skip to content

How Fostering Works

 

When we are contacted about a giant breed dog that needs to come into rescue, we will line up a foster home typically before they come in. We determine which foster home is most appropriate based on what we know about the existing pets, family members, and any special circumstances. Our Foster Director Position is currently open so in the mean time, Lindsay Condon, CEO/President will be in touch when we have a foster dog coming in that we'd like to place with you! Lindsay is also available if you have any questions or concerns along the way. All giant breed foster dogs in our program will be microchipped upon arrival and a foster tag must be placed on their collar immediately due to the fact that many of these dogs are very scared coming into a brand new environment.

As a Colorado foster, Hi Tek dog food will be provided on a monthly basis for each foster dog at no cost to the foster family. All you have to do is be there to pick it up on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 9-9:30AM in Denver.

As an out of state foster, you will be asked to fax or scan and email your receipts for dog food and you will be issued a check for reimbursement. Our fax number is: 303-474-5861 or you can email to: Kristie@bigdogshugepaws.com. Don’t forget to include your name and the address where you want us to send the check on your receipt. We ask that you feed your foster dog one of the approved formulas from the list below:

· W/GRAINS –
*4Health - from Tractor Supply Company (made by Diamond in Lathrop CA, Meta MO, and Gaston SC), www.tractorsupply.com
*Addiction Foods – Wild Kangaroo & Apples ONLY (made by Taplow Ventures, Vancouver BC; Pied Piper, Hamlin TX; and Texas Farm Products, Nacogdoches TX),www.addictionfoods.com
*American Natural Basic or Original (made by Fromm, Mequon WI), www.americannaturalpremium.com
*Artemis Pet Foods Fresh Mix and Natural 6 Mix (made by Diamond, Lathrop CA), www.artemiscompany.com
*Bench & Field, Holistic Natural Canine (made by WellPet, Mishawaka IN), www.benchandfield.com.
*Blue Buffalo (made by Chenango Valley Pet Foods, Sherburne NY; CJ Foods, Bern KS; Dad’s Pet Foods, Meadville PA; and Triple T Foods, Frontenac KS,www.bluebuff.com
*Blue Seal Foods, By Nature and By Nature Organics (made in their own plant, Arcade NY and Chenango Valley Pet Foods, Sherburne NY),www.bynaturepetfoods.com
*Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods (made in their own plant, Irwindale CA), www.breeders-choice.com
*Burns Pet Health (made by CJ Foods, Bern KS), www.burnspethealth.com
*Canidae Corp. (made by Diamond Pet Foods, Lathrop CA, Meta MO and Gaston SC), www.canidae.com
*Canine Caviar Pet Foods (made by Ohio Pet Foods, Lisbon OH), www.caninecaviar.com
*Castor & Pollux Pet Works (made by CJ Foods, Bern KS and Crosswinds Petfoods Inc, Sabetha KS), www.castorpolluxpet.com
*Champion Pet Foods, Acana (made in their own plant, Alberta Canada), www.championpetfoods.com
*Della Natura Commodities, Wenaewe (made by Erro S.A., Dolores Uruguay), www.dellanaturapet.com
*Diamond Pet Products, Chicken Soup Formulas and Diamond Naturals 60+ (made in their three facilities in Lathrop CA, Meta MO and Gaston SC),www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com and www.diamondpet.com
*Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance (made by CJ Foods, Bern KS), www.naturalbalance.net
*Dogswell LLC (made by Tuffy’s Pet Foods, Perham MN), www.dogswell.com
*Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Evanger’s (made either by Ohio Pet Foods, Lisbon OH or Fromm Family Foods, Mequon WI), www.evangersdogfood.com
*Firstmate Pet Foods (made in their own plant, Chilliwack BC Canada), www.firstmate.com
*Fromm Family Foods (made in their facility, Mequon WI), www.frommfamily.com
*Grandma Mae's Pet Foods (made by Chenango Valley Pet Foods, Sherberne NY), www.grandmamaes.com
*Laughing Dog, Inc. (made by Taplow Foods, Chilliwack BC Canada), www.laughingdoginc.com
*Life4K9 Pet Food Corp. (made by Bio Biscuit, Saint-Hyacinthe Quebec Canada and Hampshire Pet Products, Joplin MO), www.life4k9.com
*Merrick Pet Care (made in their own plant, Hereford TX), www.merrickpetcare.com
*Mulligan Stew Pet Food (made by Mountain Country Foods, Okeene OK), www.mulliganstewpetfood.com
*Natura Pet Products (made in their own plants in Fremont NE and San Leandro CA), www.naturapet.com
*Nature’s Select (made by Mid America, Mount Pleasant TX), www.naturesselectpetproducts.com
*Nature’s Variety (made by Pied Piper Mills, Hamlin TX), www.naturesvariety.com
*Petcurean Pet Nutrition (made by Elmira Pet Products, Ontario Canada), www.petcurean.com
*Pet Valu, Peformatrin Ultra (made by Elmira Pet Products, Ontario Canada), www.performatrinultra.com
*SmartPak, LiveSmart (made by Chenango Valley Pet Foods, Sherburne NY), www.smartpakcanine.com
*Solid Gold Health Products (made by Diamond in Meta MO and Lathrop CA), www.solidgoldhealth.com
*Tuffy’s Pet Foods Inc, Natural Planet Organics and Pure Vita ONLY (made in their own plant, Perham MN), www.nutrisourcedogfood.com
*VeRUS Pet Foods (made by Ohio Pet Foods, Lisbon OH), www.veruspetfoods.com
*Wellpet, Holistic Select and Wellness (made in their plant in Mishawaka IN; Hagen Pet Foods, Waverly NY; CJ Foods, Bern KS; American Nutrition, Ogden UT; and Diamond Pet Foods, Gaston SC and Lathrop CA), www.wellpet.com
*Whole Earth Farms (this is a Merrick brand and is made in their plant in Hereford TX), www.merrickpetcare.com/store/whole_earth_farms_dry.php
*Wysong Corporation (made in their facility, Lake Mills WI), www.wysong.net

GRAIN-FREE –
*Addiction Foods – Salmon Bleu and Viva La Venison ONLY (made by Taplow Ventures, Vancouver BC; Pied Piper, Hamlin TX; and Texas Farm Products, Nacogdoches TX), www.addictionfoods.com
*Canidae Corp. (made by Diamond Pet Foods in Lathrop CA, Meta MO and Gaston SC), www.canidae.com
*Champion Pet Foods, Acana Grain Free and Orijen (made in their own plant, BC Canada), www.championpetfoods.com/orijen
*Diamond Pet Products, Taste of the Wild (made in their three facilities in Lathrop CA, Meta MO and Gaston SC), www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com
*Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance, Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Formulas (made by Diamond Pet Foods, Meta MO), www.naturalbalanceinc.com
*Firstmate Pet Foods, Firstmate Grain Free (made in their own plant in Chilliwack BC Canada), www.firstmate.com
*Fromm Family Foods, 4 Star Surf N Turf(made in their facility, Mequon WI), www.frommfamily.com
*Merrick Pet Care, Before Grain (made in their own plant, Hereford TX), www.merrickpetcare.com
*Natura Pet Products, EVO (made in their own plant, Fremont NE), www.naturapet.com
*Nature’s Variety, Instinct (made by Pied Piper Mills, Hamlin TX), www.naturesvariety.com
*Petcurean Pet Nutrition, Now! and Go!Natural Grain Free (made by Elmira Pet Products, Ontario Canada), www.petcurean.com
*Solid Gold Health Products, Barking at the Moon (made by Diamond in Meta MO or Lathrop CA), www.solidgoldhealth.com
*Wellpet, Wellness CORE (made in their own plant in Mishawaka IN; Hagen Pet Foods, Waverly NY; CJ Foods, Bern KS; American Nutrition, Ogden UT; Diamond Pet Foods, Gaston SC and Lathrop CA), www.wellpet.com

USE CAUTION IN FEEDING GRAIN FREE FOODS TO GROWING DOGS! Many grain free foods (for instance, EVO) have calcium and phosphorus levels that are too high for growing giant pups. Feeding those foods can harm your puppy. So the general rule is steer clear of grain free until your dog's growth plates have closed (usually around 2 years of age).

All giant breed dogs that come into our foster program will be spayed/neutered, gastropexied (when possible), vaccinated for Rabies, Distemper/Parvo, and Bordetella, heartworm tested, fecal tested, and any pre-existing medical conditions that they may come in with will be treated. We work with a variety of vets that give us discounted rates, so we can talk about who would be most convenient for you based on where you live and what procedures are required. We are also more than willing to negotiate a new relationship with a vet in your area if we don't already have a pre-existing relationship to make it as convenient as possible for you to get your foster dog to all necessary appointments. All vet appointments must be pre-approved and scheduled at one of our rescue vets by your local state Medical Coordinator. Please refer to list below:

  • Colorado State Medical Coordinator Aimy Scroggins
  • Iowa State Medical Coordinator Ruthie Stirewalt
  • Kansas State Medical Coordinator Jessica Lambrecht
  • Montana State Medical Coordinator Ruthie Stirewalt
  • Missouri State Medical Coordinator Jessica Lambrecht
  • Nebraska State Medical Coordinator Ruthie Stirewalt
  • New Mexico State Medical Coordinator Aimy Scroggins
  • Oklahoma State Medical Coordinator Jessica Lambrecht
  • Texas State Medical Coordinator Jessica Lambrecht
  • Utah State Medical Coordinator Ruthie Stirewalt
  • Wyoming State Medical Coordinator Aimy Scroggins

If a foster dog comes in requiring training, we ask that all foster families work with them as much as possible at home on basic commands with the positive reinforcement techniques you will learn during your training sessions. However, if we determine that your foster dog requires more extensive training or socialization in a group class or through a private session, we will make arrangements accordingly. It would be your responsibility as a foster to get them to their vet or trainer appointments, but once again, the rescue pays all expenses. Many of our foster dogs have been through so much before they get to rescue that they suffer from separation anxiety. We also get a lot of puppies who are destructive, so we do encourage crate training in those situations. If you do not have a crate to use for a foster, we sometimes have extras in rescue we can loan you.

While a giant breed foster dog is with you, you will be responsible for keeping the officers and directors informed regarding the dog's true temperament, training needs, and any other special needs. You will be required to fill out an evaluation form after sufficient time has passed and you have had a chance to get to know the dog. We also may call upon you for feedback and advice when considering potential families. Your cooperation and regular communication will be essential to empowering Big Dogs Huge Paws to find the best possible match for each dog that comes into our program and ensuring their long-term success.

Big Dogs Huge Paws will keep foster dogs in our program for as long as it takes to find them the perfect forever home. Some dogs will only stay for a couple weeks, others may stay for months. There is no hard and fast rule, and we ask and hope that our foster families will be patient and understand this part of fostering. If you have any trips planned while a foster is with you, we ask that you make arrangements for the foster as if they were your own dog. Please pass along contact info for pet sitters or the name and number of where they will be staying to Lindsay or Bree in advance of your trip. We will do our best to assist you in the case of any emergencies, but otherwise it is your responsibility to plan accordingly.

Once a match has been determined for your specific foster, we will coordinate with you to get the dog to their forever home. As a foster family, if the placement is local, you are more than welcome to come meet the new family so that you can share what you have learned about them to help with the adjustment period. If we place a giant breed foster dog with you and your family, you do have the option to permanently adopt your foster dog if the officers and directors agree they are a good match for your family and you notify us prior to us promising the dog elsewhere. You will have to fill out an adoption application and sign an adoption agreement and you will be asked to make a donation just like everyone else.

As far as recommended items to have on hand for fosters:

  • crate (48-54")
  • cleaning supplies (nature's miracle, steam cleaner, etc)
  • Bach's rescue remedy (all natural stress reliever, can be found at any natural food stores including Vitamin Cottage)
  • leash
  • 16-24" expandable nylon collar
  • raised feeding dishes
  • XL dog bed

Walking Harness: 

Toys:

-Treats

-Groceries:

  • Pumpkin
  • white rice
  • chicken broth
  • plain yogurt
  • cottage cheese
  • *These are all things to keep on hand for a picky dog or an upset belly*