Foster

Fostering Dogs across London, Essex, Kent, Hampshire and Surrey.

Thank you for your interest in fostering.  If you are home for most of each day, have a secure, private rear garden and your children, if you have any, are over eight years old; fostering could be perfect for you. 

Ideally you will have your own vehicle and be within an hour’s drive of either BR6 6BQ (Orpington, Kent) or GU11 1AN (Aldershot, Hants) to collect your foster dog.  If you don’t have your own vehicle, we may very occasionally be able to transport a dog to you but this will need to be discussed on an individual basis.

Take a look at what two of our amazing foster carers think of their role with Pro Dogs

 

Fostering a Pro Dogs dog or puppy involves looking after and caring for them in your own home to get them ready to move into their new permanent home.  Whilst you are fostering we will ask you to tell us as much as possible about the dog so that we can find the best home to match the temperament and needs of your foster dog.  When a possible permanent home has been found, we ask the prospective adopter to visit the dog at your home and for you to manage the dog’s handover to their new owner.

If you love dogs, fostering can be very rewarding but it is also a big commitment and we ask that you read through the FAQs below and think carefully about whether it’s for you before applying.

Dog fostering FAQs:

Can I foster a dog I’ve seen on your website?

We get asked this a lot but the simple answer is no as the dogs on the website are already happily settled in foster homes.  Our dogs are generally only put up for adoption on the site once they’ve lived in foster homes as this allows us to assess them properly and find exactly the right new home and owners to meet their needs.

Will my foster dog be house-trained?

Some dogs will be, but even those that are may have a lot have initial accidents in a new environments. You will need to reinforce a routine by putting the dog outside frequently at first and praising them when they toilet.  Most adult dogs are usually clean in the house quite quickly but some take a bit longer and you do need to expect a few accidents at first.  Younger puppies will definitely need a lot of patience whilst you house train them.

Will it cost me anything to foster and will I be paid?

Pro Dogs Direct will cover some of the costs of your foster dog including vet bills and dog food.  We will provide all the things you need, unless you already have some of these, or wish to provide them yourself.

You will need dog food (which we provide), bowls, a bed and some toys / chews. Some foster carers buy and ‘donate’ the dog food; this is very welcome but is not expected.  You will be a volunteer so we are not able to offer payment for fostering.

How long will I have a foster dog for?

This simply depends on how long it takes to find the right home for the dog. This could be a few days or it could be a few months.

Can I adopt my foster dog if I want to?

We pride ourselves on finding the most suitable homes for all our dogs, based on each individual dog’s needs.  If you would like to apply to adopt your fostered dog, your application will be considered along with others that have applied.  If you are considered suitable to adopt your foster dog, this may mean that you cannot, or would not want to continue to foster other dogs, so if you enjoy helping dogs through fostering this needs a lot of thought.

Can I foster more than one dog?

We do have carers who foster more than one dog; it depends on your individual circumstances (e.g. other pets) and your experience with dogs. If you want to foster more than one dog we will talk with you about this at the home check.

What happens if I have a problem with a dog?

We will give you support and advice about your foster dog and help with any problems. We have a behaviourist who will give you more in depth advice if needed. Some foster dogs have never lived in a house before so they need time to settle and to get used to a very different way of life. Happily, most dogs do settle and get into a routine quite quickly.

Can I foster if I have young children?

We are unable to accept foster carers with children under 8 years of age. As long as we are satisfied that you understand the need for constant and close supervision of dogs around young children and that you will provide this, it is possible to foster with children over 8 years old.  It’s important to remember that your foster dog will not have had a thorough assessment before you foster him or her.  Many of the dogs we rescue come to us as strays so we have not history or knowledge of temperament etc.  Assessing the dog is a vital part of the role of being a foster carer.

Can I foster if I have a cat?

Yes, we do have dogs who can live with cats. We also sometimes have puppies / young dogs who can live with cats.

Can I foster if I go out to work?

Yes, if your work pattern or your circumstances are quite flexible. When a new dog arrives he or she does need at least a few days to settle in before they can be left.  Even when settled, we ask that no foster dog is left unattended for more than 3-4 hours, so fostering does not suit everyone who works. It depends on your individual circumstances, so please provide as much detail as possible when applying.

Can I foster if I’m retired? Or if I have a health problem?

Yes, sometimes we have dogs that are suitable for older people. If you have a health issue you will need to talk to us about your particular circumstances. You need to be able to walk your foster dog each day. You also need to agree to keep your foster dog on a lead when out at all times.

Can I have a break? Can I stop fostering when I want to?

If you want to have a break or to stop fostering it is better for your foster dog if you can wait until a permanent home has been found for him or her. However, if you need to stop at short notice we will find another foster home as soon as possible.  Unless it is an emergency, this may take a few days so we ask you to give us as much notice as you can.

What happens once I send in my application?

We assess all applications to foster as quickly as possible; however, in particularly busy periods this can take up to two weeks.  If you meet the specified criteria (see above) to be a Pro Dogs foster carer, one of the team will be in touch to arrange a home visit.  This allows us to see where the dog will live, to talk to you about fostering and answer any questions you may have.  We can also, if you wish, arrange for you to have a chat with one of our existing foster carers.

We always aim to match dogs to the best possible foster home to meet their needs. Once you’ve been approved as a foster carer, we will match you with a suitable dog as soon as one becomes available – this could be in a few days or it could take considerably longer.  

Ready to apply?

The first step is to fill in our online fostering application form.