Posted on April 21 2016
There’s no question about it, every family loves their pet—especially dogs! If you are thinking about getting one for your home, you may want to consider the following factors: your work commitments, your location, other priorities and much more. Taking care of an animal is a lot of work and could hurt your pockets in the long run.
Adoption may not be advisable for you, but there is another option: Fostering a pet! So how does fostering differ from adopting? When you foster, you take in the responsibility of providing the pet a permanent home and providing them food and water. The animal shelter will shoulder the other finances such as the regular trips to the vet and needed medications. It can be long term or short term; it varies on how long it takes for the animal to get adopted by another family. Simply put: You are going to take a pet home, take care of it until another family is ready to adopt it for good.
Though it may seem to be a little off putting, it has its fair share of benefits to the fostering family:
It is remarkably cheaper.
According to Veterinary Pet Insurance, $20,000 is the average cost of raising a dog from puppy to adulthood. This consists of food, toys, treats and regular vet appointments and check ups, as well as the needed vaccinations and supplementary vitamins. Having the company of the dog while having the support of the animal shelter is better than struggling to make ends meet.
Fostering allows you to test drive.
Whether you’re unsure if you can handle the full responsibilities of having a pet or if you already own pets and still in the process of deciding to get another one or not, fostering is always a good idea. You can test the waters with the new pet while the dog still gets the care it deserves along in the process.
You help your community.
Fostering does not only do good for the dog itself, but it also translates to the family that will adopt him/her in the future. By taking good care of the pet, teaching him/her the basic things it needs to know like potty training, you are doing favors for their future owners, which can be anyone from your community.
Gives you a chance to adjust.
If you are new to the whole pet thing, considering fostering instead of adopting could be a better choice. Aside from giving you a chance to test the waters, it can give you the experience of taking care of a pet first hand. No amount of research and reading can really tell if you are ready to have a pet unless you actually do.
Generally, you and your family get the full benefits of having a dog, without really owing it.
There is no question when it comes to the benefits a pet dog gives to you and your family. Here are just some of it:
Teaches your children responsibility—little tasks like walking the dog and feeding them can greatly affect your child/children’s behavior towards responding to commands and responsibilities. Having pets at home teaches the kids values and morals first hand.
Pets provide learning—According to Mary Renck Jalongo, PhD, education professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and author of The World of Children and Their Companion Animals, educators have long acknowledged the aid of therapy animals into a child’s brain development. Pets seem to boost the self esteem of a child, knowing that a child can explore and learn on his own with the presence of a nonjudgmental furry friend.
Pets keep kids healthy—a study published by pediatrician and head of the allergy and immunology department of the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Dennis Ownby, having multiple pets is linked to the potential reduction of a child's risk of developing certain allergies. His research, which was based on 474 babies, found that “children who were exposed to two or more dogs or cats as babies were less than half as likely to develop common allergies as kids who had no pets in the home.” Contrary to popular belief that furry friends can give your child asthma, Dr. Ownby’s study proves otherwise. Also, taking care of pets such as brushing their fur, patting and playing with them are proven to have lower the stress levels—which can be very helpful to moms and dads.
Pets encourage nurturing—Having pets around small children can teach them how to innately care for others. "Nurturing isn't a quality that suddenly appears in adulthood when we need it," Dr. Gail Melson, professor emeritus of developmental studies at Purdue University, in Indiana. "And you don't learn to nurture because you were nurtured as a child. People need a way to practice being caregivers when they're young."
Pets encourages an active lifestyle for your family—especially today when we live in a world dominated by technology that promotes a highly sedentary lifestyle. Families with pets are frequently found outdoors, playing and exercising with their pets, instead of being glued in front of the TV and having gadgets and phones as close to their faces.
In the end, fostering a pet does a lot of good. It would be beneficial for the shelter—allowing them to focus on other dogs and prevent overcrowding. This helps reduce the chances of euthanizing pets due to lack of space. It would be beneficial for the dog—giving them the care of a family they truly crave and deserve; and it would be beneficial for you and your family. Whether you are not ready for a lifelong commitment or still testing the waters, kudos to you for stepping up and accepting the challenge of raising a pet as one of your own.