Fostering is an important step for many animals as they wait for their new forever homes. When you temporarily foster a pet, you volunteer to keep the pet in your home and care for the pet until they can be taken in the shelter or go to their forever home.

The Petco Foundation and Sketchers declared June “National Foster a Pet Month.” Their goal is to inspire a life-saving nation and encourage people to take action to save animals’ lives. Many shelters are already at full capacity, so shelters are in desperate need of fosters to help make room for additional animals.

Thomas Labs wanted to help out by sharing some of the wonderful benefits of fostering shelter pets. Here are a few:

1. It’s rewarding!
There’s no doubt about it. Fostering is a rewarding experience. Knowing that you are changing and saving the lives of pets is fulfilling and rewarding. Many animals need foster care before they are ready to find a new home. You’re giving a second chance to an animal that needs time away from the shelter to possibly heal from injury or recover from illness or surgery.

2. It’s beneficial for the pet’s health.
Fostering is extremely beneficial for a pet. Living in a home environment is beneficial for a pet’s physical and emotional health. You’ll be taking a pet away from the stress of a shelter and allowing them the chance to get used to home life. When a pet is introduced to a calm, safe, and healthy home environment, it often allows their personality to come out.

3. It can increase a pet’s chance of being adopted.
As a foster parent, you can help teach your foster pet some basic house manners and training commands. This can help make a pet more appealing to a potential adopter and increase the pet’s chance of being adopted.

Plus, when a foster pet knows that they are safe and loved, their personality starts to shine, which can be super helpful for a potential adopter who wants to know more about the pet. Learning important things about a foster pet, like whether they get along well with children and other pets, can be helpful to potential adopters as they try to find the right pet for their family.

4. It can be fun and educational.
Fostering a pet can be a fun, educational experience for both you and your family. It can give your family a chance to learn about the responsibility of caring for a pet, plus it gives you an opportunity to learn more about different animals and breeds. Fostering can also be beneficial and helpful for families that aren’t quite ready for the lifelong commitment of pet ownership.

5. The necessities are often covered.
Many shelters and rescue groups cover the medical costs for foster pets. Plus, they sometimes provide basic necessities and supplies, including food, kennels, toys, and medication. Some also help with training and give you access to vet techs and behaviorists.

6. It saves lives!
Fostering a shelter pet gives a second chance to animals. It gives them more time to get adopted, instead of possibly being euthanized. Plus, fostering opens up an additional spot at the shelter or rescue so that they can help even more animals.

The Petco Foundation says that if just 2% of the 85 million pet-owning households in the United States fostered just 1 pet a year, we could eliminate unnecessary euthanasia tomorrow and save nearly a million pets each year.

We understand that not everyone is able to foster a pet, and that’s okay! There are still a variety of ways you can help support your local shelter or rescue. You can still help save lives by volunteering your time, donating supplies or money, and even spreading the word in your neighborhood or on social media. Find a shelter near you!