Is fostering a dog right for you?

More people than ever are making the heart-breaking decision to give up their dog. Can you foster a dog to help?

Dogs like crossbreed Dave need foster homes

Our 'Home from Home' foster programme seeks temporary homes for our most vulnerable dogs.

Sometimes we encounter dogs, who might not be suitable to live in a kennel environment, and would benefit greatly from the foster programme. These may include older dogs, injured or unwell dogs, puppies or dogs who may be finding kennel life a little overwhelming.

Fostering a dog not only gives invaluable experience in caring for a dog but it plays a fundamental role in helping the most vulnerable dogs get back on their paws and have a better chance of finding their forever home, which is an incredibly rewarding experience for any dog lover.

Fosterers not only help by taking a vulnerable dog into their home and caring for them, but this also frees up space in our Rehoming Centre so that we can save the life of another dog!

Dogs Trust places a huge importance on matching the right dog to the right home environment to ensure the best experience for both the foster carer and the foster dog.

Aideen, a Dogs Trust foster carer has shared her journey with Matteo since signing up to the programme. It takes an incredibly special and selfless person to foster; someone who puts the dog’s needs ahead of their own and is truly committed and compassionate about caring for a dog in need.

All foster carers must:

  • be over the age of 18 and have access to dog friendly transport for vet visits and to meet potential adopters
  • have a secure back garden as some of the dogs will not be toilet trained and may not be ready for walks
  • have experience with dogs or are willing to learn

What are the benefits of fostering a dog?

  • You’ll get all the joys of having a pooch lighting up your life, without any of the commitment. The dogs remain our responsibility throughout. 
  • Fostering is a great opportunity to make a real difference to the life of a dog in need. 
  • You’ll give a dog valuable experience of home life and get to know what makes them tick. When it comes to finding their forever home, we’ll have a much better idea of how to ensure a happy adoption.
  • Did we mention you get to have a temporary best pal to fill your life with joy and laughter? 

Sleepover club

Would you love to help out some of our dogs? Are you working full-time or not ready to commit to adopting yet? Interested in weekend fostering?

If yes, our Sleepover Club may be a great fit for you!

Sleepover club
Sleepover club


What happens when a dog finds their forever home?

Dogs on our Home from Home scheme are all looking for their forever homes, and whilst the dog is in foster care, we …

What supplies do I need to be a foster carer?

We will advise you on what supplies you will need when we match you with a suitable dog. As a minimum, all our foster …

Can I choose the dog I want to foster from the website?

The dogs we place on foster tend to be the most vulnerable in our care. They may be older dogs, injured or unwell …

Can I foster an UnderDog?

Absolutely! Our underdogs have been here for a while and are often overlooked. We would love to find out more …

Can I adopt my foster dog if I fall in love with him/her?

Foster families always have first choice to adopt their foster dog. Our adoption fee is €220 for adult dogs and this …

How long are dogs fostered for?

This varies for each dog in our care. The average time a dog is in a foster home is 4 weeks. However, this may be …

Do I have to live in Dublin to foster?

No! Now more than ever we need foster families all around the country to help us look after dogs. If you have a secure …

Why do you need to have a secure garden to foster a dog?

We ask foster families to have a secure garden for a number of reasons. We help a lot of dogs that have had a very …

Why does someone need to be home a lot?

The dogs in our care, be they puppies or adults, that go on foster would need homes where they were not left alone for …

Other ways you can help

We need your support now more than ever to help us care for our dogs. We would be delighted if you would consider supporting our ongoing life-saving work by making a donation or by sponsoring a dog.

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Sponsor a dog
Sponsor a dog