Dogs are some of the most-loved pets on the planet and for a lot of college kids, being away from their family pets while in school is hard. I know from experience; I am a huge animal lover and my dogs are my best friends. My first year at college was especially hard being away from them and I decided that I was set on getting my own dog for the rest of my college years.
This was something I had thought about for a long time and took in all considerations and knew the sacrifices I would have to make in order to have a dog while in school. I don’t regret getting my dog one bit, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t come with its challenges. I’ve learned a lot of things along the way and ultimately it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. However, I have seen first-hand why getting a dog in college isn’t ideal for everyone.
I believe that everyone has this idealistic view in their head of what owning a dog in college would be like. Unfortunately, many people look at the perks and that’s it. They don’t consider the potty training, the extra cost for food and supplies, and the time commitment that they require. I joke that my dog is my child, but in all reality, he is. He is my responsibility and he relies on me to care for him each and every day.
When you have a dog in college, you can no longer stay out all hours of the night. You can’t get drunk and stay over at a friend’s. You can’t spend all-nighters in the library. Your dog is waiting at home to be fed, walked, and cared for. You can’t sleep the day away; your dog needs to be fed in the morning and taken out to go to the bathroom.
There are so many amazing things about owning a dog, but in college, it’s an added responsibility that many kids aren’t ready for, which unfortunately leads to the dog being re-homed or surrendered to a shelter.
I know it may seem glamorous to get a beautiful Husky or Australian Shepherd with blue eyes that will be the envy of everyone on campus, but did you look into the care that they require? Are you ready for the amount of exercise and mental stimulation they need in order to not become bored and destructive? Are you willing to lose a shoe or two from them chewing? Are you ready to have to clean up pee, poop, throw up, and any other mess they make? Are you ready to shell out the money for proper vet care, vaccinations, flea prevention, and healthy food?
If there is any shadow of a doubt about whether or not you are ready for a dog in college, I encourage you to wait. Get your dog fix by going to a shelter and volunteering, or going over to a friend’s house that has a dog and visiting with them. Getting a dog is a huge responsibility, and not one that should be taken lightly so I encourage you to do your research and be sure that you are 100% ready for it.