Here Are Some Things to Consider Before Adopting a Dog in College

Everyone gets that craving. You see pictures of people with their cute puppies and you’re like “I need a puppy NOW.” I had this craving back in high school, not realizing that I would have to and want to bring my furry little friend along for the ride through college. Although having your little companion can be fun, there are a few challenges to bringing a fur baby with you to college. Here are some things I should have considered before I got my little mutt!

My fur baby is named Simba, and he’s going to be turning four in April. He is such a good boy now, but he was a demon when he was a puppy. That’s the problem with puppies and college. Your pup might end up destroying everything, and it’s going to come out of your pocket. Simba used to tear up the walls in my old house and chew on the couch. Of course, you may strike out with a well-behaved puppy. However, there’s always the chance you’ll end up with the dog from Cujo!

There is also the problem of trips. If you’re like me and loves traveling, your dog may get in the way. It is always stressful having to figure out who is going to take care of my little bundle of joy when I am planning a trip. I lucked out with my roommate who loves taking care of him and always comes through when I need it, but this is something you should plan before you jump into taking care of another living creature.

Courtesy: Wade Lambert on Unsplash

Another consideration is all-nighters at the library. I can’t do them as much as I would want to. Although this can range from person to person, I don’t like leaving Simba alone for so long at home in the middle of the night. I also still need to feed and walk him and going back and forth between campus and home multiple times is not efficient. Again, this may just be me being an overbearing mom! Connected with this is the issue of walking. You can’t disappear all day on campus or at your job. You must find the time to give your dog the walks they need and deserve. It’s not fair to have them hold their bladder while you’re off doing things. The reality is that sometimes you need to put their needs before your own.

Courtesy: Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

You also need to be comfortable paying pet rent. Unless your pup is your emotional support animal or a service dog, apartments charge a pet fee. The average fee and the one that I pay is a $300 yearly fee and an additional $25 a month. This ends up being an additional $600 on your rent for the year. I love Simba and I'm willing to pay the fee, but it's not something I was prepared for when I got him in high school.

Although it might sound intimidating after all these considerations, I think it’s a wonderful idea to get a dog. These are just some important challenges to consider before you jump the gun and decide to get one. To leave this on a high note, here are some positives to having a dog for you to also consider! First, it’s awesome having someone to come home to. Simba is always excited to see me, and it’s nice to know someone loves and appreciates me. They also force you to be active. I always feel bad that he sits in the house all bored while I’m in class, so I try to get him out and running for a bit every day. This forces me to exercise! Dogs are also great at comforting you. I’m not how sure how they do it, but they know when you’re upset. When they know, they’ll give you all the kisses and snuggles you when you need to feel just a little bit better.

Courtesy: Alison Dueck on Unsplash

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons in my mind! If these considerations didn’t scare you off and you still want a fur baby, here are some resources for you. You can see what animals are available for adoption in Tallahassee here. Adopting a pup is a $30 adoption fee! You can also keep an eye out for events like Cat Fest, where animals are up for adoption while there are performances. You can also look at rescues online for specific dog breeds. For instance, Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida has rescued golden retrievers up for adoption. There are so many dogs that need a loving home out there, it’ll be easy to find one! There’s a furry friend for us all, we just need to be prepared to give it the home it deserves!

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