What to Know if You're Considering a Dog

Considering a dog?

Dog ownership is rewarding for countless reasons. There are health benefits including a reduction in cardiovascular disease for those who own dogs as well as the companionship benefit they offer when you are living alone. Dogs are simply a great addition to a life, no matter the season of life in which you find yourself. Here are a few things to consider in making sure you find the right paw-tner.

Those of us who have grown up around pets understand the need and frankly, we couldn't imagine life without them. But if you've never owned a pet before or have just moved to a new location, downsized your home and are wondering if now is the right time to take the plunge into pet ownership, it's important to know that the benefits are tremendous for lots of reasons!

Fights Loneliness

Let’s face it, once the kids have grown and moved away, life can become pretty lonely. In fact, according to a study by the University of California, San Francisco, some 40% of Americans aged 65 and older experience loneliness on a regular basis. While you can’t make the hustle and bustle of your younger years reappear, you can introduce some new companionship into your life by welcoming in a furry friend. 

Keeps You Moving

We all know the importance of exercise. It has been shown to reduce dependency on others, help with chronic conditions and improve symptoms of depression according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, making exercise a regular part of your daily routine can get arduous. Thankfully, by adopting a dog, you will have motivation to get up and get moving. Walking your dog can be a great, low-impact way to stay healthy and active. 

Promotes Relationships

Another benefit of adopting a dog in this stage of life is the fact that it can create friendships. When you have a dog, you can get together with other dog owners for play dates, walk your dogs together, go to dog parks at the same time, etc. Sometimes, all you need to strike up a new friendship is a common interest and owning a dog could be that shared experience. 

Gives You a Purpose

We all need a purpose. A reason for getting up each morning. When we are young, it is to go to school, then later work. Eventually, it might be to get up and get kids ready for their day, to take care of a house or maintain a career. Now, your purpose might seem mundane with little to work towards in a day. Thankfully, by adopting a dog, you will once again have a daily purpose to fulfill. Your dog will depend on you to eat to exercise and to socialize. You will be their world and in turn, they will give you back what you have lost over the years, your sense of purpose and fulfillment. You will once again have someone to care for each day. 

Finding The Right Fit

Once you determine adopting a dog is a good idea, you need to decide what type of dog is the right fit. Consider the following factors to find your perfect companion animal:

Energy Level/Temperament

Make sure your dog’s energy level matches your own. If you get an active dog, you will have to stay active to keep them happy. Also, make sure the temperament is right. Do you want a laid-back dog or one that is hyper-aware?


You also want to make sure any dog you choose fits your lifestyle, where you live. You often need to pick them up to give them the care they need. This means you need to think about the size of the animal. 


You will have to clean up after your dog, so consider how much they will shed, if their fur will hold dirt or if they will be high maintenance. 


While many people automatically choose a puppy when adopting, don’t discount the value of an older dog. They won’t chew stuff up, they won’t need as much exercise, and they are likely already potty-trained, which is an added bonus!


Make sure you budget for vet bills and all the costs related to adopting. You will want to get them spayed or neutered and ensure they are healthy and have all their shots. 


Most of the factors listed above, energy level, shedding, temperament and the like are determined by the breed of the dog. Consider this quiz to determine the ideal breed for your personality and living situation.


Although it’s not pleasant to think about, you need to have someone in mind who can care for a dog should you have to go to the hospital or be unable to care for them for a set amount of time. This is important to think about before adopting, not after. 

Bottom Line: Why Considering a Dog is Wise

Adopting a dog is always a good move. Obviously, you have to consider vet costs and evaluate your living situation before getting a dog, but the love and purpose they can add to a life can simply not be overstated. 

More Information For Dog Ownership

Here are places you can find a pet in Columbia, MO:

And if your dog wants to run or take a swim, here are Dog Parks in Columbia, MO

And if your pet needs some leash-free time, here are areas where that's allowed:

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