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Things to Consider Before Getting a Puppy

Getting a puppy is a huge step in anyone’s life no matter their age. Many college students such as myself are finally getting the freedom to live without their parents and make their own choices without judgement. Many roommates decide to get pets together or couples and they have a vague plan of what will happen in the future after graduation, or even before. 

 

Before you get a puppy or dog there are a few things that are important to consider:

  1. 1. Time

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    Puppies have a lot more involved then just feeding and taking them to the bathroom. Puppies constantly want to play and don’t care if it’s 2 pm or am. They will want attention, chew everything, keep you up, need baths and brushing, and equipment that can be costly. You’ll have to go outside in all weather at different times of the day and night for them to go to the bathroom (after you master potty training) and all this time really adds up quickly.

  2. 2. Expenses 

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    Depending on if you're buying or adopting (I recommend adoption) prices and fees may vary. Either way, dogs require toys, shots, food, bowls, leashes, collars, harnesses, puppy pads for training, jackets for cold weather (depending on breed), shampoo and brushes. You can avoid some of those items with a groomer, but they can also be pricey. The list will vary depending on the type of dog, but their will be costs you don't initially think of.

  3. 3. Co-parenting 

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    If sharing your dog with someone, there are many things to consider including future fallouts, training methods, and routines. You always have to consider the possibility that your friendship or relationship with the co-parent could come to an end in many different ways, and have plans for if that happens. Also, when training a dog consistency is key. If you both aren’t using the same style, rules, and patterns you're going to confuse your dog and frustrate each other. Having a routine and good communication will be essential. 

  4. 4. Future Plans

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    Adding all of these factors together with an unpredicted future can be hard. If you’re a college student, you can be moving away after graduation. That leaves issues with finding pet friendly housing, along with issues if a co-parent will be living in a different area. Future jobs or commitments can also take up more time than expected, and you must be prepared to make sure your pet is still receiving proper care. 

Getting a dog will bring lots of happiness and unconditional love into your life. But like with any choice, just make sure you are completely sure and ready to commit to that choice. Dogs aren’t just pets, they are best friends and family members. They’ll love you as much as you’ll love them, probably more. They can get severely depressed if separated from you in the future. Try to have a plan in place for future changes, make sure you can manage the time in your schedule, be sure to have a reliable income, and mostly, be prepared for huge amounts of love and happiness.

 

HXCO, Cassidy