1. What dog is right for you?
When looking for a dog it’s important to first ask yourself: “Why do I want a dog?”. From there you can begin to figure out what size, hairstyle, and most important- energy level, is going to be ideal for you. Being honest with yourself about your reason behind wanting a dog is a critical first step in making sure you find yourself the perfect furry match!
2. What dog will fit your lifestyle?
This is the time to consider your current lifestyle. How long are you at work? How much free time do you have and what space do you have available for a dog? Are you a runner or are you looking for a Netflix & chill dog? Every personality is out there but be sure to plan ahead about thank about what will fit best into your lifestyle. Finding the right dog to match your lifestyle is critical in building a happy home for you and your new best friend!
3. What will your life look like in 5-10 years?
A dog is a HUGE commitment. We recommend taking some time to fully consider this commitment before adopting one. Are you currently in an apartment but plan on moving into a home with a fenced in yard? Do you plan on going to graduate school and your time flexible schedule might go away? Do you plan on moving out of state making taking a dog difficult? Folks that take these considerations into account are not only responsible pet owners, but are setting themselves up for success in the long run.
4. Do I currently have the time and resources?
Bringing a dog home is a time intensive thing. Consider the time you currently have available (especially if you're thinking about a puppy!) and make sure you have what it takes to help your dog integrate into your life. Dog training is also a large consideration. Puppies take time and training to be properly socialized and new dogs require training as well (check out or Big Paws Academy dog training classes when you're ready!). Dogs are also expensive! It costs about $2,000 on average a year to care for a dog.
5. Now, am I ready?
Once you've taken all of these things into consideration, you may find yourself still saying "yep, I'm bringing home a new doggo!". Once you've taken an honest look at your lifestyle, time commitment, energy levels, and physical spaces you're ready for the fun part- looking for a dog! And may we suggest, Big Paws of the Ozarks' adoptable dogs as a perfect place to start? During your search, never be afraid to ask as many questions as possible! It's important to know as much as you can about the dog's temperament, personality, training, and grooming needs before making a decision.
We'll have more posts coming up about breeds and lifestyle matching, so keep an eye out!