Key Dos and Don'ts of Being a PVAS Dog Foster



  • DO carefully review all of PVAS’s dog foster communications and resources, including the Dog Foster Handbook, and follow the rules and responsibilities set forth therein.

  • DO understand that there is an adjustment period when a dog moves into a foster home that can trigger certain unwanted behaviors. Dogs often just need time to settle in and get used to a new routine. 

  • DO make sure any resident animal is fully vaccinated before fostering.

  • DO keep your foster dog separated from any resident animal for at least the first week.

  • DO maintain a 10-foot bubble between people and other animals when walking your foster dog.

  • Do immediately notify our Foster Team if your foster dog is showing any sign of illness, injury or a behavioral challenge you need support with.

  • DO give our Foster Team at least 4 days advance notice if you need to rehome your foster dog or need a sitter. Also post a request in the PVAS Volunteer & Foster Facebook group to increase your chances of finding one.

  • DO email pictures, videos, and bio information to our Foster Team to market your foster dog.

  • DO respond to ALL adoption inquiries within 24 hours.

  • DO always let potential adopters know there is or may be other adoption interest in your foster dog. Setting expectations is key!

  • DO immediately notify our Foster Team if you want to adopt your foster dog.

  • DO immediately report any foster dog bite per our Dog Foster Bite Protocol.

  • DO immediately report if your foster dog is lost or stolen to our Foster Team at

  • DO shower your foster dog with love!



  • DON’T allow your undervaccinated foster dog (typically puppies under 20 weeks) to touch the ground in any public area. 

  • DON’T bring your foster dog to any off-leash area or let your foster dog off leash.

  • DON’T house your foster dog outside or leave your foster dog unattended outside.

  • DON’T introduce your foster dog to any animal other than your resident animal(s) and any potential adopter’s animal(s).

  • DON’T travel out of the area with your foster dog without express written permission from PVAS. 

  • DON’T hand off your foster dog to a foster sitter, another foster, or any other person without getting permission from the Foster Team. Sitters must be PVAS-approved fosters.

  • DON’T use boarding facilities, doggie daycares, groomers, or any other third-party care providers for your foster dog without express written permission from PVAS.

  • DON’T let a potential adopter take your foster dog on a trial basis, field trip, or sleepover. Your foster dog must be in the custody of an PVAS-approved foster at all times until officially adopted.

  • DON’T use a retractable leash. Retractable leashes are dangerous and can severely injure you, a bystander, your dog, or other dogs.

  • DON’T remove or loosen your foster dog’s martingale collar.

  • DON’T use aversive behavior modification tools like prong or remote collars.


Canine Body Language

Learning Your Foster Dog's Body Language (4 min. video)

Handouts on Dog Body Language (Center for Shelter Dogs)

Canine Communication (27 min. video)