What Does It Mean to Foster?

Debunking Myths and Celebrating the Joys of Dog Fostering with RPSM


At Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan (RPSM), our mission is to help
dogs reach their maximum potential and find loving forever families. Our
fostering program is a crucial part of this mission, providing dogs with
the care and training they need to thrive in their new homes. In this
blog, we aim to debunk common myths about fostering and highlight the joys
and rewards it brings.

The Importance of Fostering

Fostering plays a vital role in preparing dogs for adoption. It offers
them a safe and loving environment where they can learn essential social
and behavioral skills. This transition period is crucial for dogs to
adjust from shelter life to a home setting, making them more

Misconceptions About Fostering


Space Requirements

Myth: “My home is too small to foster dogs, especially
larger ones.”

Reality: Dogs primarily need care, exercise, and
attention rather than large living spaces. As long as you can provide
regular walks and playtime, even a small apartment can be a suitable
environment for fostering a dog (

Compatibility with Other Pets

Myth: “Foster dogs may not get along with my existing

Reality: Shelters and rescues take great care in
matching foster dogs with suitable homes, considering the presence of
other pets. Many dogs enjoy the company of other animals, and proper
introductions can help ensure a harmonious household.  (

Financial Responsibility

Myth: “I can’t afford the financial burden of fostering
a dog.”

Reality: Many foster programs, including RPSM’s, cover
the costs of the dog’s care, including supplies and medical expenses. This
makes fostering a low-cost commitment, allowing you to focus on providing
love and care. (

Children and Safety

Myth: “Large dogs are unsafe around children.”

Reality: Many dogs are good with kids, and shelters can
match families with dogs that suit their household dynamics. At RPSM, our
dogs undergo behavioral tests to ensure they are safe and suitable for
homes with children. (

Emotional Attachment

Myth: “I’ll get too attached to the foster dog and won’t
be able to let them go.”

Reality: While emotional attachment is a valid concern,
many find the experience rewarding. Fosters focus on the positive impact
they have on the dog’s life and take pride in helping them find their
forever homes. As Casey K, one of our dedicated fosters, shares:

“Fostering for Refurbished Pets has been an amazing experience. We
started just as a quick, emergency response to a pup needing short term
placement as there were no foster homes available at the time. It was
just a couple of weeks and we were hooked. We have been fostering every
10-week cycle since 2017. The most common question we’ve had since
fostering is ‘How do you not just fall in love and adopt every foster
dog?’ At first blush, this question seems like it has some validity to
it, but RPSM grants fosters the ability to fall in love with our pups
and also be integral in finding the home that best fits the dogs’ needs.
This unique detail makes it easier (not always easy) to let the pups
live their best lives as we move forward to the next.”

Practical Challenges

Behavioral Issues

Challenge: Foster dogs may come with behavioral
challenges such as house training, basic obedience, and socialization

Solution: These issues require time, patience, and
sometimes professional guidance to address. RPSM provides support and
resources to help foster caregivers manage and train their foster dogs.
Canine Master)

Interpet Jealousy

Challenge: Existing pets may become jealous or stressed
by the presence of a foster dog.

Solution: Managing this requires careful introduction,
separate spaces, and ensuring that resident pets still receive attention
and care. Many foster families learn best practices to address both dogs
one-on-one. (
Muddy Paw Rescue)

Time Commitment

Challenge: Fostering can be time-consuming, especially
with puppies or dogs that need significant training and care.

Solution: This can be challenging for people with busy
schedules, but the rewards of seeing a dog thrive make it worthwhile.
Planning and time management are key to balancing fostering with other
responsibilities. (

Emotional Stress

Challenge: The emotional toll of fostering, including
dealing with the potential return of a foster dog if an adoption doesn’t
work out, can be significant.

Solution: Foster caregivers need to be prepared for
these ups and downs and focus on the positive impact they are making.
Support from the fostering community and RPSM can help manage these
emotions. (
Rescue in Style)

Household Dynamics

Challenge: Ensuring that all household members,
including children and other pets, are on board with fostering is

Solution: Misalignment can lead to stress and conflicts
within the home. Open communication and setting clear expectations can
help ensure a smooth fostering experience for everyone involved. (
Motley Zoo Animal Rescue)


Fostering dogs with RPSM is a
rewarding experience that helps prepare dogs for their forever homes while
providing foster caregivers with a sense of fulfillment and joy. By
debunking common myths and addressing practical challenges, we hope to
encourage more people to open their hearts and homes to dogs in need. Join
us in making a difference, one foster dog at a time.


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