Fostering Dogs FAQ

At AARCS, we believe in creating a compassionate world for all animals. Fostering is a vital part of our mission, providing temporary homes for animals in need while they await their forever families. In this blog post, we’ll address some common questions about fostering dogs with AARCS.

When you’re feeling ready to foster, sign up at aarcs.ca/foster!

No Dog Experience Required:

A common question is whether or not prior dog experience is needed. The answer is simple: no experience necessary! Fostering is a great way to see if a pet is the right fit for your family without having to make a long-term commitment. If it doesn’t work out, you can step back after the animal is adopted. We understand that uncertainties exist, and we work closely with foster families to ensure a positive experience.

Selecting the Right Pup:

Curious about how to select a foster dog? We post what we know about the dogs that are available to foster, including any medical or behavioural needs and if we know if they are good with cats, dogs and kids. You then pick who you are interested in and let our foster coordinator know! We can facilitate meetings before you take the dog home to ensure a good match.

Fostering with Other Pets and Kids:

We’re often asked if you can foster if you have other pets or children, and yes, you absolutely can! Not every dog will be the right fit for every family situation, but we will work with you to find the right match. We recommend slow introductions when integrating a foster into your home, such as setting them up with a separate, quiet area while they settle into your home, family and routine. We also have guides, resources and an awesome behaviour team to help you! 

Costs Associated with Fostering:

We all know that there are financial costs that come with owning a pet, but fostering does not! At AARCS, we cover all supplies, including food and other essentials. The only potential cost is gas for transportation to vet appointments. Your job as a foster home is to love your foster animal and teach them how to live alongside humans! We’ll take care of the rest.

Automatic No’s and Restrictions:

Wondering if there are deal-breakers? Distance to the shelters can be a factor – we’ll need you to be able to bring your foster to our AARCS Veterinary Hospital in Calgary or to approved partner clinics in Edmonton.

We also discourage exclusively outdoor foster homes, unless it’s a specific requirement for a particular dog.

Many folks think they can’t foster if they live in a condo or don’t have a fenced backyard, but we’re here to tell you that is a myth! Not every dog will be a good candidate for condo living, but there are certainly dogs that can be fostered in condos and attached housing.

Time Commitment of Fostering:

The time commitment varies depending on the animal’s needs. Puppies may find their forever homes in a few weeks, while older dogs, especially those with medical or behavioral needs, might take longer. We ask that you be prepared to commit to seeing your foster through to adoption, which can take anywhere from two weeks to several months.

Application Process:

Once you have filled out an application at aarcs.ca/foster, our team will be in touch to discuss your application. Once you’ve been approved, you’ll have an online training module to complete. Finally, you’ll receive a warm welcome from our team, and you can begin your journey as a foster home!

Closing Thoughts:

Finally, we want to share some thoughts from our current foster families. To those hesitating, we echo the sentiments of our fosters: “Just do it! It’s so rewarding!”

We’re incredibly grateful for the support of our foster families – we could not help nearly as many animals without these dedicated folks. If you’re considering fostering, we invite you to join our supportive community! Together, we can continue making a difference, one foster home at a time.

Join our foster home community at aarcs.ca/foster!

December 15, 2023