As wonderful as dogs may be, there are so many out there that are stuck in shelters, waiting for a home, or even worse, wandering the streets on their own. These dogs need a place to live and a family to love them. Even if you can't adopt a dog on your own long-term, there's another option: you can foster a dog. Fostering a dog is such a special thing to do. Not only are you keeping a dog out of a shelter until they find their forever home, but you're helping overcrowded shelters who desperately need it - and you're showering an animal with well-deserved love. But there are some things to take into consideration before you choose to become a foster parent for a pup. One important question to think about is how expensive it is to foster a dog. After all, you don't want to get into a situation you can't keep up with.
When you foster a dog, you're temporarily bringing a dog into your home and taking care of this dog as if it were your own. You work with a shelter that does fostering to take in dogs that need homes - this might be because the shelter is too over-crowded, and can't take in another animal. You're basically helping them out and providing a service.
Bringing a dog into your home is a big responsibility, even if it's only for a short time. It means you need to have food, water, and basic comfort. It's also nice to have dog toys for them to entertain themselves. These are the necessary basics.
Now for the good news: you probably don't need to pay for all of that. According to Rover, foster programs will help you out with those basic things you need. The site says, "Foster programs prioritize the needs of the dog and make sure foster homes have all the resources they need to be successful, from food, leashes, toys, and a crate to veterinary care and training." What this means is that, ideally, fostering a dog is going to be free. The program should supply you with everything you need, so anything you decide to buy for the dog will be an extra. Additionally, anything you supply should be tax deductible as long as you're working with a 501(c)3 non-profit rescue.
The biggest cost of fostering a dog is actually emotional, not financial. Fostering a dog can be tough: you're taking this animal into your home, caring for the dog as if it were your own, and probably falling a little bit in love. You may want to keep the dog for yourself, but maybe, for whatever reason, you can't. It can be really tough to let go of the foster dog when they do find a home, which is why it isn't a program that's going to work for everyone. That said, if you can handle the emotional factor, you'd be doing a great deed assisting over-crowded shelters.
If you're thinking about fostering a pup, check in with your local shelter for your options.