What You Should Know About Having A Dog In College

At least once a month I hear someone say “I want to get a dog” while they’re in college. Every time I hear it a cringe a bit because there’s a lot that goes into dog ownership other than feeding, playing, and walking them. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had the chance to see how it actually is to have a dog at college. My parents went on a trip to New Zealand and they suggested that my dog, Lily, stay with me instead of a boarding kennel. Of course, I was all over it (and so were my friends).

I got my Labrador Retriever, Lily, on my 13th birthday so she’s getting a little older now. She’ll be turning 8 this year. It makes me sad when I come home and see more grey hairs on her chin and face because it reminds me that I’m missing a lot of her life while I’m at school.

Being that she’s older, she sleeps for most of the day now. This made it a lot easier to take care of her since I was gone for most of the day at school. When I got home I had to be ready to play though because she was FULL of energy.

Having a dog at home is definitely a mood booster. There are so many memes of “who needs therapy when you have a dog?” and I definitely see where they’re coming from. Even when I’m working, it nice to have a little companion lying down next to my feet.

There were some drawbacks though. I had to make sure to go home right after my classes so I could let her outside to relieve herself. This only interrupted plans a couple times so it was only a minor inconvenience. The only real annoying thing with having my dog up here was really when she would get sassy and want a treat.

I’ll be working on homework or something and she’ll be standing next to me just staring up at me. Right after I ask “what’s wrong?” she’ll take a step back and go “rowww” in a low tone. As soon as I say “no” she starts barking at me as if to say “HOW DARE YOU! I DESERVE TREATS AND YOU KNOW IT!” That will go on for awhile until I submit or she gives up.

While she was here, I took her on walks around campus a couple of times. Lily a very friendly but timid dog so it’s always fun trying to get her to warm up to people that want to pet her. She’s gotten less and less scared of people because of it. She did alright at the couple small parties that we had as well. After she’s seen everyone for a few minutes, she was eagerly trying to get butt-scratches from everyone.

I couldn’t imagine trying to raise a dog while in college. With all the veterinarian bills and the constant attention needed, it’d be a nightmare.

I really enjoyed having Lily around and I think the only reason I was able to adequately take care of her is that she’s an older dog. I can’t wait to have her up here again! :)