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!
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?