At Kuddly, we’re not just passionate about bringing better pet care to pets of all kinds, we’re also a team of pet owners who love and care for animals, too. Many of us have rescue animals as pets and have supported animals in need from fostering to rescue. We’ve participated in animal adoption events as a company, and we share causes to help help raise awareness here on the Kuddly blog. Given this, we know first-hand what it can be like to lend a hand to a pet in need. The 10 lessons we’ve learned from fostering:
10. There is no such thing as a “bad” dog, cat or other animal. Animals are like people — they have personalities, express and feel feelings and emotions, and in some cases, can have behavioral or other issues. Often when you foster (or rescue) an animal in need, it has endured years of abuse, neglect, or lived on the streets alone where it has had to protect and defend itself. Over the course of time, however, the dog, cat or other animal you’re fostering starts to relax, learn important behavior cues, and trust. The issues start to subside, and in some cases, disappear entirely forever.
9. All living things smaller, weaker or less capable of helping themselves need us. Fostering teaches you how truly dependent living things are on other living things that are larger, stronger or more capable than they are, like we humans often are. Your foster animal is 100% reliant on you providing care — clean water, nutritional food, exercise, training, and a warm and safe place to live.
8. A little love can bring out the best in all of us. Giving time, care and love to an animal in need will teach you right away how a little love and care can transform anything. This includes animals! Over time as you foster a pet in need, you start to see their true personality shine with love and care. Funny, smart, silly, a late sleeper, playful, protective, active, you name it. It all comes out with love!
7. Animals have their own unique and distinct personalities. Pet owners know that animals have their own personalities, but when you foster animals you really see the diversity between them. Some will be very communicative and expressive. Others are low-key. Just like people, they’re all different. That’s why it’s important as you adopt a new animal of any kind it can be ideal to look for its personality to ensure it’s a match to your own, your needs, etc. and also to learn to accept, appreciate and love your animal’s unique personality, too.
6. Anybody can change. Foster dogs, cats and other animals usually aren’t from situations that were ideal. They grew up or lived in fear, abuse, neglect, or worse. Some had to fend for themselves on the streets, or were used in cruel ways such as dog fighting or laboratory experiments. But, what you learn as you care and foster these types of animals, anyone can change – and that includes them. They learn to forgive, to forget, to trust, let go, and to adopt their new, better life and environments.
5. Time heals. It’s incredible how things can change over the course of time, and that includes fostered animals of all kinds. You may get a dog that was abandoned on the streets for months, who at first doesn’t know how to be comfortable in the home, relax and trust. Or the cat that opens up the fridge to find food because he’s in a panic that he might find himself without again. But over time, you see how time heals. It is the same for animals and people, too.
4. Everybody loves toys! Your foster pet will show you that we all love toys and that includes animals too! A favorite squeaker, a beloved chew, tennis balls, you name it. Just like people, animals will have their favorite toys and play with these toys over others that you’ve given them.
3. We’re all influenced, and influential. Pets are like people — they’re often looking for cues about what they should do in certain situations, especially if it’s a new one they’ve not experienced before. They can be influenced by our behavior, actions and words in these situations just like people can, and will often respond in the same way. Just the same, they can also be influential to other animals (and even in some cases, people!) too.
2. We can all fall on hard times and rise again. Pets are often set aside during hard times, or ignored and neglected to where they’ve gotten a hand in life they weren’t expecting. Taking care and fostering an animal in need helps you realize that we can all fall prey to circumstances that are not in our control. But just like their situations can change through rescue, love and help, so can ours.
1. The most important things are simple. Your foster animal will teach you that the most important things in life are actually very simple. A warm, comfortable place to sleep, good, respectful and loving companionship, love, clean water, and fresh nutritional food. Give these items to most animals and they are more than elated and satisfied in life.
Who would have ever thought you could learn so much from fostering an animal in need? But it’s true. If you’re interested in helping pets of all kinds, we’ve got a post here with some ideas.