Supporting Foster Dogs
by Emily Halaszynski
When the CASPCA put out the call for emergency fosters this past hurricane season, I jumped at the chance to help clear some kennel space in anticipation of an influx of dogs displaced by Hurricane Florence. Natural disasters across the globe seem to be increasing in both severity and frequency.
Even without weather emergencies, fostering is an important part of the adoption process for many dogs. It’s so rewarding to see the dogs I’ve fostered come out of their shells and flourish in a home. Getting to know all their ins-and-outs has helped provide potential adopters with enough information to hopefully support a lifelong match. Adopters also get to meet the dogs in a real life scenario, away from the stress and bustle of a shelter.
I always keep a few BioStar products on hand specifically to make their transition from shelter to home life easier.
The first tool in my arsenal is Terra Biota K9. It’s a probiotic with high CFUs (1.5 Billion CFU’s per teaspoon) that helps populate their GI tracts with good bacteria. Besides making a gradual change over a few days, it helps with transitioning from the shelter’s brand of food to ours with minimal gastric upset. That means fewer soft stools – or worse, diarrhea in the middle of the night! Aside from the probiotic benefits, the clays in Terra Biota have a slight electric charge when wet, so they help bind to positively-charged toxins and move them out of the body. The dogs also get an immunity boost from the medicinal mushrooms. Sometimes, the dogs are on antibiotics from their illnesses as strays or recent medical procedures like spay/ neuter surgery, so they can use all the good probiotics they can get!
Thera Calm K9 is another helpful thing to have around. I like to give Thera Calm as a reward for going in their crate before I leave the house. Oftentimes I stuff the cubes into a kong and freeze them with other goodies like plain pumpkin or coconut oil to keep them busy while I’m gone. Many of our foster dogs have displayed characteristics of separation anxiety, so it gives me peace of mind to leave them with some adaptogenic snacks to help even out their stress hormones. Thera Calm also helps in my vigilant quest against diarrhea by preventing stress-related incidents.
The last must-have for foster dogs is lots and lots of Dog Star Training Treats! Made with real desiccated liver powder, they make great training treats for reinforcing behaviors that make the pups more adoptable. Plus, after all that they’ve been through, they deserve to be spoiled!
Supporting foster dogs has been one of the hardest things I’ve voluntarily done, but it’s also the most rewarding. I don’t have a lot of money to donate or time to spend volunteering at the shelter, but I do have room in my home and heart for temporary additions to the pack. It is hard to say goodbye, but it is worth it to be able to help the next dog down the road.
To the world, I may just be helping one dog at a time. But to that dog, it means the whole world. Each dog takes a little piece of me when they go, but they give back so much more. I highly encourage you to pitch in where your time and talents lead you!