(Family Features) Across the country, people are fostering and adopting furry friends more, with the number of animals in foster homes 43% higher than it was in 2019, according to 24PetWatch. With this uptick in fostering, potential pet owners are determining if they are ready and able to care for a pet permanently, and shelters are bracing for a time when these pets may be returned once people go back to work.
Mars Petcare is continually working to end pet homelessness and help pets find their forever homes, which is why it introduced the FOSTER TO FOREVER™ program. With the support of its brands, this program promotes pet adoption and provides kits containing essential resources like pet food and veterinary visits for pets getting settled in their permanent homes after being fostered.
“Fostering is a great way to learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership and bond with a pet before making him or her a permanent member of your family,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “The FOSTER TO FOREVER™ program fits perfectly with our mission to end pet homelessness and offers support for families welcoming foster pets permanently into their homes.”
Consider these steps before welcoming a pet into your family. If you are thinking about adopting a pet, or for more information about the FOSTER TO FOREVER™ program, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com/FosterToForever.
1. Foster a pet. Fostering is an easy way to discover if pet ownership is right for you while also doing a service for your local shelter or rescue. By fostering before adopting, you can get a more thorough understanding of the lifestyle and schedule changes required to accommodate caring for a pet.
2. Consider the appropriate pet for your lifestyle. Whether this is your first pet or you are adding another furry friend to your family, make sure your lifestyle and household can fit their needs. If you are looking to adopt a dog, look for a dog with an energy level equal to or lower than your own. If you have another animal in your house, make sure he gets along with your new pet before finalizing the adoption. Each pet has his own unique personality and set of needs that are important to take into account.
3. Check out how pet-friendly your neighborhood is. Before deciding to adopt a pet, make sure your community is pet-friendly. If you live in an apartment or multi-family residence, confirm that your building or complex allows pets. Depending on the type of activity level your animal requires, make sure you have access to outdoor green space. Along with encouraging cities to implement pet-friendly policies, the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program provides additional resources to help make your home more pet-friendly.
4. Don’t overlook senior pets. Whether old or young, pets of all ages can provide love and companionship. Senior pets can be an option for households looking for a more independent pet or one that may be housetrained. Young pets, like puppies, can require more energy and time when it comes to training and handling. There are many loving pets, old and young, looking for forever homes that can be perfect additions to a family.