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Foster Dog Supplies 101: Your Complete Guide to Getting Started

foster dog supplies and food

When you think about foster dog supplies, you’re diving into something pretty huge. Fostering isn’t just a temporary gig for a pup; it’s a game changer. Here’s why:

  • Shelters are packed. Some dogs chill there for ages; others aren’t so lucky. Fostering? It’s their shot at a better tomorrow.
  • Space in shelters is tight. Every dog you foster? That’s one more spot for another furball in need.
  • When you foster, you’re not just giving a roof. You’re giving cuddles, belly rubs, and a bunch of “good boy” shoutouts.

Fostering a dog is a rewarding experience that provides a temporary home for shelter dogs until they find their forever home.

foster dog supplies

But before you welcome your new furry friend, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies.

Want the quick version? Click here for a quick list of 25 essential foster dog supplies.

The Magic of the Right Foster Dog Supplies

Okay, let’s chat gear. Picture this: A new dog steps into your place. New sights, smells, maybe a bit scary.

Read our post about fostering senior dogs!

But then, there’s that snuggly bed, those fun toys, and yup, that delish dinner waiting. That’s your foster dog supplies working their magic.

  • The right stuff makes a dog feel at home.
  • Helps them chill out and get comfy faster.
  • Makes your life as a foster parent way smoother.

So, stocking up on the right foster dog supplies? It’s not just shopping. It’s like setting the stage for an awesome time together.

foster dog supplies and food

Starting Off Right: Nailing the Basics for First-Time Foster Dog Parents

Dog Bed: Every Pup’s Personal Palace


Alright, let’s kick things off with arguably the coziest of the foster dog supplies: the dog bed.

  • Personal Space is Key: Ever had one of those days where you just want to dive into your bed and pull up the covers? Dogs get that vibe too. A bed is more than just padding; it’s their little corner in a new world. It screams, “This is your spot, buddy!”
  • Picking the Perfect Bed: Size does matter. You wouldn’t sleep on a toddler’s bed, right? Same goes for dogs. Make sure it’s big enough for them to stretch out but cozy enough to feel secure. As for materials, think washable and durable, especially for those pups who fancy a chew now and then.

Remember, the bed you choose sets the stage for many naps and bedtime snuggles to come. So, make it count!

Orthopedic Dog Bed
Introducing an Orthopedic Dog Bed like no other – the go-to choice for fostering dogs. This spacious bed features full memory foam, a removable washable cover, and a waterproof liner for easy maintenance.

It offers comfort, durability, and a cozy bolster design for a secure and relaxing sleep space. Invest in the well-being of your foster dogs with this exceptional bed.

Making the Environment Safe: Your Home, Their Haven

If the words “crate” or “playpen” make you feel a little guilty, it’s time for a mindset shift.

Crates and Playpens: More Than Just Confinement

These aren’t jail cells; they’re safe spaces that offer both you and your foster pup some much-needed peace of mind.

Need more info about fostering dogs? Check out our post about foster dog tips.

Why Crates and Playpens for Your Foster Dog Supplies

Crates offer a secure environment that can make dogs feel safe and at home. There are heavy-duty crates for dogs that may try to escape too. They can also be invaluable for house-training.

Playpens, on the other hand, offer a safe space for your pup to play while you’re busy or away.

Choosing Wisely

Crates: Measure your dog’s height and length to pick the right size. Materials can vary; wire crates offer good ventilation, while plastic ones are cozier.

Playpens: Opt for sturdy materials and a size that’s large enough for your pup to move around but not so big that they could get into mischief.

Our Picks for Creating Safe Spaces

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Heavy Duty Dog Crate Cage Kennel with Wheels
This 48 by 38 Inches Heavy Duty Dog Crate Cage Kennel with Wheels is an ideal choice for foster dogs.

This crate is specifically designed to cater to their needs, providing a safe and secure environment. The indestructible features offer peace of mind for foster dogs who may be experiencing stress or separation anxiety. The sturdy locks design ensures that the crate remains securely locked, preventing any accidental escapes.

The double door design allows for easy access and flexibility in placement. Additionally, the removable tray design makes cleaning a breeze, ensuring a sanitary living space for the foster dogs. With its extra-large size, this crate can comfortably accommodate larger breeds or multiple dogs.

Overall, this Heavy Duty Dog Crate Cage Kennel is a reliable and practical choice for foster homes, providing a comfortable and secure space for the well-being of foster dogs.
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Dog Playpen and Pet Dog Fence
This is a versatile metal dog pen available in 24″, 32″, and 40″ heights, with options of 8, 16, 24, or 32 panels.

It’s perfect for providing a safe and spacious outdoor area for large, medium, and small dogs. The playpen features doors for easy access and is durable for long-lasting use. Ideal for RVs, camping, and yards, this portable playpen offers a secure space for dogs to exercise and play.

Crates and playpens can be lifesavers when fostering a dog, offering a sense of safety and boundaries that can ease their transition into a new home.

So, while you’re jotting down your foster dog supplies list, make sure these two essentials are on there.

Don’t miss our posts about fostering a dog with separation anxiety.

Baby Gates and Barriers: Creating Dog-Friendly Zones

No, you’re not babying your foster dog too much by using baby gates.

Why Baby Gates are a Good Idea

These barriers can be key to designating safe spaces and keeping some off-limits, whether it’s the kitchen, your home office, or that room full of delicate antiques.

Why They are Necessary Foster Dog Supplies

From stopping counter-surfing to preventing accidental escapes, baby gates provide an extra layer of safety and control within your home.

Installation and Use: Easier Than You Think

It’s not just about buying the first gate you see; there are a few things to consider.

  • Installation: Make sure the gates are easy to install but also sturdy. Some come with pressure mounts, while others might require screws.
  • Usage: Opt for gates that are easy to open (for humans) but not so easy that a clever dog can figure it out. Some gates even offer one-hand operation for ultimate convenience.

Barrier Brands We Stand By

Auto Close Safety Gate for Dogs (or Kids)
This safety gate can be effortlessly installed without screws using its pressure mount design, protecting your walls in the process.

The gate door boasts an auto-close function that gently shuts behind you and a hold-open feature for convenience. Crafted from durable steel, it ensures sturdiness while being fully compliant with USA safety standards.

Perfect for various openings in your home to keep your foster dog out of any off-limit areas.
Extra Tall Walk-Through Gate: Perfect for Pets, Toddlers, and Home Safety
Sky-High Safety: The extra tall gate is designed to keep large dogs contained. Perfect for various spaces in the home, it installs effortlessly with pressure-mounting and offers an anti-trip feature.

Enjoy one-handed operation, child-proof double locking, and an auto-close function for enhanced security.

When it comes to making your home foster-dog-friendly, baby gates are more than just a nice-to-have—they’re practically a must-have.

So add this to your foster dog supplies list, and create a home that’s safe, manageable, and welcoming for your new four-legged friend.

Foster Dog Supplies: Food and Bowls for the Basics

Consistency is key with their dog food. Imagine moving to a new place and suddenly being served unfamiliar food. A bit unsettling, right? For foster pups, it’s a similar vibe.

  • Stick to the Familiar: Whenever possible, keep the dog on the same food they were munching on before. Their tummies are used to it, and it’s one less change in an already changing world. Shifting foods can lead to digestive problems or even stress.
  • When to Switch: If you really have to change their food—maybe due to allergies or other health issues—do it gradually. Mix the old with the new, increasing the new food’s proportion over a week or so. This eases their system into the transition.

Bowls: More than Just a Dish

Sure, it might seem like just a container, but the right bowl can make all the difference.

  • Size and Stability: No dog wants to chase their bowl during dinner. Look for bowls with non-slip bases. And remember, size matters! A Chihuahua and a Great Dane have different needs.
  • Material Matters: Stainless steel is a solid choice—durable, easy to clean, and resistant to chewing. Plus, they’re less likely to harbor bacteria than plastic ones.
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Insulated Dog Bowl – Non-slip Stainless Steel
Chill Chow Time: The ultimate stainless-steel bowl for pets, designed to stay cold and last forever. Triple-insulated for durability and vet-approved for safety. Plus, it’s a breeze to clean, and its non-slip base ensures tidy mealtimes without floor damage.

When it comes to food and bowls, a little consistency and quality can make mealtime a highlight for your foster furball.

Collar, Leash, and ID Tags: Gear Up for Safe Adventures

Identity and Safety First for your Foster Dog Supplies


Taking in a foster dog? Gear up! Because if there’s anything as essential as food and love, it’s ensuring they’re safe and easily identifiable.

  • Why It’s Vital: Think of the collar and ID tag as a dog’s passport and ID card rolled into one. Whether they’re off on a mini-adventure (read: unexpected chase after a squirrel) or just out in the yard, that tag is their ticket home.
  • Safety Matters: A proper leash ensures that your foster pup stays close during walks, reducing risks like running into traffic or approaching a less-than-friendly animal.

Choosing the Right Gear

Finding the perfect collar and leash isn’t just about fashion (though who doesn’t love a stylish pup?).

  • Collar Tips: Go for adjustable ones. As they get comfy and maybe put on some weight, you’ll want that flexibility. Material-wise, nylon is durable and easy to clean. But always check for any signs of wear and tear.
  • Leash Lowdown: Look for a sturdy leash with a comfortable grip. Remember, it’s not just about holding them back, but also guiding them on your adventures together.

Top Pick for Your Pup
Ready to shop? We have some favorites:

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Equipping your foster dog with the right collar, leash, and ID tags isn’t just a requirement—it’s a commitment to their safety and well-being. Always ensure they’re geared up and ready for the world!

Health and Hygiene Essentials: Keeping Foster Dogs Spick and Span

dog taking bath

Grooming Supplies: Not Just About Looking Good
When you’re fostering a dog, grooming is about more than making them look Instagram-worthy (though that’s a definite bonus). It’s a health thing, a comfort thing, and sometimes, a trust-building thing.

The Need for Grooming

Many foster dogs might come from backgrounds where they weren’t groomed regularly. This means tangled fur, overgrown nails, and other issues that can cause discomfort or health problems.

Regular grooming not only makes them feel better but can also help you spot potential health issues.

Essential Grooming Tools

  • Brushes: Depending on the dog’s coat, you might need a few different types. Think slicker brushes, bristle brushes, and deshedding tools.
  • Nail Clippers: Overgrown nails can be painful and even cause injury. Keep them trimmed!
  • Shampoos and Conditioners: Opt for dog-specific, preferably natural, products. Remember, what works for humans might irritate a dog’s skin.

Our Must-Have Products:

Extra Sturdy Dog Nail Clipper
I’ve got one, and it’s a cut above the rest! Crafted with sharp Italian steel and trusted by both vets and groomers, this tool is sheer perfection.
Aloe and Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
Banish dry and itchy fur with our 16 oz shampoo-conditioner duo. Packed with nature’s finest like colloidal oatmeal, organic aloe, and shea butter. Clean ingredients, pH-balanced, and perfect for pets over 6 weeks.

Keeping a foster dog well-groomed isn’t just a beauty routine. It’s an essential part of ensuring they’re comfortable, healthy, and feeling their best as they adjust to their new environment.

First Aid Kit: Be Prepared, Because Oops Happens

Why a First Aid Kit is a Must-Have
Is there room for one more thing on your foster dog supplies list? Make it a First Aid Kit. Trust us, it’s not about being paranoid; it’s about being prepared.

  • Emergencies Wait for No One: Whether it’s a minor scratch or something more serious, having a kit ready means you can act fast.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing you’re prepared can take a load off your stress levels, too, especially if you’re new to this whole fostering game.

What to Tuck Inside that Kit


So, what’s going inside this lifesaving box? Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Antiseptics: To clean out wounds and prevent infection.
  • Gauze Pads and Rolls: For covering injuries and helping with bleeding.
  • Tweezers: For the inevitable splinters or tick removal.
  • Hydrocortisone Cream: Good for itches and minor skin irritations.
  • Digital Thermometer: Always good to check if they’re running a fever.
  • Pet-Safe Pain Relievers: Consult your vet on what to include here.

Top Picks to Keep You Prepared

ARCA PET Dog First Aid Kit
Having the ARCA PET Cat & Dog First Aid Kit is essential for foster dogs. This comprehensive kit includes 100 pieces, such as an emergency collar, pet thermometer, and mini pouch, ensuring you have all the necessary tools for any pet emergency.

Whether you’re at home, traveling, or in the car, this kit provides peace of mind and enables you to swiftly address any health concerns or injuries that may arise. With its vibrant neon orange color, it’s easy to locate and access when needed.

Keep your foster dogs safe and well-cared for with this indispensable first aid kit.
Dog Medical Kit
This kit packs essentials like a skin stapler, gauze, medical forceps, a headlamp, emergency blanket, and a cold pack.

It provides everything you need to handle emergencies and injuries when far from medical care. With its dog-specific design, this kit is catered to the types of injuries dogs commonly encounter.

Ensure the safety and well-being of your furry companion with the Adventure Medical Kits Workin’ Dog Canine First Aid Kit with QuikClot.

Having a First Aid Kit isn’t about expecting the worst, but about being prepared for any hiccups along the way. It’s an essential part of your foster dog supplies that you don’t want to overlook.

Foster Dog Supplies for Enrichment and Play: More Than Just Fun and Games

Toys aren’t just about keeping your foster dog entertained; they’re also therapy. Yep, you heard it right. A good play session can be the key to a happier, more relaxed dog. Playtime equals trust and relaxation.

Why Toys Matter

New places can be stressful for dogs. Toys give them something familiar to focus on, which can help reduce anxiety. Plus, playtime is a fantastic way to build trust between you and your new furry roommate.

The Toy Box Essentials:

  • Chew Toys: Great for teething puppies or adult dogs who love to gnaw. They can also help with dental health.
  • Puzzle Toys: Keep that doggy brain engaged! These toys make your pup work a little for a treat and can keep them busy when you’re not around.
  • Plush Toys: These are comfort items. They’re soft, cuddly, and can make a dog feel secure, especially at bedtime.

Our Top Toy Picks

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IQ Training and Puzzle Toy for Dogs
Brain-Boosting Puzzle: Slide and seek to feed while sharpening Fido’s smarts. With a squeaky center for extra allure, this toy not only challenges but entertains, turning yawns into barks and curbing those chewy habits.
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Sturdy Dog Toy for those Aggressive Chewers
Built to Last: Perfect for avid chewers, with genuine bacon allure. Crafted with a dog-friendly curve for easy grip, all sourced and made in the USA.

Investing in a variety of toys for your foster dog is not just a way to keep them entertained but a way to improve their mental and emotional well-being. Playtime isn’t just fun; it’s therapeutic!

Training Supplies: Setting the Stage for Good Behavior

You might think, “They’re only here for a short time, do I really need to train them?” In a word: Yep.

Why Basic Training is a Game-Changer for Foster Dogs

training dog


Basic training not only sets boundaries but also helps your foster pup adjust to new environments, making them more adoptable in the long run.

Training Benefits: A well-behaved dog is a joy to be around, and it’ll make the fostering experience smoother for you too. Training can also help mitigate behavioral issues, reducing stress for both human and dog.

Tools of the Trade

Training a dog isn’t just about commands; it’s also about having the right gear.

  • Clickers: These are great for marking desired behavior. Click and treat to let them know they’ve done something right.
  • Treat Pouches: Trust us, fumbling with a bag of treats is a hassle you don’t need. A pouch keeps rewards handy and training efficient.
  • Training Books/Guides: Even if you’re a seasoned dog owner, a good guide can offer new techniques or troubleshooting tips.
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The BEST Dog Training Book EVER!
This audiobook provides a deep dive into mastering the art of dog training. Through expert techniques and insights, listeners are taught how to foster a harmonious bond with their canine companions.

An essential guide for anyone looking to understand and communicate better with their dog.

Having the right training supplies isn’t about making your life complicated; it’s about making your foster experience—and your dog’s—much better.

So, invest in some basic tools, and watch as your foster pup grows more confident and well-behaved.

For the Experienced Foster: Advanced Supplies

Special dietary supplements aren’t just an upsell. They are a necessity.

Why Supplements Can Be Game-Changing

For those seasoned in the fostering game, you know every dog is unique. Some might need a little more than what’s available in standard dog food.

That’s where special dietary supplements come into play. These aren’t optional for dogs with specific health needs; they’re essential.

  • Health-Targeted: Whether it’s joint issues, skin conditions, or digestive problems, the right supplement can make a world of difference in a dog’s quality of life.
  • Boosting Adoption Chances: A healthier, happier dog is more adoptable. Supplements can make a noticeable difference in a dog’s appearance and demeanor, which can be a big plus when meeting potential forever families.

Details, Details, Details Understanding your foster dog’s specific needs is step one. From there, you can get into the nitty-gritty of supplement selection. Here are some common needs and corresponding supplements:

  • Joint Support: Glucosamine and chondroitin are the go-tos for joint health, helping with flexibility and pain relief.
  • Skin & Coat: Look for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can promote a shinier coat and healthier skin.
  • Digestive Health: Probiotics aren’t just for humans. They can aid in digestion and help regulate gut health in dogs too.

Our Trusted Supplement Picks

Supplement for Dog Joints
Boost Your Dog’s Joint Game: Dive into the top vet-recommended blend of avocado, glucosamine, chondroitin, and that trusty sulfur source, MSM. Perfect for big pups over 60 lbs.

Served up as tasty chews or tablets from a leader in pet wellness for decades.
Salmon Oil with Omega 3 and 6
Dive into top-tier wild Alaskan salmon oil. Packed with 4,600mg of omega-3s, it supports heart, joint, and immunity, while tackling itchy skin and allergies. Crafted in the USA, the formula is as pure as the Alaskan waters!

Adding special dietary supplements to your roster of foster dog supplies can make a huge impact on your pup’s health and well-being.

If you’re an experienced foster parent, these advanced options can help you offer even more tailored care to your temporary furry family members.

Be sure to check with your vet before adding supplements to a foster dogs regimen.

Quick Checklist of 25 Foster Dog Supplies You Need

  1. Orthopedic Dog Bed: Extra support for good sleep.
  2. Stainless Steel Food Bowl: Easy to clean and durable.
  3. Water Bowl: Separate from the food bowl.
  4. High-Quality Dog Food: Match their previous diet when possible.
  5. Adjustable Collar: For a snug yet comfy fit.
  6. Sturdy Leash: Depending on your dog’s size and behavior.
  7. ID Tags: Up-to-date contact info is a must.
  8. Dog Crate: For training and a secure environment.
  9. Playpen: Create a safe play area.
  10. Baby Gates: Great for zoning your home.
  11. Durable Chew Toys: Keeps them busy and relieves stress.
  12. Soft Plush Toys: For cuddle time.
  13. Puzzle Toys: To stimulate their minds.
  14. Wire or Slicker Brushes: Catered to your dog’s coat.
  15. Hypoallergenic Shampoo: Gentle on the skin.
  16. Nail Clippers or Grinder: Regular nail care is essential.
  17. First Aid Kit: Equipped for minor emergencies.
  18. Training Treats: Low-calorie and high-reward.
  19. Clicker: If you’re into clicker training.
  20. Biodegradable Poop Bags: For responsible waste disposal.
  21. Flea and Tick Preventatives: Talk to a vet for recommendations.
  22. Travel Carrier: For vet visits or day trips.
  23. Doggy Sweater or Coat: For those chilly days.
  24. Dental Chews: For oral hygiene between brushings.
  25. Specialized Supplements: Address specific health concerns.

Keep this expanded list on hand to ensure you’re fully stocked with all the foster dog supplies you’ll need for a successful and enjoyable fostering experience.

Final Thoughts on Foster Dog Supplies

If you’ve made it this far, you’re already miles ahead in your foster dog journey. Knowing the ins and outs of foster dog supplies isn’t just for your convenience; it’s for the ultimate comfort and well-being of your new four-legged friend.

A happy, healthy dog is not only easier to foster but also more likely to get adopted. Win-win, right?

Your Next Steps: Make the Investment

Look, we get it; life is full of expenses. But when it comes to fostering a dog, cutting corners just isn’t worth it. Investing in quality products—from beds to toys, from crates to supplements—makes a tangible difference.

And let’s face it: if it makes your life easier and helps a dog find its forever home, it’s money well-spent.

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Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane is a lifelong dog lover who shares her life with a beloved Golden Retriever and Goldendoodle. Known among friends and family as the 'go-to' person for dog-related advice, she cherishes every moment spent with her four-legged companions. Her days are often filled with outdoor adventures and cozy evenings, all enhanced by her dog pals.