Fostering a pet usually costs (depending on the contract) half of the puppy or kittens normal price. In many cases, the amount will be refunded after the agreed number of litters is born. However, this is not always the case, sometimes part of the amount is returned and part is left to the breeder. It is entirely contractual. Actually, the breeder is not forced to take any security if they does not want to do so, but I have never come across such cases.
In spite of its affordable price, fostering is by no means free. Although the breeder pays for the food, litter and other stuff when the puppies or kittens are born and the health tests for the mother there are other things that may cost more, or less. Like bringing the pet to a pet show, possibly taking the female to a boyfriend - although usually the breeder will take care of the delivery - or bring the male to the apartment and only God knowd what that boy is going to do! (With a pseudonym one male peed in the whole room and every time I tried to clean it, he did the same again, and not even people were saved from this treatment ...)
In addition, having a foster will cost the same as any pet, and many times the contract may require insurance, even if you did not plan to take one. Of course, I admit that I prefer insurance and recommend them to everyone who is considering a pet. At least as long as the number of pets in the economy is below 3 - the high insurance prices are so large that they are not worth keeping if you have more than 3 pets. For example, it is more advisable to open your own account for your pet and put money into your account every week, for a bad day so to speak. If you are in luck, dental care is the most costly in veterinary costs and you will not get any help from the insurance. But in a bad situation, your pet will break its leg at several points and the operating costs will exceed a few thousand euros. Then you will thank God that you have insurance.
Fostering takes time, for a dog longer than a cat, but it all takes time. In the relationship with the breeder, there must be honesty and agreeing on what matters and when. It takes time, patience, and scheduling to make things go smoothly.
Cats usually are mated after the first year and the contract can be 1-2 litters, sometimes rarely more. With dogs, the first pups will be born when the female is around 2-4-years old, and most commonly in dogs agreement is of one litter, but I have heard of up to three litters comprehensive agreements. So placement is not a momentary affair, but a project that is committed to for a long time – even years.
Breeders often pick the best of the litter to continue their familyline, that is the female stay at home or go to a foster home. This does not mean, of course, that there are no other good cubs in the litter, but if it is difficult for you to judge the nature, appearance and health of the breed or species in question, you can be sure that a foster cub is carefully selected. A foster cub is the cream on the cake (although I don't really like cream, but you know what I mean). Hence, you can be sure of getting a good individual. Or, well, as sure as you ever can be - because the puppies and kittens can develop any further, both in nature and in health.
The placement provides a good opportunity for a guide that advises you in difficult situations and helps you discover a new world, whether it is the agility world, the breeding world, show life, shepherding or the puppy world. For many, it is also an opportunity to practice future self-education for breeding if there are dreams of such. If everything goes well it's the most amazing experience that you may not otherwise experience.
The foster home does not necessarily raise the puppies or kittens. It is certainly the least stressful solution for any pet, but some breeders want to grow all their puppies under their own roof. In this way, the puppies are more like each other, their growth is much easier to follow and the breeder knows what has and has not been done with them. I want to grow the puppies and kittens in their own homes and while the cubs are growing, many visits from me are expected.
Whichever way the contract has been made, it is most profitable to consider fostering from many different positions. If my pet gives birth at the breeder’s, am I ready to give it up for several months, possibly even half a year or longer if the mating does not succeed right away, so the puppies or kittens and mother get the most stress-free start?
Or if the puppies are born with you, are you ready to raise them as requested by the breeder and accept the breeder's possible visits in your home? Puppies or kittens - whatever kind of representatives they are - cause their own obstacles in life. Although everything would go smoothly, the puppies or kittens would be healthy and the mother would take care of them, and there would be no need for any help, so the puppies should be given different stimuli. They should get used to different things, teach them to eat different foods and see different people and other animals. So are you ready to use your time for it? Do you have time, perseverance, and courage for it. Not to mention the nights waiting for the birth.
What if everything doesn't go as planned? What if a weak one is born to a litter? Or a still born, or one that has to be put down - can you do that? How would you work? Or if they don't get enough milk from their mother, how would you schedule feeding and get everyday life going? Can you afford to take a vacation from work for puppies or kittens? Is it even possible? Or would you get everything running despite normal everyday life? What if you have to go to the vet or get some other problems? Puppy or kitten ill? What then? And last but not least: are you ready to give up all the puppies or kittens when it is their time to leave. Or is there room to leave one home to grow if you hope so?
Generally speaking, the breeder can help you in all situations and I am willing to be on call so as to assist the birth bottle feeding plans with the foster family.
All of this should be thought through and weighed from every angle in order to really understand your decision and be able to stand behind your own words. After all this has been considered and thought through. You should think about what is important to you in the breed you would like to place. What kind of values do you maintain in your pet's life and what are you willing to compromise on and what are you not? Based on this, you should start looking for a breeder who has similar values. The best way to find this out is by researching breeders' websites, meeting them at shows/competitions or visiting them directly. Many breeders are happy if someone wants to come and get to know their dogs/cats/ferrets, etc. and it is also good for you to get to know the possible parents of the future puppy.
All of this should be thought out and weighed on every side to really understand your decision and be able to stand behind your own words and thoughts. When you have done that you should think about what is important to yourself in the breed that you would like to receive. What kind of values are maintained in the life of a pet and in which cases are you willing to be flexible, and which cases not. Based on this, you should start looking for a breeder with similar values. This is best done by studying the breeders' page, meeting them in exhibitions / competitions, or visiting them directly. Many breeders are happy to introduce their dogs / cats / ferrets, etc., and it is also good for you to become familiar with the potential parents of a future puppy or kitten.
When you find a breeder who you think you could befriend yourself with, it's time to ask about the possibility of fostering. Some breeders require a lot of their foster families, some less. Think about what you are willing to do and what you don't. The most important thing about the effectiveness of fostering is that the breeder and the foster home get along well. And if there are problems, they can be reached by talking to a consensus or a compromise. Of course, the best thing would be if there were no problem situations at all. However, disagreements are allowed as long as things can be discussed in a proper way.
Being a foster home can, at best, be a combination of meaningful, pleasant, and insane experiences, but at worst turn into a hell that doesn't seem to have a way out. In the event of a ripple, it should be noted that the pet is not yours and even if the breeder is unable to take it away for small reasons, they are not forced to sell it to you if they do not want to. That is why it is very important that you think carefully about what you do and who you are going to cooperate with. Trust, shared values and speech ability are more expensive than gold. But have fun!
If you still feel that you want to be a foster home for a puppy or kitten, please feel free to contact the breeders and ask about it. Often there is a lack of foster homes and breeders are happy to invest their puppies or kittens in cooperative families.