It may sound tempting, but taking care of a dog is a full-time commitment, something many college students are unable to handle.
With college tuition costing upwards of $10,000 per semester, it's quite a costly endeavor for many students. Take into account groceries, off-campus or on-campus housing, along with gas and textbooks, and many students barely have enough to make it through the necessities. Adding the costs of dog food, vet visits, and dog toys is enormous.
It's too much responsibility.
College is stressful. What with balancing social life, academics, and oftentimes a part-time job, college in itself is a full-time job. Adding the responsibility of taking care of a dog is too much for many people. Lots of students don't realize that becoming a dog owner is like taking care of a child.
There's not enough time.
Most college students just don't have enough time in their schedules to devote to training a dog. Most dogs, especially puppies, need lots of care and attention. They need to be trained, and an improperly trained dog is a nightmare.
Dogs cause damage.
Sure, his floppy ears and big wide eyes might make you go "Aw!" However, dogs can be highly destructive, especially to furniture. Unless you're willing to pay for all the damages that a dog might inflict, reconsider if you're ready to deal with chewed couches, scratched floorboards, pee, etc.
The dog would often be left alone.
Having a dog is great because you always have a friend. What's not so great is when you have to leave them. Sometimes things happen, you go on vacation, are busy with finals, etc. Leaving a dog alone is a lot harder than a cat — dogs need more attention and can get destructive if they don't have enough.
There are apartment fees for pets.
If you're getting a dog, it most likely means you live off-campus. Most (if not all) off-campus apartments require a pet fee, which usually are $250 plus a monthly fee. Unless you have deep pockets, reconsider if you're willing to pay that much extra money in addition to rent and utilities.
Some roommates may never help out.
If you're lucky, your roommates will be totally on-board with having a furry fellow. However, it can be extremely awkward if you're roommates are unable or don't want to help when things are tough. Not having cooperative roommates who are willing to help walk the dog or feed it can be stressful.
You sacrifice your social life.
Getting a dog likely means you'll have less time to do other things. It's a huge commitment, which means you might not be able to join a sorority or club or have a part-time job. It also likely means less partying and going out, if that's your thing.
Traveling is difficult.
If you're like me, and love traveling, having a dog complicates things. Want to take an awesome trip with your friends for spring break? What about the dog? Traveling is great, but you can't just up and leave everything when you have a dog that depends on you.
Where would the dog end up after graduation?
What happens after college when you graduate? Will the dog go with you? What if you move to another state or even another country? What then?
College pets are often abandoned.
Unfortunately, many dogs and cats are abandoned by college students who thought they wanted a pet, then realized they couldn't take care of it. This is totally unfair to the animal. Before adopting or getting a dog, think carefully about how much time and effort you'll put into caring for them.
It's a lot of stress.
Lastly, owning a dog has many rewarding aspects. You have a friend no matter what. However, it's a highly stressful job. You have to be prepared for the worst, such as if they get sick, how to pay for food, etc. College is already a stressful time for many. Consider if owning a dog is a stress you're willing to take on.
Dogs are wonderful and cute. There are many mental and emotional benefits to owning one. At the same time, there are many drawbacks, all of which college students should be cognizant of before adopting a dog.