CBD for Your Dog: Your Most Important Questions Answered

dog hemp plant cbd

Introduction to CBD for Your Dog

CBD is one of the most talked-about options in the holistic wellness space, and it’s no surprise why. However, this holistic remedy does bring up its fair share of questions.

If you’re currently exploring the world of CBD and how it can help your four-legged friend, you may wonder a lot of things. What is it? How does it work? Is it safe? Is it effective? Part of the journey in getting all your top CBD questions answered is learning all about the many CBD benefits for dogs and how it can help them live happier and healthier lives.

So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at CBD, the many situations it’s used for, and how it may be the perfect holistic option for your pup!

 

What is CBD?

dog cbd education

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is CBD, and where does it come from?

CBD is short for “cannabidiol,” a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant.

The cannabis plant comes in two varieties: marijuana and hemp. The main difference between the two plants is the tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, content. The marijuana plant contains high levels of THC (the psychoactive component that marijuana is known for). The hemp plant, however, contains trace amounts of THC – generally, no more than .3%. CBD can be extracted from both of these plant varieties; however it’s the hemp variety that’s sourced for CBD products made for dogs and other animals.

 

Is CBD legal?

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal in all 50 states, so you never have to worry about accessibility issues.

 

Will CBD get your dog high?

As mentioned above, only CBD from the marijuana variety of the cannabis plant contain high levels of THC (the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with “getting high”).

Since hemp-derived CBD products only contain trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less), you don’t have to worry about your pet experiencing any kind of high.

Another significant CBD fact is that hemp-derived CBD is also non-addictive. Your pet will not develop a dependency to CBD and can instead simply reap its many potential health and wellness benefits.

 

How does CBD work?

When cannabinoids like CBD are introduced into the body, they interact with something called the endocannabinoid system.

You can think of the endocannabinoid system as you would any other regulatory system in the body like the immune system or the central nervous system.

The endocannabinoid system in particular plays a role in regulating key physiological processes such as appetite, sleep, pain response, and mood.

Both us and our dogs have an endocannabinoid system. In fact, the system is present in all mammalian bodies, where its job is to remedy any imbalances in order to achieve homeostasis, a.k.a. optimal function of and steady equilibrium among our internal processes.

So how does the endocannabinoid system work exactly?

Simply put, the endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. The below picture shows how these receptors are spread all throughout the body, located in important organs like the brain and lungs and in important systems like the immune system and vascular system.

cbd dog cannabinoid receptors endocannabinoid system

When cannabinoids like CBD enter the body, they interact with the endocannabinoid system either by binding directly to and activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors, or by performing certain actions that influence the endocannabinoid system indirectly.

These interactions are what result in the potential health benefits a person (or animal) can experience when using CBD or other cannabinoids.

For example, the cannabinoid THC can modulate pain at the spinal cord and brain level when it activates CB1 receptors, while activating the CB2 receptors can help support the body’s normal inflammatory response.

 

Specifically, How Can My Dog Benefit from CBD?

dog cbd

Now that we’ve talked a little bit about how CBD works on the molecular level, let’s discuss the outward signs of CBD’s effect on your dog.

CBD for Mobility

As your dog starts to get up in years, you may notice changes to his mobility as a normal part of aging. Maybe he’s no longer able to enjoy his daily walks the way he used to, or maybe he struggles to climb the stairs in your home.

Many pet parents turn to CBD for this very situation. CBD supports healthy joints and flexibility, provides connective tissue support, and can help relieve occasional joint stiffness by maintaining joint mobility and supporting bone health.

It’s no wonder so many of our customer success stories revolve around senior dogs who got the spring back in their step thanks to CBD!

CBD for Pain

Do you know how to tell if your dog is in pain? Dogs are notorious for hiding their discomfort, a trait they inherited from their wild ancestors. Usually, by the time a dog has made their pain known, it’s progressed to a very uncomfortable point.

Naturally, no pet parent ever wants to see their dog in pain. Whether your dog is recovering from an injury or recent operation, or is experiencing occasional discomfort from normal aging or from normal daily exercise and activity, CBD can help.

CBD supports a normal inflammatory response in the body, which helps with occasional stiffness and soreness while also supporting healthy cellular activity and normal muscle recovery.

CBD for Stress

Stress can affect dogs just as much as it can people. There are various reasons why a dog may feel stressed or nervous, including loud noises (like thunderstorms and fireworks), changes in the household (such as bringing a new baby home or having family over for a special gathering), changes to their usual routine (such as traveling, hospitalization, or moving to a new home), and separation from their loved ones at times when they’re left home alone.

Other times, you may simply have a dog on your hands who is dealing with hyperactivity. Hyperactivity is often caused by excess energy and can lead to destructive behavior.

Fortunately, CBD can help. CBD has a calming effect on the nerves, which automatically promotes relaxation in animals and supports a normal emotional balance. It helps animals cope with external stresses (including environmentally-induced stress) and situations that may cause nervousness and helps them maintain a normal and relaxed disposition.

CBD for Wellness

In the same way that we take vitamins and other supplements in order to support our immune system, dogs can benefit from immune-boosting foods and holistic options as well, especially in their senior years, when added support can make all the difference in improving their quality of life.

In addition to assisting and supporting the immune system, CBD also supports normal cardiovascular and neurological function, promotes long-term health, and helps maintain physical and mental wellbeing.

Is CBD safe for pets?

dog cbd
CBD products are perfectly safe for your furry friend as long as they’re derived from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant.

Products derived from the marijuana variety of cannabis, however, are NOT safe for animal consumption, as they typically contain high levels of THC and can thus be toxic to animals.

As for side effects, hemp-derived CBD rarely produces side effects in pets, with most pet parents simply observing slight lethargy in the beginning of the introduction process. That is one of the reasons CBD is such a popular holistic option among pet parents.

Below are the most commonly reported side effects, but every dog is different, and you may find that your four-legged friend exhibits none of these side effects at all.

The important thing is to closely monitor your dog’s behavior and activity levels when first introducing CBD (and to introduce it slowly), so that you can best determine the perfect dose for your pup.

Most Common Reported Side Effects:

Dry Mouth

CBD can lead to a decrease in the production of saliva. This typically presents itself as an increased thirst in your pet. Ensure that your dog always has access to fresh water so that he can satisfy his thirst as needed.

Slight Lethargy

CBD can promote relaxation in animals, so your four-legged friend might seem a little sleepy when they’re first introduced to CBD. This may be ideal if you’re using CBD to help your dog manage stress or nervousness, but if your dog ever seems too drowsy, you can always adjust their dose accordingly.

Lowered Blood Pressure

If you administer too high a dose of CBD to your pet, it may cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. The drop itself is small, but it can create a temporary feeling of lightheadedness in your pup. Be sure to stay within the recommended dosage range for your dog’s weight whenever offering them CBD.

Diarrhea

If you’ve ever introduced a new food or supplement to your dog’s healthcare regimen, you probably already know that diarrhea is almost an expected side effect. In this case, the gastrointestinal upset is not caused by the CBD itself but rather by the carrier oil that’s used in the product. This is why it’s important to slowly introduce CBD to your dog, as it gives his body time to acclimate. It’s also a good rule of thumb to offer CBD at mealtime as opposed to on an empty stomach.

When first introducing CBD to your pet, it’s always best to start with a smaller dose and then gradually work your way up to a full dose over a series of days.

And it’s good news that today’s top pet CBD brands have developed creative, functional ways for our canine companions to enjoy CBD in forms that are safe and, in many cases, already familiar to them.

What are the most common CBD products for dogs?

cbd oil for dogs

CBD Oils

CBD oils are commonly referred to as CBD tinctures.

CBD tinctures come equipped with a dropper (usually 1mL in size), which takes out the guesswork when it comes to giving your pet CBD. With a tincture, you always know just how much CBD oil your animal friend is receiving and can easily adjust the dose as needed.

CBD oils are best administered sublingually (under your pet’s tongue). This allows the CBD to quickly diffuse into the blood through the tissues located underneath your pet’s tongue.

Alternatively, with a pet tincture, you can also administer CBD oil at mealtime.

 

cbd bites and chews for dogs

CBD Bites and Chews

What dog doesn’t love a tasty morsel of goodness?

CBD bites and chews make it easier than ever to introduce CBD into your pet’s health regimen. They come in various shapes and sizes and are usually formulated with delicious ingredients that pets already love — like coconut, peanut butter, and turmeric.

Some pet CBD companies even manufacture CBD-infused peanut butter and CBD-infused coconut oil. CBD oil products like this are a big hit among animals!

 

cbd topicals for dogs

CBD Topicals

Not all CBD pet products need to be consumed.

Sometimes, animal lovers seek out specific CBD benefits that can be achieved simply through topical application.

Since CBD can help support healthy skin, CBD-infused coconut oil for pets is a popular go-to in moisturizing the dry skin of noses or cracked paws. It’s also a great option to turn to for hot spots.

What is the best pet CBD brand?

Not all pet CBD products are created equally.

This is one of the biggest reasons why it’s important to know your CBD facts when purchasing a product for you or your pet.

This is especially vital considering the CBD space isn’t regulated by any official governing bodies, meaning it’s all too easy to come across low-quality products or even products that contain no CBD whatsoever despite what their labeling says.

For that reason, here are seven must-haves to tick off your criteria list when you’re researching a CBD company:

1. Hemp-derived CBD only!

This not only ensures that your CBD is legal in all 50 States, but it also guarantees that your CBD product doesn’t contain high traces of THC, which can be toxic to your pet. (Ultimately, a Certificate of Analysis will give you the most detailed breakdown of your CBD, which we discuss further down this list).

2. Full-spectrum CBD oil is king!

Avoid broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate and go straight for full-spectrum CBD. Again, full-spectrum CBD contains the most cannabinoids, and studies have shown that these cannabinoids work together synergistically in order to produce the most potent results for your health or your pet’s health. In short: the more cannabinoids, the better. Some companies will tout CBD isolate as a purer product since it contains 100% CBD and nothing else. The reality, however, is that CBD isolate is simply cheaper to make since it eliminates all the other cannabinoids in the production process. While it certainly can offer health benefits, full-spectrum CBD is a great deal more robust.

3. CBD products should be natural and all organic.

As with organic food, the cannabis plant’s quality can be altered by the way that it’s grown. Best practices mean plants that haven’t been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals. The method of extraction makes a difference as well, with CO2 extraction being the best option. It produces cleaner, purer, and healthier hemp CBD oil. In addition, CBD pet products should be non-GMO and free of soy, dairy, corn, and gluten as well.

4. Buy from a CBD company that is compliant with The National Animal Supplement Council.

The NASC ensures that retailers practice ethical behavior and that they’re 100% committed to manufacturing only the safest and highest quality of products. NASC-compliant companies undergo rigorous quality audits to ensure their supplements (CBD included) are top-of-the-line. With no formal governing bodies monitoring the CBD space, the NASC seal of approval is a sure way to find premium quality CBD for your pet.

5. A Certificate of Analysis (or COA) will show exactly how much CBD a product contains.

Any reputable company should be able to provide you with a Certificate of Analysis. If they can’t or won’t, that’s a red flag. This important document ensures that your CBD product contains no contaminants that can be toxic to your pet, while also providing a comprehensive breakdown of all the different cannabinoids and terpenes that are present in your CBD. (Terpenes are natural compounds that are also derived from the cannabis plant and added to CBD products to produce certain desired results; some are best for promoting relaxation, for instance, while others can be used to support the body’s inflammatory response). A Certificate of Analysis will also allow you to ensure that the THC levels in your product are at 0.3% or less.

6. Play detective and research any CBD company you’re considering.

Make sure that the company is in right-standing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Simply search online for “FDA dog CBD,” and you’ll find a list of offenders who have made false claims about their products in the past. Reading client reviews will also give you a clear idea of brand reputation and customer service, and you should always check out a company’s rating on Better Business Bureau.

7. Ensure the CBD has been lab-tested by a third party and not a company that the retailer is affiliated with.

The Certificate of Analysis should list the name, address, phone number, and sometimes even website of the lab that tested the CBD, allowing you to contact them and ask any questions you might have. This ensures total transparency in the lab results and guarantees that the Certificate of Analysis is accurate and authentic.

 

Where can I buy CBD oil?

The internet is full of CBD companies and retailers who sell hemp-derived CBD products.

That said, you should never purchase a CBD product without thoroughly investigating the company behind it first.

Do your homework, read reviews, and research the company in question as much as you can. Use the 7-step buyer’s guide provided above as you begin to compare different CBD brands and don’t stop searching until you’ve found a company that checks off all the boxes.

How do I know what CBD dosage to give my dog?

dog cbd

Your veterinarian or other trusted pet health and wellness expert can best help you determine the optimal CBD dosage to give your dog based on a few determnining factors. Here are some guidelines to help you, as an educated pet parent, best understand CBD dosages.

There are different types of CBD products, from CBD dog treats to CBD oil for dogs, so deciding on a dose of CBD can be confusing at first. But, once you know the factors involved, finding a CBD dosage is much easier.

As with all things, some dogs may react differently than others. For this reason, you should watch your pet carefully and adjust their dosage accordingly.

The amount of hemp oil you give your dog depends on their weight and their particular ailment. A good formula to use when deciding on a dose of CBD for your dog is: 0.25mg of CBD per pound of dog. This means for a 9-pound dog, a good CBD dose to start with is 2.25mg.

For therapeutic benefits for stress, CBD can be used as needed. For more serious ailments, pet parents should follow a set schedule to avoid flair ups.

Another factor to consider is the age of your pet. This can affect the potency of the CBD dose. A younger dog will not be as affected by a CBD dose as an older, full-grown dog. Because of this, younger pups may need a higher dose to get the desired effect from their CBD oil.

Lastly, the type of CBD product that a pet owner uses will affect the dose. A CBD tincture is pure hemp oil and will most likely result in the most fast-acting benefits. A CBD dog treat contains CBD, but also other ingredients. This can affect how quickly the CBD is absorbed in your dog’s system.

Regardless of the delivery method, all quality CBD products are very effective depending on your furry friend’s needs. Always be sure to follow the dosage instructions and closely monitor how your dog reacts. Based on your dog’s response, you can increase or decrease the CBD oil dosage to fit your needs.

How Much CBD is in a CBD Dog Treat or CBD Oil?

dog cbd

When buying CBD products, the package usually lists the total amount of CBD in the package (like the box of treats or bottle). Because of this, it’s important to read the box or bottle carefully so you don’t assume one is more potent than the other when, in fact, each treat may contain the same amount of CBD.

To figure out how much CBD is in each treat or each dose of CBD oil, scan the back of the package and determine how much CBD is in each drop or CBD treat. With CBD oil and tinctures, you may have to do a little math. That depends on if the CBD dose is determined per drop or on how many drops are in the dropper itself. Most products will tell you how many milligrams are in a full dropper and if this is the case you can figure out the CBD dose easily.

If the CBD oil or hemp oil says it contains 35 mg of CBD per full dropper, you can fill the dropper yourself and dispense the oil to confirm how many drops are in the dropper. Let’s say there’s an average of 30 drops in each full dropper. You would just divide 35 mg by 30 drops. This would tell me there is about 1.2 mg of CBD in each drop of CBD oil. Now you know how to start your dog’s dose of CBD!

As mentioned above, we always recommend consulting with your trusted vet or other pet health expert when starting a new health remedy for your pet.

 

CBD for Your Dog – Final Thoughts and Next Steps

CBD is taking the holistic world by storm, and it’s easy to see why.

People all over the world are turning to this holistic option for a host of reasons, from fighting free radicals and supporting healthy immune function to promoting relaxation and helping with occasional discomfort.

Fortunately, these days, our beloved four-legged friends can take part in the exciting world of CBD too, thanks to CBD pet companies that are dedicated to crafting the best CBD products for our dogs and cats to support their health and happiness.

 

If you’ve been on the fence about giving CBD a try, why not make today the day you take a leap to see the results for yourselves?

Best Friends Pet Hotel proudly partnered with Honest Paws in 2020 to offer a superior-quality pet CBD product line (available at all of our locations) that our pet parents can trust.

Honest Paws pet CBD products

Honest Paws uses 100% pure full spectrum CBD hemp oil from hemp plants cultivated in Colorado; made in the USA and thoroughly lab tested.

Honest Paws pet CBD products are human grade, organic, 100% natural, and completely vegan. Additionally, they’re non-GMO, soy free, dairy free, corn free, and gluten free.

Honest Paws is certified with the National Animal Supplement Council for all their products and undergo rigorous quality audits to achieve the highest standards in the CBD space.

We invite you to explore our entire collection of Honest Paws pet CBD products, which are available across four unique condition-specific lines: Calm, Mobility, Relief, and Wellness.

 

To learn more about Honest Paws pet CBD products for your dog, visit our products page, or call your local Best Friends Pet Hotel, and someone will be happy to answer any questions for you. 

All of our Honest Paws pet CBD products can be purchased curbside at your local Best Friends Pet Hotel.

 

 

Sources:
https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/cbd-benefits-for-dogs/
https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/is-cbd-safe-for-dogs/
https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/best-cbd-oil/
https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-and-cbd/
https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/cbd-dosage-for-dogs/
https://www.honestpaws.com/blog/cbd-facts/

 

 

Top 3 Reasons To Foster A Shelter Pet

By Christine A. Bournias

dog with pet foster

What Is Pet Fostering?

The sad reality is that shelters are overcrowded and simply cannot host the volume of furry bodies in need. Fostering is a way to provide temporary care and/or housing for these animals that need to live in a home environment prior to adoption.

By no fault of their own, most often animals are hurt or have serious illnesses that can’t be overcome. Some have insurmountable surgeries that can’t be performed because the animal is too far gone or too old for critical care. These animals, especially senior animals, often are misplaced and are much more difficult to place.

dog back sitting in park on leash

Worse, certain animals are often discriminated against based on their appearance. Unfortunately, the Black Dog Syndrome is real and common amongst shelters. It comes down to which animals have a better chance of adoption. While the numbers are improving, black dogs and cats are more difficult to adopt.

DID YOU KNOW?
October 1 is National Black Dog Day! “A 1998 study of 1,468 dogs offered for adoption at a local Humane Society did find that dogs with black fur were a factor in whether they got adopted. However, at the same time in 2008, the general manager of the Los Angeles Animal Services found that in a 12-month period covering 30,046 dogs, slightly more dogs that were completely or predominantly black were adopted than dogs that were not. And these two aren’t the only contradictory studies.” —Ceasarsway.com, Why Black Dogs Are Less Likely To Be Adopted

Many rescue organizations that don’t have a brick and mortar building in order to host the volume of animals that need shelter are typically run by Foster Pet Parents alone.

Fostering is ideal for some people, but not so much for others. Nonetheless, you must be prepared for all the responsibilities that go along with caring for different animals that may not be your first pick.

man with cat closeup

Why Do Rescue Organizations Need You To Foster?

Global animal welfare organizations need to relieve overcrowding and place needy animals in permanent forever homes.

And foster homes are in dire need.

When an animal is given the chance to live in a temporary, yet safe and supportive sanctuary, their chances for adoption increase exponentially.

This mission of any shelter is for needy animals to live out their lives in a forever home.

Due to the 2020 pandemic , many shelters hastened their efforts to ‘clear the shelters.’ While that sounds good in theory, it’s more important than ever to make sure these animals remain in loving homes.

Fostering or adopting a pet during time “at home” is wonderful. But as you transition back to your life as you know it—and return back to their semi-regular schedule—make sure that you’re fostering for the betterment of the animal.

Always stay just as committed to your furry companion through any unexpected life circumstances. Foster because you’re truly able to do it, not because you’re ‘bored.’.

Scenarios That Call For Temporary Homes:

  • An animal that suffers from anxiety of shelter stress, especially animals that need extra attention. As they await permanent residence in a foster home, their stress diminishes and they become better acclimated to the life of everyday human home life.
  • Abandoned, neglected, or abused animals benefit from a healthy human bond
  • Disabled, ill, injured, or senior animals that need dedicated medical attention
  • Animals in need of socialization and training for a family environment
  • People who suffer an area emergency or disaster. Animals displaced due to natural disasters are often awaiting reunion with their families. As these families work to re-establish their lives, they rely heavily on pet fosters.
  • Nursing cats and dogs
  • Young kittens and puppies that are too young to be adopted

dog near window with sun shining in

A Shelter Has A Responsibility To Their Animals

Just because you’re fostering, doesn’t mean it’s not as serious as adopting.

Look to an organization that will match animals with homes that best fit the needs of both the animal and the pet foster’s lifestyle. A reputable rescue organization will conduct a thorough vetting process and will find unique ways to save lives and ensure a successful fostering experience.

What An Organization Looks For In A Foster Pet Parent:

  • High level of commitment
  • Serious ONLY applicants
  • Financial security
  • Animal experience
  • Patience and understanding of shelter’s thorough vetting process

To minimize potential disharmony, shelter experts recommend keeping foster pets and their existing furry companions apart at certain times.When it comes to acknowledging an existing household environment, experienced Foster Pet Parents make sure to have a balance between moderate separation and proper socialization. For example, Foster Pet Parents may walk their own dogs together, but will chose to separate them for playtime and meals.

woman holding dog

A Foster Family Has A Responsibility To A Shelter Animal

Just like searching for the perfect adoptee for the animal’s forever home, a reputable rescue organization will also seek out an ideal candidate for pet fostering as well.

The organization who arranges your fostering journey should provide proper information about the animal you’re about to foster. Inquiry about your shelter pet’s entire medical history and temperament before bringing the shelter animal to meet the rest of the family—including other fur family members is a must.

boy with dog on yellow sofa

Make sure that the rescue organization is straightforward with you on either a clean bill of health or other pre-existing concerns that the shelter animal may have. If your animal is sick from the beginning, know what you’re getting yourself into.

The rescue or shelter needs to tell you any and all conditions upfront. Be sure that you have access and disclosure as to the animals health history, as well as their complete Veterinarian’s directives.

You’ll be assigned to take your foster to their Veterinarian visits with medical expenses covered by the organization. In order to increase their adoption chances, you’ll be asked to attend adoption events with your foster pet

When it comes to essential supplies, training, and special needs, there’s typically a pivot contact person from the shelter. That contact person should be able to provide you access to proper veterinary care or health & wellness clinics, as well as a 24-hour emergency number, should a problem arise.

vet with cat

Do YOU Have The Right Stuff To Foster?

Not certain you have what it takes to foster a shelter animal? While fostering is a heroic gesture, it isn’t the right choice for all. Therefore, it’s important to make a wise and foresighted decision.

A Foster Pet Parent has a vital role to play in this animal’s life. Fostering a shelter pet shouldn’t be taken lightly. Fosters are essential for the health and well-being of the animal.

As a temporary guardian to a dog or cat in need, Foster Pet Parents are the animal’s advocate. You represent them to the public and are their voice.

Why NOT you?

dog bandaged paw

How Do You Foster Without Falling In Love?

The rescue organization has approached you with the idea of fostering an animal from the rescue organization you support. Now what?

Remember, if you foster an animal, don’t think you won’t fall in love with them. You do fall in love. But, you’re fostering shelter animals to save lives.

“Fostering provides a great way for shelter animals to transition to a new home. When an animal in need receives the opportunity to live in a home environment, the fostering experience teaches the animal basic house manners, as well as the chance to socialize with people and other animals. It’s your opportunity to help animals without a long term commitment.” —Nicole A.

Fostering is one of the most unselfish things you can do for the love of an animal in need.

Foster = Love

Shelter animals usually find you, not the other way around. You have to decide if fostering a shelter animal is for you. Is it the right timing in your life—and do you have the resilience to do so?

woman with dog at park

What It Takes To Foster

Inner strength.

People will impose their beliefs on you and tell you that they just could never foster. Don’t let their own weaknesses deter you.

Be prepared, they’ll ask these questions:

  • “Why do you foster? (I couldn’t do it.)”
  • “How can you be a Foster Pet Parent without getting attached?”
  • “Doesn’t it hurt when you have to say good-bye?”

You got this.

Answer: Fostering gives a shelter pet a chance to know what true love is.

Here’s the reality: Fosters save lives. And shelters need you.

Characteristics Of A Foster Caregiver:

  • Compassionate
  • Committed
  • Devoted
  • Experienced
  • Gentle
  • Patience
  • Stamina

Be the reason they love humans.

pet adoption family

NOW Could Be Your Opportunity To Foster

You love your community. And you LOVE animals. Maybe it’s finally time to consider making the move to foster an animal in need?

Your philanthropic gestures do not go unnoticed and you’d do anything to save an animal in need. You give your heart and soul to help support your local rescue organizations by donating money—and precious time—to volunteer at the shelters.

Now you’re in the position to do more. It might just be the perfect time to foster a shelter pet.

Fostering an animal is gratifying and rewarding—it saves lives. Opening up your home to foster an animal in need can help the organization free up a spot for another animal in need also.

Most notable, it may provide you with the opportunity to channel the love you have for animals by caregiving for foster pet(s). By fostering, you have the honor of providing encouragement to an animal in their crucial stages of their life’s journey to being adopted.

woman kissing dog

3 Reasons To Be A Foster Pet Parent

1. Offers You The Opportunity To Give Back To Your Community

Can’t adopt just yet? Fostering is an excellent alternative. Helping your community by getting involved in adoption events is a good way to make a difference. Search the Petfinder database for local animal welfare organizations that could benefit from your fostering duties.

“Animal welfare organizations work to place lost, abandoned, abused, and relinquished animals in permanent homes. This helps relieve overcrowding and reduces an animal’s stress by providing a temporary and supportive sanctuary while he awaits permanent adoption.” —Pets For Patriots, The Wet Nose Blog

Contact your local organizations and rescue groups to learn about specific opportunities near you. In fact, Best Friends Pet Hotel is hosting adoption events at Pet Hotels near you.

woman with dog at park

Make Philanthropic Gestures

Fostering a shelter pet is a positive next step toward their forever home. What a better way to give back to your community and to the betterment, health, and well-being of pets in your area.

Follow Neighborhood Rules

Every county and town is different with the amount of animals allowed. Abide by your individual city laws and animal limits per household.

Stay Community Focused

1. Volunteer Where Your Passion Is
2. Help Needy Animals At Your Local Shelter
3. Make A Difference

woman kissing dog

2. Provides More Room In A Shelter

Fostering an animal in need is the most courageous thing you can do. When you foster one shelter animal, that leaves space for another needy animal to be saved.

You’re saving lives when you foster by giving an animal in need a chance at life. In addition, when you foster and you’re unable to own a pet due to lifestyle restrictions, you’ll reap benefits of pet ownership.

Why Animals In Need Benefit From Foster Pet Parents:

    • While animals are awaiting adoption, fostering offers a safe and supportive environment
    • Fostering reduces an animal’s stress by placing them in a comfortable home
    • By fostering, you improve an animal’s chances of obtaining qualified adoption applicants that can lead to adoption
    • When you foster a shelter pet, you have the chance to enhance their adoption potential
    • Many times relatives or friends of Military members don’t have the experience or cannot commit to long-term deployments. Fostering an animal for a military member provides a temporary, safe home to animals that anticipate being reunited with families following an emergency, natural disaster, or military deployment

According to Dog Is My CoPilot”, these two organizations help provide fostering services for deployed service member’s pet:

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet: Assists active duty deploying military service members, wounded warriors and honorably discharged/disabled veterans with medical/homeless hardship situations to reunite them with their pets following deployments and/or hardships.

Dogs on Deployment : Facilitates an online community to arrange fosters for deployment, family illness. or any other circumstances that render a service member temporarily unable to care for a pet. This online resource was founded by an active duty husband and wife team.

military dog

Steps To Consider When Fostering:

      1. Make sure you’re ready to foster by considering all aspects of your life
      2. Consider other family members and/or household pets
      3. Conduct breed research, animal’s history, and temperament assessment
      4. If applicable, know how and when to separate your foster pet from other family members
      5. Work with a reputable rescue organization
      6. Provide a safe, calm home environment
      7. Keep animals secure with a fence and/or other escape barriers
      8. Communicate with one contact person during the transition and fostering process
      9. Look for transparency on medical health of animal
      10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

dog giving paw to woman

At Home With Your Foster Pet?

There are several things you can do for your foster pet to have a good temporary home.

Homemade tunnels and obstacle courses and hide and seek sessions can be a wonderful way to provide a positive experience for your shelter pet. Nose tricks and interactive mind games help them stay alert. Interesting mental stimulation outside of a loud shelter is always positve.

Treat your furry friend to a frozen favorite dispensing toy or a spa-like pet massage in order to ease stress and comfort tired muscles. Just for fun, you can bake sticky treats for dogs or make a tuna snack for your cat.

girl reading to dog on bed

Venture Out With Your Foster Pet

Be sure to stay in shape together, enjoy the outdoors, read to them, sing them songs, and go for long walks together. Whether it’s a new direction around the block or a curious sniff and walk, adding adventure to you and your pet’s life is worth the extra energy you will expend.

Jumping through hoops will be new and different for your fostered pet. Also, training courses with a foster dog can be pivotal in their life. Encourage desired behavior and enjoy the process of making mistakes.

dog in grass

Give Them A Good Life: Camp Options

If it’s a dog you’re fostering, seek out your local and trusted Pet Hotel to watch your pets when/if they’re approved to be around other pets. New adventures and Doggy Day Camp offer an unique experience for your foster pet.

Camp benefits your dog’s physical and mental well-being. Remember current vaccinations are required for an interview assessment.

Best Friends Pet Hotel tennis ball
Photo Credit: Best Friends Pet Hotel (Avon)

3. Allows You The Chance To Love Other Pets

Fostering makes you feel needed. It expands the love in your heart. You’re a better person just by knowing another “furry” somebody else. You could be just the person they’re searching for to help them.

Fostering a shelter animal isn’t a replacement for adopting one of your own or filling the void in your heart when you lose your furry family member. It still takes a special person to foster other pets. Remember, your fostered shelter pet is a completely different animal than your own.

Enjoy The Foster Pet For Everything They Are

A foster pet can bring a sense of joy and fresh starts to a family and their future family.

Perhaps you’re still healing through the mourning process of losing a beloved pet? Keep your pet memories alive, but take the time you need to heal. Focus on everything your foster pet is and not what they’re not. Whatever you do, try not to compare the two.

Loving a pet is good for you.

woman with cat's head on shoulder

What Is A “Failed Foster?

Most Foster Pet Parents realize when the time comes to let go. They relinquish the shelter pet to another person for adoption because they recognize it’s in the best long-term interests of the animal to have a permanent home.

Foster Pet Parents are there to shepherd the journey for the animals next stage in life. It gives us a chance to channel our love and passion for what we believe in.

However, some Foster Pet Parents fail.

“Sometimes volunteers become so attached to the animals in their charge that they legally adopt them. This is known as a ‘foster failure’ because the capacity of the volunteer to care for other ‘temporary’ pets is diminished by one.”Pets For Patriots, The Wet Nose Blog

It’s common for fosters who are caring for animals for an extended period of time to develop strong bonds that lead to ‘foster failure.’ Some Foster Pet Parents get too attached to their shelter pets and keep them as their own. This failure situation is acceptable. While they fail the fostering process, they succeed at giving that animal a winning home.

woman hugging big dog

Fostering a shelter animal provides temporary care to those furry friends who benefit from living in a home environment. It’s a terrific way to give a shelter animal a chance, while at the same time enhancing your own life with the responsibility and companionship of an adoring pet.

So, do you have room in your family for one more?

Consider fostering a shelter pet—you could be the best thing that happens to that animal. You might just be that person that’s a lifetime Foster Pet Parent that both your local shelter and community rely on.

Good luck with your decision. We’re here to help.

 

 

About The Author:

Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.