Are you interested in fostering animals, but you also work full-time? It’s still possible! I work full-time, as well as going to part-time graduate school, and am still able to make time for fosters. It does take some time management, and maybe an extra hand here and there, but you can make it work to help save some foster animals’ lives. In this blog, I will be talking about the steps you should take to make this successful for the animals and yourself.
If you have a pet now or have in the past, you know that there are extra steps in your day to take care of that animal. First thing in the morning I make my coffee and feed my cats before I do anything else. As a pet owner, you understand that they need your time and assistance in feeding, cleaning, taking them outside, playing, and giving them love and affection. It is essentially the same thing with foster animals. You have to learn how to fit their care schedule into their own life.
I currently have a 4-week-old foster in my home, who also happens to have ringworm, and I can care for her while working full-time. I have up about 20-30 minutes earlier to make sure she eats and gets her medications. On my lunch breaks, I come home to feed her again and spend time with her. As soon as I get home from work, I directly go to check in here and make sure she is doing okay. And throughout the night while I am home, I constantly check on and care for her.
It is not necessary to have help when fostering, you are more than capable to do it alone. But, there are times in which help can make things go smoother and quicker. For example, my roommate and I foster animals together and when our ringworm kitten needs her bath, one of us bathes and keeps the kitten warm, while the other cleans her space and replaces all linens and blankets. If you are doing this solely on your own, it is possible but may take closer to 30 minutes rather than 10 with a teammate. Having someone in your life who can help do the laundry, wash food bowls, or change out litter can be a huge help, but it is not essential.
Bringing the Foster Animals to Work
There are many offices and jobs out there where bosses or managers are okay with people bringing in their animals to work. At my previous and current job, I have been able to bring animals into work with me, as long as I give prior notice. If I am bringing an animal to work with me, I ensure that I have everything necessary for the animal packed up the night before, and double-check the next morning. I get to work a little bit earlier to set the animal up and get ready for the day, without taking time out of my work hours. Many people love having these animals around and it is a great way to socialize the foster as well.
If you work somewhere in which you cannot take the animal to work, or it is not safe, that is okay. For example, if you are working in retail, it is not safe for the animal to be in a busy store or around too many people. If you work in a profession with long shifts, such as a nurse or police officer, you cannot bring these fosters to work with you nor can you take long enough breaks to go home and care for them. This is when you have to decide if a foster animal is the best fit for your lifestyle. My previous blog series was on different types of foster animals and how they fit into your life, it is a great place to start to decide if you have the time for a foster right now.
In conclusion, it is very possible to work full time and foster animals. It takes time management, and sometimes some help, to ensure the animals are getting the best care possible. Before you take home your first foster, you should always understand the expectations of the animal and what time you can set aside for them. If these do not align right now, you can always reevaluate in the future. Comment below if you have fostered while working full time and give insight on how you made it work!