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What Kind of Dog Toys Do Foster Dogs Like?

The same dog toys any other dog likes!

A big thing people forget about foster dogs is that they’re a dog just like any other.

Came from an animal shelter? Still a dog.

Found on the trail in the rain without a collar? Chilly and could use a blanket, still a dog.

A ressssscue? Many people associate rescue dogs as being fragile, in-need and hard-done-by. But you guessed it, they’re still a dog.

Dogs have an amazing ability to rebound from their past and focus on the present.

And in the present, dogs love a good chomp-able toy to play with, reminding them how good life can be.

If you’re looking to get a quality toy for your foster dog, one of the best I’ve used with our foster dogs is a Kong Extreme. These things are ridiculously well made for getting your chomp on.

The best part? You can fill them with treats and a bit of peanut butter to give to your foster dog when you head out for a coffee. It’s both a treat and something fun to occupy themselves while you go about your day. Use this trick to take gradual departures to get your foster dog used to you leaving and actually coming back.

These dog toys are also great at occupying your dog’s mind.

Plus, with the biggest expenses of ‘owning’ a dog covered by the animal rescues we work with, we’re able to splurge on a couple high quality dog toys. Why replace a poorly designed dog toy every month if you don’t have to? One of our Kongs has lasted through over 8 foster dogs and counting. Now that’s a lot of chomping.

Give one a try and if you’ve got some space to play a little fetch in your home, the random shape leads to some great bounces for your dog to chase.

Just remember to wipe off the peanut butter first.

My Friend Got a Dog – Now I Want One Too

I want a dog. I have since I could say the word dawg.

And I’m a responsible working adult. I have my own place (rented with a roomie) and I have some moolah to play with.

But, I know I’m too busy. Here’s the thing – I work 8 hours a day, and this doesn’t include travel time. I like going out with my friends on weekends and playing rec sports on Wednesday nights. Some days I’m able to sneak home for lunch hour, but that’s only if work isn’t crazy. Plus, when there’s a big deadline sometimes I have to stay at the office late or work on my laptop from home.

Tinder’s lame & I’m still single, but I have this one guy on the go.

I want a dog still, so what do I do? I’m lonely and know there are so many dogs that NEED a great home. Won’t the dog be ok to sleep while I’m at work? Do I need to feed it midday?



I feel stressed out writing this. It’s so much pressure on one person to be responsible for another living creature above and beyond herself. Let’s say these thoughts are happening in Jaunary post-Christmas maximum social time?

You want a dog but the weather is poop – it’s cold and snowy, or rainy if you’re living in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, there’s the arduous task of leashing up a dog to go out in the pouring rain & if they’re a pitty-mix they’re dodging you because they don’t like getting water in their ears.


Heading down the road of worst-case scenarios, what if the dog goes destructo-mode when it’s left alone?

Many dogs in the rescue system have had lame experiences with people in the past. The possibilities are endless and since we can’t reason with them verbally. It’s a time-intensive process of gaining trust through proof of concept for dogs to be ok with a daily routine. We don’t make it any easier when the main source of food, companionship and safety leaves for 8 hours a day.

This means testing a few methods until you find a couple that work for you:

  • gradual departures
  • mental stimulation
  • small breaks
  • checking in throughout the day to make sure the dog hasn’t eaten (or humped!!) the couch and hasn’t left you a Hershey’s Kiss as a token for leaving them alone for a half a day

The rationale people use when adopting a puppy is that they can structure the dogs’s behaviour from the get-go.

Yes, this is true to a point.
Except when you realize you cannot influence natural behaviours. You cannot expect a puppy to behave 100% of the time and you cannot expect things to be perfect all of the time. Real life is messy & so is learning how to care for a dog to the best of your ability.
Options for satisfying your desire for companionship without throwing your life as you know it down the toilet:
  1. Make plans to hike with a friend and her dog. Offer to towel off the dog after it runs through mud.
  2. Visit your local animal shelter and sign up to volunteer.
  3. Volunteer in fundraising efforts along with a rescue you like. We offered to volunteer at an event we would have otherwise bought tickets to, and guess what? We got to run the poopy – sorry – puppy pit. Obsessive folks swept in and would hang on to these 10 week old puppies for as long as they could. I’m pretty sure some would have snuck them out in their purse if we hadn’t been watching like hawks.
  4. Foster FIRST. Read more about this here.
  5. Offer your home as an overnight or temporary place for regular fosters to have their dogs go when they head out on short vacations or get away for a weekend.
What we’ve seen first-hand is people who want a dog dive into pet ownership with the best intentions, thinking of the animal first.

Then life takes over and the well-being of the dog suffers. Not fair & super stressful for both of you.

Let’s encourage helping with intention, trial & error before committing to a dog for keeps. That way, when you do find the dog you want to be your co-pilot you know it’s when you’re good & ready.
Making life better for you and your furry bud.

How Do I Learn How To Foster a Dog?

The key to fostering a dog for the first time is comfortably going out of your comfort zone.

Sure, you can read up on the basics. Maybe kick back and watch a steady stream of YouTube tutorials on the couch. But eventually, you need to gather up your courage to do something brand new.

When we got our first foster dog, it had been after a few solid years of dog walking at our local animal shelters. This helped big time in getting used to all kinds of different dogs:

  • big and happy
  • small and not
  • fluffy as a sheep
  • sleek like a seal
  • friendly waggers
  • scaredy cats
  • olympic athletes
  • couch potatoes

By getting a sense of how different dogs will act in many situations, you can better prepare yourself for looking after one at home.

Next stop on our route to learn how to foster a dog: house sitting.

Best place to start? Ask friends, family and that cute neighbour if they ever need someone to look after their dog when they’re out of town. Try this first with a dog who’s already familiar with you so it’s not a big culture shock for them. Plus, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect from the dog if you know them.

Once you have a few house sitting gigs under your belt, picture looking after that dog at your own place.

As you learn how to foster a dog, think about the world from their eyes. Their height, ingenuity and impressive ability to find chomp-able things to play with. What would you need to tidy up?

Where could the dog mess up and eat something that was left out? Is that the chocolate bar I was looking for under the couch? By seeing your place from their perspective it can be a fun way to tidy up.

Plus, it never hurts to be ready for company – especially if you hit it off with that cute neighbour.


3 Real Ways to Help a Dog in the Pound

Being a dog in the local pound Bites.

As a dog with no friends, no family and not a lot to look forward to on the daily, it can wear on you pretty fast. But aside from adopting an animal at the shelter for keeps, what else can you do?

Here are 3 of the best ways to help out a dog at your local pound:

 1. Engage with them on social media

Make a point to check-in regularly to share the latest about dogs in need with your network.

If you think their posts are worth sharing, do the simple act of clicking share. One of your friends could be looking to adopt a dog just like the one you just shared and BINGO!

By spreading the word it not only gives more options for people looking to adopt, it could lead to one happy dog!

2. Volunteer at the shelter

Ask the staff at the animal shelter about becoming a volunteer. With each animal needing to be walked, exercised and be socialized every day – there are always opportunities to help out.

Each shelter has different processes for becoming a volunteer. Chek their rules on dog walking and ask if you can learn the ropes from a more experienced volunteer.

By simply offering your time and a bit of kindness, you can make a measurable impact on these dogs’ quality of life.

3. Invite a Shelter Dog for a SleepOver

How fun could it be to take home a dog from the pound for a sleepover at your place? Over-nighters can be a squirrely way to break up your routine, giving you both a reset.

Because they have lots of un-used energy, most dogs really could use a breather from being cooped up. While they’re waiting in a shelter to get adopted, try giving them a taste of freedom. If you’re able to look after a dog for a night or two it helps remind them of home.

And more importantly, what it’s like to feel loved.

Get Ready for Foster Show and Tell

Remember Show and Tell days from back in grade school?

The nerves, the excitement, the thrill of sharing something new only you could add?

Getting a new foster dog is pretty much the same idea as show and tell when you start walking around your neighbourhood. Since it feels good to be sure, prepare to answer these 5 questions as if you’re showing off your new lunchbox:

  1. Name
  2. Kind of dog
  3. Age
  4. Friendly?
  5. Where’d you get her/him?

Feel prepared by having answers to these commonly asked questions in your back pocket – right beside the dog treats.

Here’s a real-world example of show and tell tips for one of our successful foster dogs:

  1. Name: Mac
  2. Breed: He’s a mix of different breeds – mostly retriever and staffy – so basically a fluffy pitbull (aka a happy unicorn)
  3. Age: Mac is about 1 year old so he has lots of energy
  4. Temperament: He’s very friendly with most dogs, he just isn’t a fan of intact males – can’t blame the guy for being jealous since Mac’s a neutered dude.
  5. Where did you get him?: We picked up Mac from the CRD Animal Shelter (the local pound) for an over night stay… 2 weeks ago. We liked him so much we decided to look after him until he gets adopted for keeps!

If you take a deeper look at these answers we used, we like to bring a positive light to dog fostering when it makes sense. If people are open to learning more and are asking lots of questions it’s usually a good sign they think fostering a dog is kinda neat. Why not share with them some of the best parts of the job?

Use these show and tell basics as a spring board for conversation and you’ll be ready for a chat anytime.

Who knows, you may even make a new friend in the process.