Become A Foster

Frequently asked questions

What does it mean to foster a dog?

Not unlike being a foster parent for a child, fostering a dog means that you commit to providing a loving temporary home for a dog in need, while it awaits adoption to its forever home. You will no doubt have many more questions before you decide to go on what could be one of the most fulfilling journeys of your life. We hope the rest of our FAQs page helps you learn enough to decide whether this volunteer opportunity is a good fit for you and your family.

What are my responsibilities as a doggie foster parent?

In a nutshell, you will be expected to provide the same care and love you would to a dog you have adopted, but with the knowledge that this is (usually) temporary. If it's been a while since you shared your home with a furry friend, here is a short list of typical responsibilities:

  1. See that your foster dog eats a healthful and nourishing diet; get educated on dog food quality, and which foods are safe or unsafe for dogs
  2. Give your foster a safe, comfortable environment for play, eating, and sleeping
  3. Make sure your little house guest gets their daily requirement of breed-appropriate exercise
  4. Arrange for routine and other veterinary care as needed, including regular check-ups
  5. Monitor your foster dog's behavior and social development, to make them a better household member not just for your home, but for their future adoptive family
  6. Share information regularly with the rescue on your foster dog's social progress, changes in health, obedience, appetite, etc. Provide pictures as often as you like, not only so that we can monitor changes as your guest transforms from shelter inmate to loving family member, but so we can show off how well he or she is doing under you care!

What will my expenses be as a foster? Which expenses are reimbursed?

We are not out to bankrupt anyone considerate enough to foster dogs with out-of-pocket expenses; if you are not in a situation where you can take on both the emotional and financial burdens of foster care, we don't want that to be a stumbling block to opening your heart and home! Chihuahuas of the Valley normally reimburses fosters for reasonable care expenditures:

  1. Routine and customary veterinary care, such as check-ups, shots, medicine, and supplies
  2. Veterinary care for serious illness or injury; except in the case of a life-and-death emergency, please be sure to get prior approval from the rescue; we have relationships with several veterinarians and animal hospitals which typically offer us better rates than you can get on your own
  3. Approved brands of dry or wet dog food, in collaboration with Chihuahuas of the Valley; we reserve the right to veto substandard brands or products
  4. Certain other expenses that may come up, with approval from the rescue; while we may typically furnish necessary items such as dog beds or blankets, etc., a situation may arise where your little critter just hates their bed or eats their blanket; please contact us before you run out to replace such items.

How long do your dogs usually stay in a foster home?

There is no cut-and-dried answer to this question, as some dogs just take longer than others to find the best match. This is especially the case with senior or special-needs dogs. If you are one of those magical, blessed people who have a soft spot for dogs requiring special care, be prepared to be in it for the long haul (with luck!). Because each dog is unique, the best general answer we can give is that you should be prepared to have your foster for as short a time as a week or two, or up to three months or even more. NOTE: Many foster families who have hosted a dog for a long time become so attached that they cannot bear the thought of giving up an animal that has melded itself to their hearts. This is a normal and welcome occurrence; if it happens to you, rest assured that foster families always have priority when it comes to adopting their foster dogs!


Gigi is looking for a foster home!