Adoption of Dogs: What You Absolutely Need to Know Beforehand

Some spontaneously fall in love with a four-legged friend while on vacation in Romania, Spain, Portugal, or Greece. Others are specifically looking for a dog from foreign animal welfare or a pedigree dog from a foreign breeder. However, adopting a dog from abroad can pose a number of hurdles. We give tips!

Dogs From Foreign Animal Welfare

“There are enough animals in the shelter here, why are you bringing a dog from Spain?”

Anyone who lets a dog move in from a foreign animal welfare organization will sooner or later hear such sentences. Because the adoption of a dog from abroad is a controversial topic. Not only because there are also many four-legged friends in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland who are waiting for a good home. But also because the four-legged friends from southern and eastern countries are suspected of bringing diseases with them.

But many German animal shelters have partnerships with foreign organizations and regularly take on dogs from abroad. In countries like Romania, Portugal, Spain, or Greece, a lot of educational work and projects around the castration of strays are important. This is the only way to change the bad situation. But that doesn’t help the animals living now – and there are many of them! In some countries, the keeping conditions in “animal shelters” are comparatively catastrophic: too many animals, too little money. Stray dogs, but also four-legged friends disposed of by their owners, often sit there behind bars. Especially young dogs without traumatic experiences can be conveyed well in Germany. The old and the sick need a place for “emergency skin”. These four-legged friends have no chance in their homeland.

In some countries, such as Romanians, animal rescue centers have to kill animals after staying for several weeks if they have no interested party. Adoption can save your life.

What if you spontaneously fall in love with a street dog? Contact the local animal welfare organization and ask for help. Because during a regular vacation it is in most cases not possible to meet the necessary requirements for the journey across the border.

Adopt Dogs From Romania

Since 2014, stray dogs in Romania have been allowed to be killed after a two-week waiting period. In addition, there is an obligation to castrate free-range dogs, which many owners cannot afford.

Romania has the largest animal shelter in the world: the Smeura animal shelter in Pitesti with around 5,400 animals.

It was founded by German animal rights activists from the Tierhilfe Hope association in response to the relentless killing of Romanian street dogs. They work with numerous animal shelters in Germany and other countries to which they bring the dogs from Romania. The final health check and placement take place via a local animal shelter. This can find out more about the dog’s character before standing up for placement. Animal Aid Hope also offers Romanian owners free castration in cooperation with the German Animal Welfare Association. Of course, there are numerous other organizations that place dogs from Romania.

Adopt Dogs From Portugal or Spain

There are also many street dogs in other countries that are popular with tourists, such as Portugal or Spain. In Spain, this includes many podencos and galgos that have had their day in hunting. In the tourist strongholds, there are fewer, but the problem is still great. Many animal welfare organizations campaign for the castration of strays and bring animals to Germany. They too are regularly looking for flight sponsors.

Adopt Dogs From Greece

While many street dogs in Greece can make their way through the tourist season, it looks bleak afterward. There are many strays here that reproduce uncontrollably.

Many dogs die from poison bait. The Greek animal shelters are chronically overcrowded.

Some animal welfare organizations from Germany have concentrated on the placement of Greek dogs. They are not only looking for new owners for their dogs but also flight sponsors.

Mediterranean Diseases

When traveling to Germany, an EU pet passport and a valid rabies vaccination are required. The respective animal welfare associations take care of the formalities. Many dog owners fear “Mediterranean diseases” such as leishmaniasis, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Serious animal welfare organizations test the animals for these diseases before placing them. However, you should have the test repeated a few weeks after your new roommate arrives. Talk to your vet about the best time to do this. Leishmaniasis and Ehrlichiosis can rarely break out years after a negative blood test. It is therefore essential that you attend the annual check-ups with your new furry friend.

The Behavior of Former Street Dogs

Many underestimate the difficulties a dog from a completely different living environment can bring with it. These challenges depend on what the four-legged friend has experienced so far. Try to find out as much as you can about the history. If the dog is abroad until the placement, you have no opportunity to get to know each other beforehand. Check critically whether the dog suits your living conditions.

Packs of children and cats, driving a car, climbing stairs, being able to stay alone are some of the many areas that former street dogs are often not familiar with. Some dogs don’t know a collar or leash.

If you accept such challenges, it is best to contact a dog trainer before the dog moves in. Talk openly with the animal welfare organization that mediates about your dog experience and what awaits your four-legged friend from you.

Tip: Many organizations have housed dogs from foreign animal welfare in private German foster homes. This enables you to visit the dog of your choice. In addition, the foster home can give you more information about the character of the potential new roommate.

6 Tips: Adopt Dogs From Abroad

  • Do not adopt an animal out of pity; take your time to make a decision.
  • Pay attention to preventive health care and protection against Mediterranean diseases.
  • Ask a lot of questions about the character of your new four-legged friend and consider whether it fits your dog experience.
  • Only support animal welfare associations that work sustainably – for example through castration projects abroad.
  • Introduce your new roommate to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Unsure? Foster care centers in Germany allow you to get to know each other.

A Pedigree Dog From Abroad

Your dream dog is too expensive for you and so you take a look at Poland or the Czech Republic? This is not a good idea just for cost reasons! Of course, there are excellent and reputable dog breeders there. Unfortunately, there are also those who breed animals under questionable conditions in order to offer them cheaply. Health checks, papers, extensive embossing of the puppies – none! In addition, the parent animals often suffer from poor housing conditions. It is better to take a look at animal welfare associations that also sell pedigree dogs.

If you are looking for a rare and country-specific breed, you can look for suitable dogs in the home country of this breed. In any case, you should collect your four-legged friend from home. This will give you a better idea of the breed.

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