Turns Out, Getting A Dog In College May Not Be The Best Idea
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Turns Out, Getting A Dog In College May Not Be The Best Idea

Don't bite off more than you can chew.

Turns Out, Getting A Dog In College May Not Be The Best Idea
Photo Credit: Nia Riviears

It can be tough being away from home. Coming home to an apartment every afternoon with no one to greet you. Getting a pet seems like a viable option, especially when you can get certain dogs, with their vaccinations, for $5 at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter. But there's a lot of thinking that should happen before getting a pet.

1. Time.

Do you truly have the time for a pet? College is a full-time job, and so is a dog. You need hours to spend with the dog, especially a puppy, and balancing that on top of studying, working, and spending time with friends might be more than you bargained for. You may have to come home between classes to walk him and feed him. Or you may have to take him to the vet unexpectedly because he ate some chicken bones and you have to skip class. Dogs are a full-time commitment and getting one when you don't have time for one isn't fair to the dog.

2. Space.

Is your apartment or dorm large enough for a dog? Dogs need a kennel, a bed, and space to walk around. If you're in a 4 bedroom apartment with three other people, your dog may have to be in your room most of the time, which isn't ideal. Dogs also need time outdoors, so you would need to make sure you have access to a large, preferably fenced-in, grassy area for the dog to run around. Indoor and outdoor space is equally important when owning a dog.

3. Patience

Dogs need to be potty trained, crate trained and trained how to be around people. This takes time, energy and a lot of patience. Most dogs won't get what "sit" means the first or second time, and training dogs add more time to spend with them and less time doing other things, like studying or spending time with friends.

4. Support

Having a dog is a full-time commitment. They require a lot of time and money to stay happy and healthy. It's likely that as a college student you may not always have $250 in your pocket for an emergency visit to the vet. Or you may have to drop your dog off at a boarding house or with your parents before you can go to the beach for spring break. At some point, you'll need help with your dog and you'll need the support of the people around you.

5. Education

Have you owned and taken care of a dog before? Do you know what they can and can't eat? Or how often they need to go to the vet? Or the signs of a dog having parasites? If you haven't owned a dog before, college is not the time to get your first one. There is so much you have to know about dogs before you get one and having the time, patience and support to learn may not be possible in college.

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

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