Good Dog's Guide to Getting Adopted
February 15, 2019
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Some of our favorite humans on the planet are doggy foster parents. These everyday heroes lend their homes and hearts to dogs in need, all the while helping them find equally terrific forever families.
It can take a bit of time to find a just-right adoptive home for your foster dog, but there are plenty of ways to make sure your temporary pupper doesn't get overlooked by potential adopters.
We sniffed out some to-do's that'll help your diamond in the ruff stand out:
First thing's first: Your foster dog has a much greater chance of landing a forever home if they've got some basic training underway. Potty training and crate training are the perfect place to start, followed by good manners such as “sit” and “wait.” If you have a smarty-pants on your hands, additional tricks are great for showing off at adoption events or via video.
If the pooch in your care is showing some bad behaviors, don't fret! Issues like separation anxiety, digging, barking, and inappropriate chewing are common and can be solved with patience, consistency, and tons of positive reinforcement (did somebody say Easy Treat?). If Fido came into your home with more serious baggage, enlist the help of the rescue you're working with — most of them have trainers who can lend a paw.
Rock that Bio
The majority of potential adopters will be introduced to your foster dog on the interwebs. Folks in the market to adopt will likely be sifting through a whole bunch of bios (we're talkin' dozens if not hundreds), so it's crucial to create a profile that lets your foster shine.
Visually, shoot for high-quality photos that are well-lit and free of background clutter, and that show off a particularly cute pose or expression. If photography isn't your forte, enlist the help of a friend or check with your rescue organization to see if they know any professional shutterbugs who could donate a session. Video bios are also popular with potential adopters — capture your foster dog performing tricks, interacting sweetly with children or other pets, or just being their funny, adorable selves.
When it comes to the written description, bring your foster's personality to life by digging into the specifics of what makes ‘em so doggone special. Consider your wording: “full of years” will endear a potential adopter; “old” might not.
It's important to be upfront about limitations (and all dogs have ‘em!) but keep the focus on what your foster CAN do — whether they're destined for agility greatness or simply the perfect Netflix-bingeing companion.
Work the Social Scene
Once you've perfected your foster's bio, time to plaster that puppy on any social media platform you're part of, including smaller online communities such as Nextdoor. Ask your friends and family to share too, especially if they've got large followings. For extra hype, consider making your foster dog an Instagram account of their very own.
Don't forget IRL exposure, too! If your foster's temperament will allow you to do so safely, bring her to her rescue's meet n' greets, take her on dog-friendly excursions, and walk her near neighborhood schools and parks during peak times. Don your foster in an “adopt me” vest or bandana so her new human friends will know she's a free agent.
Say Goodbye with a Smile (and a Treat)
With these tips, your four-legged houseguest will be off to their forever home in no time. And when it's time for his official send-off, consider gifting him a new toy to wish him well on the next phase of his journey. (Or treat your resident dogs to a KONG Box as a reward for putting up with their temporary sibling — they've earned it.)
Our hats are off to you, fosters. Thanks for making the world a better place for pups!