Puppies in Pajamas: A Positive Way to Promote Adoptability
Looking for your daily dose of cuteness? We’ve got it right here courtesy of foster slumber party superstar Kathryn, who told us all about how her affinity for doggy onesies is saving lives.
If there’s one thing that can always cure a bad mood, it’s dogs in pajamas. Big dogs, small dogs, thin dogs, thick dogs… it doesn’t matter, all dogs are squeal-inducing when they’re put in stylish sleepwear.
BARCS foster Kathryn loves to dress up her foster dogs in adorable outfits for slumber parties. Because her current living situation doesn’t allow her to own a dog full time, she will take dogs in need of a little TLC from BARCS to her home for a night (or two or three) away. She tells us:
Doggy PJs are an amazing icebreaker and conversation starter! At first, the pajamas started out as a functional way to keep dogs warm during winter walks, particularly if they arrived at BARCS too thin or without a lot of fur. However, I started to notice while out walking around the community that so many people would smile as soon as they saw a dressed up pooch walking down the sidewalk. They couldn’t resist approaching to say hi and give the dog attention!
There are still a lot of misconceptions floating around about pit bull type dogs, and I think it is a magical thing that something as simple as a cute doggy outfit can help people look past breed prejudice and see the dog for the wonderful individual it really is.
Fostering, even temporarily for a few days, is instrumental in getting shelter dogs adopted. While some dogs are adopted very quickly after arriving at BARCS, there are a number of dogs that require a little more time and attention before they are ready for adoption. Some examples include underage puppies, dogs recovering from medical treatment, dogs that arrive to the shelter very scared, and long-term dogs that are overlooked. Foster homes give these special dogs the extra love, care and training they may need; they are the bridge between BARCS and a loving forever home.
Kathryn says, “One of my favorite parts of fostering is when I bring home a dog that was very scared in the shelter and they blossom into a happy, bouncy pup overnight just from being in a home environment. When I foster a dog, I learn all about what it likes and dislikes so I can help match it up with an adoptive home that will be the best fit for its personality and energy level.”
Slumber parties also give Kathryn the opportunity to exercise the dogs’ brains by doing some simple training exercises to practice good house manners and basic obedience skills:
Every foster dog has unique needs, but I feel like there are a few skills that are generally helpful for dogs to learn while living in a foster home. For young puppies, working on potty training, crate training and basic obedience are all great foundational skills to practice while in a foster home. For fearful dogs, simply providing a quiet, safe environment to decompress in is helpful; I will then slowly start working on building positive associations to build the dog’s confidence and trust. Honestly, I am constantly being surprised when I bring a new foster dog home and I learn that it is already housebroken, crate trained and knows all sorts of tricks!
So with a little love, patience and training (and cute pajamas!), these dogs are well on their way to finding their forever home. Thank you for all you do, Kathryn. And keep those cute photos coming!
The Foster Program at BARCS is critical to our rescue work. It enables us to increase the number of homeless pets we can save by placing them in temporary foster homes. Foster homes give pets a warm, loving environment to heal, grow and flourish.
A foster parent's role is to welcome a pet (or pets) into their home and provide food, water, toys and lots of love. There are many reasons a pet may need a foster home:
- They’re underage and need time to grow.
- They’re sick or injured and need time to recover.
- They’re overwhelmed by shelter life and need socialization or behavior adjustment.