Owning any pet is a huge commitment that no one should take on lightly. Many times, people do not consider all of the costs and restrictions that come with owning a pet and I am no exception. I’ve owned dogs my whole life and decided my sophomore year of college to adopt my dog, Kano, from the parish shelter. First off, I was not ready for the adoption fee, which nearly wiped out my bank account, but what can I say, I was in love.
Life was great and filled with kisses and puppy breath. Until it was time for the first vet visit with a round of boosters, rabies shot, heart worm test, and heart worm prevention medicine, which once again made quite a financial dent for a college student. Once again, I was faced with the unexpected. My new puppy grew, and grew, and grew. I may be exaggerating a little, but a sixty-pound dog can definitely eat some food. Pretty soon, I was buying forty pounds of food every month.
Check out my biggest pros and cons to living with my dogs below!
1. They’re always happy to see you!
Unlike Jeff, ugh.
2. You’ll Get More Excercise
Because, lets be real, since you stole your ex’s Netflix account you’ve just been binge watching episodes of Orange is the New Black from dusk til dawn (but who’s judging…)
3. Dogs Can Help You De-Stress
How can you be stressed with a fluffy wiggly cutie pie licking you when you get home from Brit Lit? I wasn’t and it was Brit Lit.
4. It Can Help You Feel Less Lonely
Once again, fluffy wiggly butt is always there to listen to your problems with Jeff and how you aced your exam and ALWAYS happy to see you, even if that means a little less personal space. Could it get any better?
5. The Funny Things They do That Make You Smile.
The way that not just their tail, but their whole body, wiggles when they’re excited, how they drool when you’re eating your 3 am Taco Bell, or when they come snuggle up next to you on the couch after a long day of chasing squirrels…
6. Finding A Place To Live Gets Harder
Who made breed restrictions anyway??
7. Your Social Life May Not Be As Active
Going out from 7 pm frinks (food and drinks) until after the 3 am drunchies (drunk munchies) run may not be in your future, you’ve got a puppy at home WAITING FOR YA!
8. The Possible Damage To Your Place
Chewed window sill here, claw marks on the door there…
9. Judgement From Others
“Why do you have a dog anyway?”
10. Spring Break May Not Be An Option
Unless your mother is as lovely as mine and loves her furry four legged grand children #blessed
I’m so glad they don’t get car sick.
Choosing to adopt a dog while in college was one of the best decisions I made. I got out of my apartment more to walk my dog and bring him to the dog park, I’ve become more out going in that I’ve started to talk to people about their dogs and their experiences, my stress and anxiety have gotten better, and my grades improved! (Not sure if it was the dog or just studying more…probably just studying more, but anywayyyyy)
Here are a few more things to take into consideration before getting a pet:
– Your schedule
Pets should not be kept in a kennel for longer than four hours at a time (unless to sleep at night). What if you had to be confined to a small area for that amount of time with no way to expend your energy or go to the bathroom? It’s even more intense for an animal, so be prepared to plan out coming home to exercise your animal and take it outside to relieve itself.
If your schedule looks something like this and you have a job, getting a pet may not be the best decision.
If you are unable to take your pet places with you, there are boarding facilities that can care for your pet while you are away, but it requires planning ahead and (sometimes) a pretty penny. But, you may be fortunate enough to have a friend that will pet sit for you!
Finding an apartment or house to rent while in school is hard. When you add a pet into the equation, things get a little trickier. While many places welcome cats, birds, fish and other small animals, some places have weight limits and breed restrictions when it comes to dogs. Scoping out places to live before getting a pet will make the task much easier.
But, when you finally find a pet friendly and affordable place, it’s really exciting!!
Pets come with recurring expenses such as food, medicine, accessories, training, and vet costs. While some things may be optional for your pet, many (and usually the more expensive) are not. Make sure before you decide to get a pet that you have the means to care for it. Nobody likes skipping dinner because you ran out of dog food and spent your last dollar on that.
What are your ideas on owning a pet in college?
If you own a pet, what is your favorite thing about having a pet?