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Important Tips for Fostering Pets

Now more than ever, animal shelters and rescues around the country need your support. Shelters are reporting staffing shortages, decreased adoptions, and sadly, an increase in owner surrendered pets. Many shelters are trying to reduce their in-shelter pet population in order to make it easier for their limited staff. However, you can make a difference. Besides donating money, you can volunteer to foster animals. Foster pet parents have always played an important role with shelters and rescues. The impact of fostering is even greater during these challenging times.Under normal circumstances, shelters often need assistance caring for animals that require additional attention, such as young animals that need frequent feedings, or sick and injured animals that need additional medical care. This problem becomes magnified as shelters operate with reduced staff during the COVID crisis. Shelters still need fosters to care animals that need more care, but they also need fosters to decrease the number of animals their limited staff can care for during this pandemic. Fostering a pet can have a positive impact on the whole family Fostering animals doesn’t just help shelters, the benefits are reciprocal, and this is especially true now. With most of the country following social isolation and working from home, many people are experiencing increased stress, anxiety and loneliness. Having a foster pet to care for during these difficult times can give you a sense of purpose, can help reduce stress, and can provide much needed companionship. And if you have kids, fostering a pet can have a positive impact on the whole family. Having fostered many animals over the years, my own children have seen how our love and care helped these animals grow and get healthy for their adoptive families. Fostering has taught them to be gentle and to develop a respect for life. It has also showed them the importance of hard work and dedication. There is a great sense of gratification knowing that your efforts saved a life and helped a deserving animal find its family. Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash   Fostering is a great way to try out being a pet parent There are other benefits to fostering. Being a foster parent is also a great way to try out being a pet parent without the long-term commitment. If you aren’t sure if you and your family are ready to take on a pet for life, fostering may be the answer. You can have a pet in your home for a few weeks to months and determine if your family is ready to make a long-term commitment. It also allows you to determine if a particular pet is a good fit for your family or not. While you might be interested in a puppy, after fostering you may decide an older more settled dog may be better for your home or you may decide you want a cat instead of a dog. After all, becoming a pet parent is a major commitment and you want to be as sure as possible that you are making the right choice. There is one other benefit to fostering shelter animals. Sometimes, when you open your home to a foster animal, you open your heart, and you realize that you are their forever home. This is how two of my cats, Starlite and Mr. Smee joined our family. It’s an unintended consequence, but under the right circumstances, fostering the right animal at the right time will serendipitously lead to the realization that your foster animal is a perfect addition to your family.   Foster pet parents play a vital role in helping shelter animals that need extra care and can mitigate the current challenges facing shelters operating with reduced staff. Fostering during these challenging COVID times is a win-win for you, the shelter, and the animal you foster. If you are interested in becoming a foster pet parent, contact your local animal shelter or rescue today. Article by Dr. Ruth MacPete, D.V.M., well-known veterinarian and author. 
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Meet Dr. Ruth MacPete, the Pet Vet!

Healthy Pet® Welcomes Dr. Ruth MacPete, “the Pet Vet,” as Pet Expert Authority Nationally-renown veterinarian and media correspondent, Dr. Ruth MacPete, aka Dr. Ruth “the Pet Vet,” is joining the Healthy Pet® family to help promote its natural “Best in Home” brands. For over 30 years Healthy Pet has been a leader in the pet category with small animal bedding and litter product offerings made from sustainably sourced, responsibly rescued natural plant fiber. “We’re so excited to be partnering with Dr. Ruth to share our combined passions of providing earth-friendly choices that also provide the very best home for pets and entire family,” said Jane Wasley, Head of Marketing at Healthy Pet. “Her passion for pets and professional knowledge, are a welcome addition to the Healthy Pet family.” Dr. MacPete is a practicing veterinarian of 20+ years and an experienced media personality, speaker, consultant, author and blogger. She will specifically support Healthy Pet’s cat and small animal brands, ökocat® and carefresh®.“As a veterinarian, pet parent, mother, and consumer, I want pet products that work, are safe for my family, and environmentally-friendly. I am passionate about pet care and educating pet parents about making Earth-friendly choices, and I admire Healthy Pet for making products that are good not only for your pets, but also your family and the environment.” About Dr. Ruth Dr. Ruth MacPete, aka Dr. Ruth, “the Pet Vet,” has appeared as a veterinary correspondent on numerous radio and television shows around the country, including frequent appearances on the Emmy Award-winning hit show The Doctors, Good Morning America, Hallmark’s Home & Family, Fox & Friends and the Weather Channel’s America’s Morning Headquarters. In addition to her television appearances, she has written about cats and cat health for various magazines such as Cat Fancy, Kittens USA, Fetch!, Pet Business and recently published her first children’s book Lisette the Vet. She is a featured blogger for Pet Health Network and can often be seen lecturing at national veterinary conferences and cat conventions. She has worked in private practice and in shelter medicine for over 20 years and also volunteers her time with several local animal rescue groups. Dr. MacPete believes that through education and awareness of pet health-care, we can improve the lives of animals everywhere. She lives in California with her human family, three cats and one big dog who thinks he is a cat. To learn more about Dr. MacPete go to: www.DrRuthPetVet.com
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