Fostering: dos, don'ts, & responsibilities

The following guidelines for foster families are intended to help each placement be as successful as possible. We understand that all families, households and situations are unique, but these have served us well over the years.

Responsibilities

  1. Provide a safe and loving environment to a Greyhound who will likely be frightened by all of the changes he/she is experiencing. Provide food, water, and comfortable bedding. Food expenses will be reimbursed upon request.

  2. Make the foster dog available for visits with potential adopters.

  3. To the best of your abilities, teach your foster dog proper house manners.

  4. If possible, teach the foster how to walk up and down stairs.

  5. Deliver your foster to one of our partnering veterinarians for any appointments that have been set up. Should you be unable to provide such transportation, let us know so we can make alternate arrangements.

  6. Complete the "Foster Dog Assessment" form located in the dog's folder.

Do

  • Crate your foster dog when you are not at home to prevent him/her from soiling in the house or engaging in destructive behavior. This can be difficult to correct once established, and makes the dog harder to place. Even when you are home for the first few days, keep a close eye on your foster so that he/she does not have the opportunity to soil, chew, or get into trouble. Be careful never to use the crate as punishment, but rather keep it a pleasant, comfortable place for your foster by providing special treats, safe toys, or meals in the crate.

  • Walk your foster on a leash frequently, even if you have a fenced yard. This will help us learn whether he/she is a good walker and will eliminate while on a leash.

  • Introduce you foster dog(s) to as many new situations as possible, keeping in mind that he/she is in uncharted territory. Do your best to ensure that the situations are pleasant and not traumatic to the dog. Always use extreme caution and good sense when introducing your foster to young children and small animals.

  • Have your foster wear his/her muzzle when first introduced to your cats or small animals, until you are comfortable with the dog's level of interest. Do not hesitate to use the muzzle if play outdoors with your own dog(s) becomes too high-energy or competitive. Injuries can occur in the blink of an eye.

  • Ask for help ASAP if problems arise. It is always easier to fix a situation sooner rather than later.

A person takes her brindle greyhound for a leash walk.

Don't

  • Let your foster dog on your furniture or bed. This is a very hard habit for the adoptive family to break and it can lead to space aggression.

  • Feed table scraps. This is another bad habit that the adoptive family may not wish to continue. It can also lead to obesity, digestive problems, and even severe medical problems should you inadvertently feed him/her onions or the many other human foods that are toxic to dogs.

  • Free feed. This can make it difficult to know how much he/she is eating, and can also lead to housebreaking difficulties.

  • Leave your foster dog alone with young children. While the greyhound is not an aggressive breed, children have a tendency to poke, grab, pinch, or snuggle just a bit too hard. Any dog will bite when provoked, and greyhounds are not likely to have been socialized to children.

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding these guidelines or anything else that may come up during your fostering experience. We want it to be a positive one for both you and your foster dog(s)!