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Will my dog miss my foster dog?

I don’t worry about my mutt Ace whenever a dog I’m fostering gets adopted. If anything, he lets out a huge sigh of relief because most of the time the foster dog has been stressful for us both!

Ace usually crashes for a day or two once a foster dog leaves us, not because he’s sad but because he wants to catch up on some rest!

Ace the black Lab mix

Dogs have the ability to move on right away, and Ace reminds me of that every week. Out of sight, out of mind. We humans are the ones who get attached. If I act sad and depressed, then Ace might act depressed too, but only because he’s picking up on my energy.

If I foster a dog and she gets adopted, Ace might look for her for a few days. After that, he will continue on as normal. If the dogs see one another again in the future they are always very happy to be reunited, but they are also fine when it’s time to part again.

There may be some exceptions to this, such as if you have a long-term foster dog for several months or years. Your dog may have started to view the foster dog as a member of the family. Just like if someone in the family were to move away or die, it could be hard for your dog when the foster dog (finally!) gets adopted.

The best thing to do for a confused or depressed dog is to take him on a long walk, work on training or do something else to distract him. Feeding him extra treats and giving affection will only encourage him to keep acting depressed by reinforcing that something is wrong. If a dog is depressed for any reason, a nice, long walk is usually the best medicine.

Have you fostered dogs? Does your dog miss your foster dogs when they get adopted?


Thursday 16th of February 2012

Hi, I am currently fostering a dog, that otherwise would have been put down. It's been a little over 3 weeks, I may have finally found a good home for him. I admit, I worry how it will impact my own dog, who likes him, though he likes to be by self other times. I agree with you that any foster needs to know that he or she is making a difference, we save lives, if we kept the ones we foster, we often cannot foster anymore. I keep telling this to myself, though it is not easy. I got attached, but I know I saved his life and I am looking to get him a permanent loving home, I would love to keep him, but if I do, what about the other dogs out there that need help. I hope my dog won't miss him too much or at all. We'll find out soon.

Lindsay Stordahl

Saturday 25th of February 2012

Thanks for sharing your experience!


Monday 14th of February 2011

I just fostered my first dog, and he got adopted after only 2 weeks! I miss him terribly, but my dog doesn't seem to care at all, though he was looking for him last night. I'm getting another one, and I'm more worried about me as I know the average time it takes for a dog to get adopted is way over 2 weeks....and I was super attached that hard to say goodbye, even though I knew he was going to a great family. Ah....tis life. At least I've still got my baby and he ain't going NOWHERE! :)

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 15th of February 2011

Just remember that if you adopt every dog you foster, then you won't be able to foster anymore. And remember how happy the dog will be when he or she goes to a forever home. You are also making the new family so happy.

It's still hard, I know. But thanks for fostering. You are making a big difference for a lot of dogs!


Thursday 21st of October 2010

We have had our foster dog since June and she may be getting adopted tonight. I am so sad that she might be leaving, but am very happy for her. We have another dog that really enjoyed the foster's company also. I'm afraid he might be really sad once she leaves. Also, because our foster had been with us for about 4 months, I am concerned how the transition will affect her.

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 21st of October 2010

Your dog might sleep more just because there will be less going on. He will probably miss the foster dog for a few days. The best thing you can do is act normal. He will pick up on your energy. Your foster dog will have an easy time adjusting to her new home if they provide her with a routine and enough exercise and love.

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 6th of September 2010

Yeah, my dog always lets out a sigh of relief whenever our foster dogs get adopted - as do I! But it is such a rewarding experience, and my dog and I both enjoy it for the most part. I've never fostered a group of puppies at once!


Monday 6th of September 2010

My 7 foster puppies left today for adoption in New York, since that area has better spay/neuter laws than where I live (rural VA.). I have been sad all day long, but keep reminding myself that I was just a stop in their journey to their individual forever homes. While they were with me, I sometimes felt overwhelmed with the amount of care they required....but now all I remember is how sweet they are and how much joy they brought into my home. My dogs looked for them for a short amount of time, but now seem content with a much quieter home!