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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

This article is going to be specifically for those of you who are dog owners, or those of you who are going to be adopting a dog during your college career. My roommates and I have had a dog in our home for almost a year now, and it has only benefited our lives. Between walks, dog park visits and a furry little friend to cuddle, it’s difficult not to enjoy the experience.

Recently, there has been a spike in crime in Normal, and it has left many women feeling unsafe walking around their neighborhoods, outside of campus. My roommates and I are lucky enough to have our dog, which gives us an immense sense of safety in our house. Anytime a person even just walks past the window, our dog makes sure we all know about it with his barking. Since the weather is still nice, I love going on walks to clear my mind and get rid of some anxiety or antsiness I might be feeling, and having a dog makes me feel so much safer while I am out. This also is a great way to get some exercise, because even if you do not want to go on a walk, if your dog is anything like mine, they will sit and scratch at the door until you take them out. This is also a great time to tune into your favorite podcast and not feel like you have to be constantly looking behind you.

I have grown up with dogs, so I have always had a little furry friend to lean on when I needed someone to talk to, but not necessarily respond, or someone to hug. When I went away to college, I missed my dogs terribly. Anytime I would see a dog on campus, it automatically became the best moment of the day. College comes with so many stressors, and having a little friend to comfort you and play with will always help, at least a little bit.

When it comes to paying for a dog, we got lucky. My roommate’s parents said they would take the dog once we all graduated and do not live together anymore, so they pay for the medical bills and for his food. We buy him toys and take care of him, but money-wise we don’t really have to worry. This is not always the case, so I did some research to break down how much it would cost. If you adopt from a rescue, the adoption fee is usually from $300-$500. The dog or puppy typically comes fixed with all of their shots. After that, dog kibble can cost as low as $50! It truly depends on your level of income and how much you’d like to invest in your dog.

This investment and responsibility of owning a dog is beyond worth it. If you are a dog lover, you understand this completely. Nothing compares to when the dog you love comes and sits next to you, or greets you when you come home. That kind of excitement is so pure and rare and worth all of the snowy, freezing cold walks because they’re followed by a cold little nose wanting to give you a smooch. When my roommates and I graduate and our dog goes with my roommate’s family, I will miss him deeply, but I will be so excited to start another journey with a new puppy, and I encourage anyone on the verge of adopting to pull the trigger and go for it—you will not regret it.

Kaitlyn Peppler

Illinois State '23

Hey! My name is Kaitlyn Peppler, and I am so excited to be with Her Campus. I am all about self-love, self-care, and the bittersweet truth, so if you need a little bit of that, I'm your girl!
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