fostering service dog

Fostering a service dog: what you should know

It takes a lot of time and dedication to train a puppy to become a service dog. If you’re thinking about fostering a future service dog, here’s what you need to know.  

What it means to be a foster family

First and foremost, fostering a future service dog involves providing a safe and loving home for a puppy who’s been selected as an ideal candidate. You’ll be in charge of house training the dog and teaching it to sleep on its own bed instead of furniture. Furthermore, you must make sure the pup is exposed to many different environments, including public spaces, medical environments and public transit.


Requirements for becoming a foster family

In order to be chosen to become a foster family for a service dog, the primary care giver must:


  • Have the time to devote to a puppy. Most puppies can’t be left alone for more than three or four hours at a time. If you work outside of your home, you may need to request permission to bring the puppy to the office with you and ensure the dog’s needs are taken care of.
  • Enrol the dog in an obedience training program. You’ll need to take the pup to classes where it can learn the skills it needs to move on to its more formal work training.
  • Ensure the dog gets proper veterinary care. While the costs of veterinary care will be covered by the involved foundation, you’ll need to ensure that the puppy visits the veterinarian regularly and remains up to date with its vaccination schedule.


Be prepared to say goodbye

A foster family for a future service dog must be ready to say goodbye to a dog after raising it for up to 18 months. This is difficult for many people, as it’s easy to become attached to a dog after raising it for over a year. It’s important to remember that you’ve played a big part in helping someone get the help they need from a service dog.


Affordable vet services in Toronto

If you’re fostering a service dog or adopting a canine companion to become a part of your family, you should know that raising a puppy is a 24 hour job. Fortunately, we can help you ensure that your pooch gets the health care it needs. Whether it’s for a regular checkup or an emergency visit, a vet from Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital in Toronto is always just a phone call away. Contact us today to book an appointment.