Wondering if You Should Foster a Dog? Yes – And Here’s How!

Note: This is an abbreviated version of an article originally published on K9 of Mine, re-published here with permission. You can read the original piece “How to Become a Dog Foster: Providing a Temporary Home for Canines in Need!” at K9 of Mine.

Fostering a dog is a great way to help out shelter & rescue dogs in need – plus it allows you to spend time with a great four-footer without the full lifetime commitment of adopting a pet. 

Every dog deserves a place where they can feel loved and cared for while waiting for their forever home!

Becoming a foster dog parent is incredibly rewarding, but there are a few things into consideration before committing to taking in a shelter pup in need. Don’t worry – we’ll explain everything you need to know!

How Do Fosters Help Shelter Dogs? 

Becoming a dog foster is one of the most impactful things you can do for a local shelter. Foster homes are in need for a variety of reasons including: 

1. Shelter space is tight, and fosters can free up room

Fostering a dog allows a dog to move into your home, freeing up room at rescue organizations — including both “kill” and “no-kill” shelters — so that your local shelter or rescue can take in more dogs who need help. Without caring foster homes, many shelters would be unable to take in new animals. This can result in neglectful owners dumping dogs on highways, or worse.

2. Foster can provide hospice care

For poor pups on their last leg, a dog foster can provide a warm, loving, caring environment for the dog to spend his final days. No dog deserves to leave this world in a stressful, loud shelter environment.

3. Fosters provide a safe space for puppies (until they’re old enough to be adopted)

Foster homes allow puppies to grow up in a relaxing environment, away from the noise and chaos of shelter life. Puppies are like little sponges, and spending their first months on earth in a stressful shelter environment can have a significant and undesirable impact on their disposition as adult dogs. 

A shelter provides minimal chances for exposure and puppy socialization with the larger world, which can result in a fearful, nervous adult dog. 

Fostering a litter of puppies can mean setting up a whole group of dogs for success! 

4. Fosters allow shy dogs to blossom

Shy and timid dogs desperately require a quiet, peaceful environment to help blossom and come out of their shells. Dog fosters allow sensitive canines to get away from the loud kennel environment and provide these pooches with the patience and care needed to feel safe and show their true colors. 

Foster parents of shy dogs will want to focus on building the dog’s confidence through various exercises and gentle training activities to help a nervous dog feel more at-ease and sure of themselves.

5. Fosters provide extra care to sick dogs while they recover

Dogs recovering from sickness or injury are often placed in a foster home to help the dog heal and recover more quickly while also keeping the shelter hygienic and limit the risk of exposure to other dogs. 

6. Fosters can collect more information about a dog’s behavior and demeanor in a home setting

Foster homes offer an excellent opportunity for shelters to better understand a dog’s behavior and general habits. How does a dog handle cats, other dogs, or kiddos? Is the dog potty trained? Does he like toys? Does he prefer to be left alone or is he a huge cuddle bug?

Collecting this information for the shelter will allow the organization to share this info with would-be adopters and help a dog get matched with his perfect home. 

7. Fosters provide a haven if shelters become temporarily unable to care for animals

If a shelter is affected by a natural disaster, canine foster parents can help keep dogs safe temporarily while the shelter is repaired and made habitable. 

Ultimately, foster homes give dogs a better place to live. Dogs in foster homes receive much more individualized attention and care than they might otherwise receive in a crowded shelter.

Many dogs behave much better in a quiet foster home than they do in a shelter, thereby increasing the chances that they’ll find a forever family. 

Fostering a Dog: The Good and the Bad 

Fostering a dog is like any other experience, with advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore some of the key pros and cons.

Pros of Fostering:

  • You get to spend time with a dog. The best part of fostering is that you get to spend time with a new furry friend! You will be helping the dog grow into their best self, which can be very fulfilling.
  • You’ll be supporting your local animal shelter or rescue. One of the greatest advantages in fostering a dog is the help it will provide in supporting your local shelter or rescue. Shelters and rescue groups rely on the generosity of animal fosters in order to help dogs in need and free up space. This is a great way to support your local community!
  • You’ll help a dog find their forever home. Fostering can feel bittersweet at times, but there’s nothing more rewarding than handing off your foster dog to his forever family, knowing you made a pivotal impact on a pup who needed help.
  • Foster dogs can keep your own dog company. Foster dogs are an awesome way to give your own pup some company (if you have a pet at home). In some cases, having another dog in the home can be a game-changer for dogs suffering from separation anxiety (although it won’t be a fix for all dogs). Foster dogs are also a great option for anyone who is not quite ready for the lifetime commitment of a pet, but wants to give dog ownership a trial run.

Cons of Fostering:

  • Saying goodbye can be tough. When it’s time for a dog to move on to their forever home, saying goodbye can be emotionally difficult. While this can feel sad, you can be happy knowing it was YOU who helped a dog in need find a wonderful home. 
  • Foster dogs aren’t always easy to care for. Shelters and rescue groups do their best to provide fosters with information regarding a dog’s background, but in many cases shelter dogs come with an unknown history. Some have challenging issues, such as living formerly as a yard-only dog, or other past trauma that can make life difficult for them. Be ready to show kindness and compassion towards your canine guest, and help them adjust to their new life while preparing for a better future.

What Does a Dog Foster Do?

Dog fosters are wonderful people who make a huge difference in the lives of dogs. Dog fosters play a big part in giving shelter dogs a good life, while also making room in shelters so more dogs can be saved from being put down.

But what – on a day-to-day basis – does a dog foster parent do?

In addition to basic caretaking responsibilities, dog fosters will be responsible for the following:

Basic training and manners. Ideally, you’ll spend some time teaching your foster dog basic manners and obedience training for in-the-home. This isn’t required, but it’s highly recommended and part of what’s expected of a responsible foster. This may involve potty training, basic commands like sit and stay, etc. Some shelters will even cover the cost of classes for you to learn about dog training while helping your new buddy. Just make sure you’re always using humane, compassionate, positive-reinforcement based training strategies that won’t frighten your visiting pooch.

Collecting dog data for the shelter. Foster homes give shelters the opportunity to learn more about a dog’s behavior in a home setting. Be ready to provide detailed information about your foster pup’s personality, preferences, and behavior. A foster parent’s data collection will help ensure that the dog gets matched with a good family fit.

Fosters help find forever homes. The most important job of a pet foster parent is to help their foster find their forever family! This often will involve taking the dog to shelter-organized adoption events and speaking with potential adopters to determine if they’re a good fit for your pooch. There’s a full guide on how to get your foster dog adopted at K9 of Mine with more tips on promoting your pup!

How Can I Become a Dog Foster? 

The basic path required to becoming a dog foster can vary depending on the specific shelter or rescue you are working with. However,  some of the most common requirements include:

  • Fill out paperwork about your living situation. Shelters usually want to get a better understanding of your experience with dogs, your living space (do you have roommates? Do you have a fenced-in backyard?).
  • Complete a basic dog-care course. Many shelters have a short, simple online course or video you’ll be asked to watch to ensure you understand how to properly care for your foster dog.
  • Attend an orientation. Most shelters will have some kind of orientation to get you up to speed on the rules and regulations around the organization’s foster program.

Becoming a dog foster is a great way to help out your local animal shelter while getting to spend time with some amazing doggos! Help deserving dogs find their forever homes while learning about a variety of different dogs.

We hope this foster guide has been helpful – reach out to your local animal shelter or rescue today and ask about becoming a foster today!

How to know if you’re ready for a new pet

I don’t know about you, but when I think of home, three things come to mind.

First is my kids.

Second is my pets.

Third is my husband (yes, he knows about his place in the hierarchy!)

They say that home is where the heart is, but I think of home as where my loved ones are, so it’s always exciting when you get the chance to increase the number of loved ones at home.

Proper Timing

That said, it’s not always the best time to bring a new pet home. It might be right for you, but it might not be right for the new pet, your kids, or your existing pets. For this reason, I thought it’d be great to discuss a few ways for you to know if you’re ready for a new pet.

Some considerations you should make…

Before you bring a new pet home, there are a few things that you will need to consider (in fact, quite a few). It’s important that you meet the below criteria before bringing a new fur baby (or furless baby) home.

  • Ensure you have a stable schedule. No matter which pet you bring home with you, you should be able to spend adequate time with them. Remember, domestic animals require love and attention to thrive and lead a happy life. If you’re someone who travels frequently, your lifestyle may not be suitable for a pet’s needs.
  • Ensure you have the budget for a new pet. Pets can be costly; you should have the budget available to cover the cost of your pets. Keep in mind that your budget should include unplanned costs, such as vet bills and medicine.
  • Ensure that this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. Bringing a new pet home is an exciting experience, though that “high” that we get from bringing a new pet home shouldn’t be the motivating factor behind the decision.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient space for your new pet. Like all living things, your pet will need sufficient space to thrive. A prime example of this is huskies, whose mental health, as well as their physical health, are directly dependent on the amount of exercise they get. Without sufficient exercise or space to exercise, they can become aggressive.
  • Ensure that you have the right equipment. Adding new pets to your home might also mean adding or updating equipment. For example, if you are planning on introducing new fish, you may need to upscale your tank, and therefore upscale what goes with it. If you are going big and getting a 30 gallon tank you will need a 30 gallon fish tank heater to match.
  • Ensure it’s the right fit for everyone. The decision to bring a new pet home is a big one. It is incredibly important that you, your family, and your existing pets are all on board with a new addition to the family. It’s also important to ensure that the new member of the family feels at home. Meet and greets are a great way to test the water with new pets, allowing everyone the opportunity to get to know each other before making any commitments.
  • Ensure you’re not trying to fill a gap. Loss is hard to deal with. That said, using a pet as a temporary crutch to assist with the grieving process seldom ends well. While pets are great companions, they can’t fill a hole in a heart. It’s recommended that you first deal with your loss before bringing a new pet home, especially if the recent loss was of a pet.
  • Ensure the safety and happiness of your other pets. Some pets just aren’t suited to sharing a living space. Fish or birds, for example, can become incredibly stressed out simply in the presence of a natural predator, such as cats. It’s important to ensure that your current pet’s health, wellness, and happiness are not affected by the arrival of a new pet.

Ensure that you have done your research. I’ve tried my best to cover everything I can above, but it is best to ensure that you have done your homework before you introduce a new pet to your home. Only once you’re confident that your decision is logical and that you can meet every need of your new pet, should you begin the process of bringing one home.

How to Open Your Heart and Home to a Pandemic Pet 

How to Open Your Heart and Home to a Pandemic Pet 

There haven’t been a lot of bright spots during the pandemic but the fact that more people are welcoming homeless pets into their home is something we can all celebrate! If you are thinking about adopting a new furry family member to keep you company in lockdown, there are a few basic tips and resources you should keep in mind. So, whether you plan on adopting one of the available pets from Pacific Pups Rescue or another rescue, here’s what you need to know. 


Let’s Start By Getting Your Home Ready 


When you bring your buddy home for the first night, the last thing you want is for him to escape or swallow something dangerous. So spend some time preparing your home for the new pet. 


  • You’ll need some pet basics at home, like safe spots to rest and eat. 
  • Finding a pro to help to put up a fence can also keep your pet protected. 
  • Your pup might also appreciate having a little relaxation space of his own. 
  • Just be sure to remove any potential hazards, including plants and candies. 


Now It’s Time to Go Shopping for Supplies 


With your home organized and a safe space set up for your new furkid, you can move on to picking out a few essentials to keep him healthy and comfortable. 



Not Ready to Adopt? Foster Instead! 


We’ll be the first to tell you that getting a pet is a lifetime commitment. But if you’re not up for commitment just yet, you can still help pets during the pandemic by fostering! 



If you need a little more love and joy in your lockdown life, consider adopting a new dog or cat! The resources above will help you prepare for your new furry family member, but also know that you can foster if you’re not ready to commit. Either way, you’ll be helping a homeless animal! 


Photo Credit: Unsplash

Article by: Aurora James

PPR and the Pandemic! (What we’ve been up to)


  Its been awhile since we posted a blog, and we wanted to update you all on what we’ve been up to at PPR!

  Since the pandemic started, we have been busy rescuing over 100 dogs and cats! We have had so many people step forward wanting to help with fostering, which has been the silver lining in all of this. All of the new pups and kitties have certainly kept us very busy!

Of course, with all of these dogs and cats came very hefty vet bills, and we’ve had so many generous donors throughout all of this, as well as relied on the sales of our dog toy line, Pacific Pups Products. 

We’ve adopted out record numbers of dogs and cats, all to great homes. Even a lot of our longest residents found their forever homes! 

We just started back up filming with the Hallmark channel again. We are grateful to be back showcasing our adoptable dogs on Home & Family – you may have seen Chiquito and King featured on recent episodes: 

Chiquito’s Hallmark Debut!

King’s Hallmark Debut!

We have also released 2 new lines of our Pacific Pups Products dog toys, which is what supports our rescue! 

You can check them out in these two Amazon links:

The largest dog rope toy on Amazon: 


Our new, fun 18 pack: 


So thank you to everyone who has either adopted, fostered, donated and/or volunteered with us during all of this craziness – we couldn’t have rescued this many animals without you.


*We are still a long way from paying off our vet bills, so if you’d like to make a donation, you can do so in the Donate & Volunteer tab

Our Pups & Michael B. Jordan

Our Pumpkin Spice Latte litter are famous! Three of the puppies were asked to spend the afternoon with Michael B. Jordan, as he answered fan questions about his new blockbuster movie, Creed II, in a Buzzfeed celebrity interview.

We know the puppies had a lot of fun, and we think Michael B did, too!

Check out the full interview in the link below!


Michael B. Jordan Plays with Pacific Pups Rescue puppies!

Become a Foster!

Being a foster is very rewarding. You save a life. That dog or cat would not have made it out of the shelter if you hadn’t stepped up to be a foster. A rescue cannot save another dog from the high-kill shelter, from the street, or from a desperate situation, if there is no foster.

Yes fostering is rewarding, but what exactly does a foster do?

A foster takes care of a dog or cat until he or she gets adopted, or for as long as you can.  We ask you take care of this animal, and help it to learn what its like to be part of a family.  We have an adoption fair 3 weekends out of the month, in which we show our dogs and cats so that the public can meet them.

Pacific Pups Rescue will provide you with everything you need to take care of this dog or cat, so that your foster animals is at no expense to you. We provide you with all food, supplies, and cover medical needs.

We have dogs and cats of all breeds, ages, and sizes, with different personalities and energy levels! We will find the right match for you!


You save a life.

You want to volunteer with animals hands on.

Can’t afford a pet but love an animal’s companionship.

Don’t have the time to dedicate to an animal or cannot make a lifetime commitment, but want an animal’s companionship.

You don’t know if you’re ready, or if your kids or family members are ready, for the responsibility of a pet. Its a good test run.

You don’t know if the dog or cat you’re interested in will be a good fit. This is a trial run!

You are a college student and want an animal’s friendship, but know you are only living in town temporarily.


There are so many reasons to become a foster. Please visit our Foster Page today, to sign up to be a foster!


Traveling with your pets during the holidays

The holidays are here, and a lot of you will be traveling to visit your families, or friends and families will be traveling to visit you.  We want to make sure your pets have a safe and comfortable trip with you.

When flying, check with the airline ahead of time, to not only let them know you’ll be traveling with a pet, but also to see what (if any) documentation they need.  Some airlines require current vaccination records.  If you animal is a registered service dog or emotional support animal, make sure you bring your doctor’s letter, or service animal documentation.

Some airlines require your pet (if not a service or emotional support animal) to be 20 lbs or less, and kept in a carrying case that can fit under your seat.  Make sure its large enough that your dog has room to be comfortable.

Bring some treats, and bring a cup.  Once you’re through security, you can give your pet some water in the cup – the airport can stress animals out, causing panting and overheating.  Flying dehydrates everyone – make sure your pet stays hydrated.

Most airports are now putting in “dog relief” areas inside of the gates.  Make sure your dog has relieved itself before heading on the plane – we’d hate for an accident to happen on the plane, or for your pet to be uncomfortable “holding it” the entire flight!

If your pet takes any medications, make sure they are packed in your carry on bags.  If there are delays or your luggage is lost, your pet won’t be able to get its medication if its not kept with you.

We never suggest flying your pet with luggage in the cargo area beneath the plane.  Traveling is stressful enough for a pet.  Putting them in a dark, noisey, unfamiliar place for hours without you can be terrifying.  A lot of times the cargo section is not climate controlled, or if it is, there are many documented cases of the climate control malfunctioning.  Numerous cases of airlines “losing” dogs are reported as well.  Luggage gets lot all of the time – sometimes pets are sent on the wrong flights, or are misplaced once taken off of the plane.  2 years ago someone landed at LAX from Florida – the dog got out of his crate, ran down the runway, and went missing.  If you can’t travel with your pet in the cabin with you, its safer and better for your animal if you leave him/her behind with a trusted dog sitter.


If you’re driving with your pet, again, make sure you have all shot records with you.  This will be needed in emergency situations, and sometimes for hotels.

You can get a list of dog friendly hotels across the country from AAA. Its helpful to know which hotels you will be passing on your trip that allow dogs.

Make sure you stop every few hours to let your pet have a bathroom break, and to get a bit of exercise.  A pet can get antsy from being in a car too long without any exercise!

Look up emergency vets along your travel route ahead of time.  If you end up having an emergency, its not guaranteed that you’ll have cell phone service to look up the nearest emergency clinic!

Pack travel bowls that you can give your pet water in along the way.  Bring your pet’s favorite bed or blanket and toy – traveling can be stressful for your pet – its a different environment, so it is relaxing for them to have something familiar.


Be safe out there!

Holiday Pet Safety!

Its the most wonderful time of the year! Everyone’s jolly, decorations come out and go up, Christmas trees and Menorahs light up the house, and friends and family visit with one another.  During this busy and excited time, people may not be keeping as close an eye on their beloved pets as usual.

Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe this holiday season:

  • Keep your pets’ collar and ID tags on.  Also, make sure your microchip information is current.  With visitors entering and exiting the house, it is possible you pet slips out of the house.
  • Have a private room for your pet during gatherings.  Some pets are nervous or anxious and may prefer a quiet room with water and bedding to hang out in, while your house is crowded.
  • Keep toxic plants like holly, mistletoe and poinsettias, out of reach of your pets.  Ingestion of these plans can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and excess drooling.
  • Try to keep your pets from drinking Christmas tree water.  Water with Christmas tree additives is dangerous if ingested, and just still water can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause stomach upset.
  • Make sure the tree is anchored down – we’d hate for it to fall over after an excited cat or pup jumps on it!
  • Be careful with the tinsel.  Some pets, especially cats, will play with tinsel and may swallow it, which can lead to obstructed digestive tracts, dehydration, vomiting and in sever cases, surgery to remove it.
  • Do not leave candles unattended.  Pets can easily knock these over, causing fires and/or burns to themselves.
  • Keep wires, batteries, and ornaments out of reach.  A playful pet who starts chewing on a wire is risking a deadly shock.  Chewing on batteries can cause serious burns, and glass and plastic ornaments can case internal damage if your pet chews and swallows these.
  • Be careful what foods your pet has access to, and let guests know to not feed your pets from their plates.  Pork/ham, turkey/turkey skin, yeast dough, bones, chocolate, anything sweetened with xylitol (gum, candy, etc), spicy and fatty foods,  and alcohol can be toxic to animals.  Also make sure people aren’t leaving their left over plates in your pets’ reach.


Keep your vet, and closest 24/7 emergency vet’s, number and location handy, just in case.  The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline is 1-888-426-4435.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!