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Five Tips for Fostering Pets

Fostering pets is a great way to help acclimate pets to a home environment and get them ready to be re-homed to a loving family. Here are some tips to help you acclimate your foster pet.

1. Give them space.

Your foster pet will need some space of their own, especially in the beginning. Do not introduce them to the whole family all at once. Give them time to adjust to their environment and then slowly, over days, introduce the different members of your family.

Provide private access to food, water, and a litter box if you are fostering a cat.  If you can, make it a room with low human traffic that is easy to sanitize, avoid rooms with carpeting. This step is especially important if you are unsure of the vaccination status of the pet you’re fostering. Keeping everyone separate will help stop the spread of any disease.

2. Keep it Clean

Wash your hands! Right now, with the coronavirus, we are all becoming hand washing experts. After playing with your foster pet, handling cat litter, coming in contact with any open wounds, or touching toys, food and water dishes wash your hands right away. Meticulous hand washing is a big step towards protecting everyone from contagious disease. Alcohol-based sanitizer can also be very useful for keeping hands clean in between washings. You might be wondering why you would be coming into contact with wounds or illness. Sometimes foster pets are not 100% healthy when the come to us, which is part of the reason why they need to be fostered.

3. Cleaning and Disinfection

Keep everything clean. Your foster pet may have illness issues or stress issues that can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Using a bleach solution will help keep things clean and sanitary and will stop the spread of any illenss.

Regular cleaning with a 1:10 dilute bleach solution will keep your environment disease free for you and your pets. Put the solution in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down surfaces, pour a little into a disposable tray and use it to disinfect the soles of your shoes, or dump into a mop bucket to clean the floors.

4. Make it Zen

Your foster pet will be stressed out when they come to you. Stress depresses the immune system, which makes your pets more susceptible to illness. A stressed pet will get sick quicker and take longer to recover. A stressed cat or dog may become anxious or agitated, which could lead to violent behavior towards you, other pets, or their environment. Keeping a new pet calm and happy will not only keep you safe, it will keep them from accidentally hurting themselves as well.

Give them a kennel to go into. Provide them with a blanket to curl up in. Think about putting a few drops of lavender oil on their collar or bedding as a natural anti-anxiety. You can also add rescue remedy to their water to help quell some of their anxiety.

5. Vet Visit

Most likely your foster pet will come to you with up to date vaccines. If not, you can come to our walk in shot clinics and get them vaccinated. If you are concerned about any health or behavior issues with your foster pet, bringing them in to see your Los Lunas vet is a great time to bring up those issues.

These five steps are a great start to a happy, healthy home, but using common sense is the most important element of any program to provide a happy, healthy, disease-free household.

If you are interested in fostering a pet go to PACA for foster information.

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2510 Main St. NE #1 Los Lunas, NM Phone: (505) 865-0662

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.loslunasvetco.com


The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.