How Much Does It Cost To Foster A Dog || Affordable As Pet Parents

Fostering a dog is such a special thing and also self-satisfying. So you might be planning to foster a dog for the first time but don’t know how much it costs to foster a dog. So we’re here to help you.

Of course, fostering a dog comes with some costs. However, the cost is relatively less than adopting one. But before you seek a foster pet placement, consider the potential costs you have to face.

In this article, we will discuss how much it costs to foster a dog and which costs you’ll get covered by the fostering agency.

So, let’s jump into the details.

Does Fostering A Dog Be Expensive?

Whether fostering a dog is expensive or not depends on various factors such as the Dog’s type, breed, age, and health requirements. However, typically it’s not much expensive as you will get support for veterinary and medical conditions from the shelter, which costs a lot of bucks. Otherwise, you must bear the food costs and other additional costs if you want.

How Much Does It Cost To Foster A Dog?

Usually, it takes $100-200 in upfront costs and $50-$100 per month to care for a foster dog. Here is a table to understand how much you might need to spend to be a foster parent.

Type of expense Yearly Cost Estimated 
Food and treats$300-$700
Leashes and Collars$15-$50
Other costsUp to $500


An average of \$50 is usually enough for your dog food’s monthly budget. Although smaller dogs require less food, larger dogs might require 3x the amount of food per month.

Mostly, foster agencies try very hard to provide as many supplies as possible to foster parents. Perhaps, food is the compulsory and most significant expense of a foster parent.

Though some agencies have enough resources to provide the food costs, if you can bear it yourself, we would recommend you buy the pet food yourself. Doing so will help the agency spend resources on rescuing more dogs.

You must follow the feeding instructions provided by the foster shelter to ensure a healthy diet for your pet. If the foster shelter suggests a specific pet food brand, you should buy only this brand.

Because switching pet foods abruptly can lead your foster dog to an upset stomach. If unfortunately, your foster pet suffers from diarrhea, you can feed rice to it, as a home remedy. Don’t know the recipe for homemade rice for dog’s diarrhea, here’s it. How to make rice for dogs with diarrhea

Like any pet, you must monitor if your foster dog is eating proper food and getting enough nutrition. Neither should they intake less food nor overeat. Because overeating can also be harmful to them and they will be overweight.

Additional costs of a foster dog

Aside from the food cost, there are also some additional costs you have to bear for your fostering dog. Here are the different areas for additional costs.


Your dog must have one leash and one collar. You might want to give your foster dog a new collar or leash as you like. Depending on the size and quality, leashes and collars might cost $15-30. Thankfully, one collar or leash will last for years.

If you’re unsure, ask the adoption agency about the proper collar and leash. Make sure it fits your dog.

Water/Food Bowl

Once you bring your new member home, though, for a short time, it’ll need water and food bowls. You might need to spend an average of $10 for a bowl. Make sure you’re buying the proper bowl, and also consider the height so your furry friend can comfortably enjoy their good dishes. Moreover, don’t forget to clean the food bowls after every meal.


Your new guest needs a comfortable place to sleep. Usually, crates are pretty expensive. According to bed sizes, you can buy a dog bed between $30-80.

Make sure you’re buying a comfortable bed and blanket that will feel like your pups at home. However, understanding the bed size is also essential for being a foster parent.


Treats are the most fantastic way to help your dog adapt and learn something new. It’s totally up to you how much budget you want to keep for giving treats to your pups. Perhaps you might need to spend $10-$30 per month for treats. Your costs might be more if you give treats more often in a month. Your foster dog’s size is also crucial in considering the costs.


Toys are beneficial for keeping your puppy busy while you work. You can also stay assured that your dog is not roaming into your house and making any trouble.

Even dogs are found cheerful when playing with their favorite toys. Most cases, all breeds of dogs love to play with bones style=”font-weight: 400;”>, balls, and rope. You can buy quality but inexpensive toys for about $10. Make sure you purchase a suitable toy that your dog will like to play with

Do You Get Paid For Fostering A Dog?

Which Costs Are Covered by Adoption Agencies?

Let’s see which costs you can expect to cover from the adoption agency.

Vet Costs & Medical Care

You want to keep your foster dog safe and healthy until it goes to its forever home. For this, you might need frequent veterinary costs and medical care. Thankfully, Pet foster parents can expect to get cover for any vet costs and medical care emergencies. When you contact an adoption agency, confirm that they absolutely cover the vet costs and medical care. You can expect to cover the following cost by the agency.

  • Routine checkups and exams
  • Shots and vaccination
  • Special medication
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Flea and tick prevention
  • Medical procedures
  • Spay or neutering

However, you can consult a pet foster care coordinator who provides instructions about essential medical attention. So if you have any concerns about the health and safety of your pup, seek advice from the coordinator as soon as possible.

How Long Do Foster Dogs Typically Stay With You?

Foster dogs typically stay with you for about 2 months before adoption. This time length can be more or less, depending on your animal. Every foster animal is different, and how much time the foster dog will stay, it depends on the dog’s age, breed, or the adoption agency.

However, the lengthy period the foster dog will stay in your home will cost more.  Before fostering a dog, you should discuss with the agency so you can assume how long it is going to stay with you and how much the cost will be.

How Should You Plan For Expected and Unexpected Costs?

As a foster parent, you should always be ready for expected as well as unexpected costs. And that way, you have to plan for your financial resources.

  • First, you need to discuss with the foster agency or shelter how many resources they can provide you for the dog. 
  • According to that, do your plan for everyday fostering costs. 
  • Afterward, plan for emergency costs and keep your financial resources ready.


Do dog rescuers make money?

No. Dog rescuers are not meant to make money. They are non-profit organizations which collect funds through fundraising and donations and spend it to run the foster agency or shelter.

How do dog fosters make money?

Dog fosters usually make money from the animal rescue or shelter organization or through starting a private foster arrangement. They can also get paid through indirect fostering.

Should you foster if you have children at home?

Dogs love children, and you can foster a dog even if you have children at home. In that case, slowly introduce your pups to your children and understand their reactions. Give some time to your new guest to become familiar with your home and environment.


That’s all about how much it costs to foster a dog. Being a foster parent is not that easy. Along with financial reliability, you need to be prepared mentally and emotionally too. So before you decide to be a foster parent, make sure you can afford the costs. If you fail to bear the fostering expenses, it will lead to an unsuccessful fostering, and the foster dog might return to the shelter again.

Hopefully, this article will help you with successful dog fostering. If you have any further queries, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comment.

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