, you might consider being a foster parent for rescue dogs. However, if you have limited experience with rescue animals, you may not know how to meet the needs of the foster pet. Rescue dogs often need medical care, special attention, and more training than a dog you purchase from a breeder or another loving family. Here are some tips that can help you care for foster dogs. 

Take safety precautions.

Many dogs who are rescues have not been socialized or taught the right manners. Many might have been abused or neglected. Because of this, some dogs may have aggressive or needy behaviors that can be dangerous to children or other dogs and cats in the home. To make sure everyone stays safe, allow the foster dog to be alone when eating and drinking at first to make sure there is no food aggression problems. Also provide a crate for sleeping and do not allow the foster dog free range of the house until you have found out how they behave. Keep young children away from your dog at first to help prevent the foster from being startled or afraid. 

Protect belongings.

Dog who have not been taught proper manners may not know the different between dog toys and the belongings of others. Keep children's toys in a playroom or bedroom, and fill a basket for dog toys for the foster to use. Put shoes, cords, and other low-lying knick-kacks away for their own safety. Once the foster begins to learn some more manners, you can reintroduce the belongings of others to see if they have improved. 

Don't tease, take, or chase.

Children may need to be told this repeatedly, but it's important for everyone's safety and the dog's security and healing that you don't take things that belong to them (like a toy or a beloved blanket), tease with prodding and poking, or chase them around the house. Happy, well-adjusted family pets are fine with occasional tease and may love a good chase, but dogs from abuse histories may not realize it is just a game and could become afraid or aggressive. 

Stay on top of medications and vet treatment. 

If the dog needs special treatment and food to overcome past trauma, stick with the vet approved regimen. This will help a dog manage pain and disability better, and help make it easier for a foster dog to eventually find a permanent home. 

For more information about caring for a foster rescue dog, contact a local veterinarian