Will My Foster Dog Think I Abandoned Him?

Fostering a dog can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with challenges. One of the most common concerns that foster parents have is whether their dog will feel abandoned when they leave. This is a valid concern, especially if the dog has experienced abandonment or neglect in the past. However, with proper preparation and understanding, it is possible to help your foster dog feel secure and loved during their time with you.

Understanding Your Foster Dog’s Background

Before fostering a dog, it’s important to learn as much as possible about their background. This information can help you understand their behavior and needs better. If the dog has a history of abandonment or neglect, they may be more prone to separation anxiety or fear of abandonment. By knowing this, you can take the necessary steps to make their transition into your home as smooth as possible.

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Foster dogs may be anxious or fearful when they first arrive in their new environment. To help your dog feel safe and comfortable, provide them with a designated area where they can rest and retreat when needed. This area should include a comfortable bed, toys, and water. Make sure your foster dog has access to this area at all times and encourage them to use it.

Establishing a Routine

Dogs thrive on routine and predictability. By establishing a daily routine, you can help your foster dog feel more secure in their new environment. Set consistent times for meals, walks, and playtime. This will give your dog a sense of structure and help them feel more at ease.

Introducing Your Foster Dog to New People and Places

It’s important to socialize your foster dog to new people and places. This will help them become more confident and less anxious. However, be sure to introduce your dog to new situations gradually and at a pace that is comfortable for them. Use positive reinforcement and treats to help your dog associate new experiences with positive feelings.

Preparing for Your Departure

When it’s time for you to leave, it’s important to prepare your foster dog for your departure. This can help ease their anxiety and make them feel more secure. Some tips to prepare your foster dog for your departure include:

  • Start leaving the house for short periods and gradually increase the time you’re gone.
  • Use a consistent departure routine so your dog knows what to expect.
  • Leave your foster dog with a familiar item such as a blanket or toy that smells like you.
  • Hire a pet sitter or ask a friend to check on your foster dog while you’re gone.

In most cases, foster dogs are resilient and adaptable. They understand that they are in a temporary situation and are often just happy to have a safe and loving home. By providing your foster dog with a safe and comfortable environment, establishing a routine, socializing them to new people and places, and preparing for your departure, you can help your foster dog feel secure and loved during their time with you.


Fostering a dog is a noble and rewarding endeavor. It’s normal to feel concerned about how your foster dog will cope when you’re gone. However, by taking the necessary steps to help your dog feel secure and loved, you can ensure a positive fostering experience for both you and your foster dog. Remember that with patience, understanding, and love, you can help your foster dog feel safe and happy during their time with you.

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