Dogs in college
Start writing a post
Nature Animals

Are You Ready to Have a Pet in College?

Social media makes it look fun, your neighbor makes it look easy, but what is it really like to take on the responsibilities of having a pet as a college student?

Are You Ready to Have a Pet in College?

Growing up I always had pets. Cats, dogs, goldfish, you name it. But besides scooping food and letting them outside, I really didn't have any clue about all the care and costs involved with having a pet. That is, until I decided to adopt a dog before starting my junior year at GVSU. I adopted Lula this past summer, and she has opened my eyes to the many challenges and rewards that accompany having a pet. While you may see tons of other college students walking their dogs or posting pictures with their cats, you should take the time to consider all that comes with your furry friend.

When I first brought my dog home I was suddenly overwhelmed. I had a new pet who was sick and skinny from the shelter who was now in an unfamiliar space, and my responsibility to care for.

Before adopting an animal the biggest thing you need to consider is expense. While you might be okay skipping your yearly physical or living off pop tarts for a semester, that isn't fair to an animal. You need to make sure you'll be able to afford proper nutritious pet food as well as treats. Also, think about being able to spend money on vet bills, grooming, toys, bedding, etc.

The second thing that you should think about is time. If your schedule is hectic and you sometimes find yourself crashing on friend's couches or pulling all-nighters in the library, then you can't have an animal at home relying on you. Animals, especially dogs, also need exercise and stimulation, all things to consider before adopting or buying a pet while you're focused on school. College is stressful, busy, and unpredictable and it's okay to realize that right now you need to be a little bit selfish. However if you have a friend, roommate, or partner willing to help you out and take on responsibilities you might be able to be a little more flexible.

Lula after her first bath in her new home. @shelbylynncassel

While of course taking on the challenge of having a pet is going to come with responsibilities, it also has major benefits. Having my dog has pushed me to really stick to routine this school year. I get up at 8:00 am each day hours before my first class because I know I need to let her outside. Feeding her breakfast in the mornings reminds me to stop and eat as well. She needs to go on walks so that means I am also getting exercise everyday. She's a priority to me, which has in turn allowed me to prioritize myself.

Another huge benefit has been the social interactions having a pet has created. College students miss their animals they had to leave at home, which means often we get visitors wanting to stop in and say hi. When we are out for walks, I'll often meet new people who want to pet Lula and then stop to chat. Not to mention all the cute pictures and funny videos I get to send about her to my friends.

Lastly, having a pet while being a college student has been the biggest emotional benefit ever. Everyday I come home to a dog who is so happy to see me. She trusts and loves me unconditionally. She's a positive presence in my apartment and my roommates enjoy her too! And while she isn't a very good guard dog, we all feel a little safer when we are home alone. If you think you can handle the costs and you're willing to sacrifice the time, then you should get a pet. I know I can't imagine this school year without mine.

Lula enjoying her first bowl of doggy ice cream.@shelbylyyncassel

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

illustration of the fibonacci sequence

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments