Turn on the TV and you can learn how to foster dogs!
Mom always said to turn off the TV because it would rot your brain but we’re here to tell you that you can learn a lot from your TV. Here are 5 secrets about fostering a dog that you can glean just by watching your favorite TV shows:
- Reruns are a good thing – Who among us hasn’t turned on the TV only to be delightfully surprised by a familiar show running reruns of episodes that we have already seen. We’re comfortable because we enjoy the predictability of the episode knowing exactly how it ends. If you’re fostering a dog from your local animal shelter, remember that reruns are a good thing. Foster dogs often need a consistent plan that they can rely on much like you rely on the consistency of the outcomes from reruns. Establishing a routine like when to eat, when to sleep, when to play, makes it easier on the dog to predict what’s happening next and this helps to reduce their fear factor.
- It’s time to cut the cord – The latest trend in TV is cord cutting or getting rid of the overpriced cable company in lieu of many other alternatives like Hulu or Netflix. When you’re fostering a dog, cutting the cord can be a great idea when you do it smartly. More and more communities are building out dog parks to let pets run free in large fenced in areas and your foster dog would likely benefit from you taking him off the leash once in a while to let him be free and to run and romp wherever he would like. Just make sure you know how your foster dog interacts with other dogs before you try to cut the cord. That’s be like cutting the cord only to realize you’re missing the latest season of Game of Thrones.
- Stations build trust – When you turn on the Food Network, you can be assured that the shows come through your TV will be related to food somehow. You’ve learned to trust this network to deliver what you’re looking for much like your foster dog needs to learn to trust you to deliver what they are needing. Often you may not know the background of your foster dog so you’ll have to learn to establish your own level of trust with each other. It’s possible they came from a less than desirable situation where their previous caretaker wasn’t as kind as you. You’ll need to take things slow, establishing a routine but also boundaries, and realize that trust takes time to establish. Remember that building trust is an important part of your relationship with your foster dog just like it was important for you to establish trust that Animal Planet wasn’t going to run reruns of Sex in the City on off hours.
- Sometimes there’s nothing on – You know the feeling, you turn on the TV and scroll through the channels only to find that there’s nothing on that you want to watch. Well you’re in luck because there’s nothing on that your foster dog wants to watch either. What a perfect opportunity for both of you to get up and go out for a walk together to get a few extra steps in and break the monotony of the day. After all there’s nothing on anyway.
- Fear is a factor for you – If you’ve ever watched Joe Rogan on the show Fear Factor, he always signed off every episode by saying “Evidently fear is not a factor for you.” But that’s not the same for your foster dog friend. While your house may be familiar to you, the sounds, smells and situations are very different for your furry friend. Fear definitely will be a factor for them so take it slow. Start them out in one room that is quiet and away from everything else. Let them get acclimated to this comfortable place before opening the door to new things. Take it slow and help them overcome their fears. After all, it’s not like you’re going to start feeding them cockroaches.
Have you learned a lesson about fostering a dog from your favorite TV show?
Tell us about it.