Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
corgi bridgerton?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
corgi bridgerton?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
Life > Experiences

How To Be The Best ‘Pawrent’ As A Busy College Student

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Being a dog mom is not for the weak. While curling up in bed next to your best friend is one of the greatest feelings, the early morning potty, late night walks, accidents, and food expenses can be a sizable burden if you’ve never been solely responsible for a pet.

As a fairly new first-time pet owner, I’ve learned so much in the past year with my sweet pitbull mix, Sadie. Some dogs, much to my surprise, don’t bark! Many also enjoy sleeping on the couch all day instead of playing fetch. All of Sadie’s quirks aside, the most valuable lesson I’ve learned from becoming a dog mom is that while they’re only a small part of your life, you’re all of theirs. 

Now that everyone has a few tears in their eyes, below are a few first-hand, practical, and arguably life-saving tips for all the new pawrents out there.

  1. The bed is the key.

No matter how much chaos ensues in my home, my dog always knows that her bed is her safe space. This also keeps her from jumping on the couch or the bed. Would you want to lie on a cold floor? 

  1. Every pet is different, don’t try to change yours. 

There’s always that twinge of jealousy when I see dogs happily stick their head out of the car window and enjoy a breezy drive while my dog aggressively shakes and pants in the back seat until we reach our destination. Trust me, we’ve tried everything, and it turns out Sadie just isn’t a car gal. We do our best to keep drives to a minimum, but it’s important to take your pet’s feelings into consideration when it comes to stressful events like car rides, vet visits, and large gatherings.

  1. A harness may be your best friend.

Sadie is around 50 lbs, and at times, she can overpower me if she sees a squirrel or small dog on our walk. When she’s wearing the harness, it makes it much easier to control any sticky situations without the possibility of injuring her trachea or slipping from her collar. 

  1. Be ready to make sacrifices. 

If your dog gets easily spooked by other dogs, the dog park may not be in your cards. If your pup isn’t friendly with people, it may not be wise to bring them to a largely populated “dog-friendly” environment. Knowing the limits of your pet sometimes means missing out on opportunities you envisioned you would have as a pet owner. 

  1. Know your budget. 

Whether you choose to adopt, buy, or allow the pet distribution theory to place a furry friend at your doorstep, make sure it’s within your financial capacity to care for an animal. Food, vet bills, treats, and other accessories can add up, especially if you’re a college student with minimal funds.

Adequate research before acquiring your first pet is extremely important. While the idea of having a dog, cat, or other companion is no doubt appealing, college-aged students frequently surrender pets due to a lack of preparedness. Most shelters are overpopulated, and every animal deserves to be in the home with proper love and care. Make sure to do plenty of thinking, budgeting, and maybe some strength training before making a new addition to your family.

Casey is a third-year student at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a journalism degree and a business Spanish certificate. She is currently a food editorial intern at Camille Styles and where she writes and publishes food and lifestyle pieces. In her free time, Casey enjoys cooking, traveling, and practicing yoga. IG: caseymckee_ Blog: KeenlyCasey.com Twitter: casey.mckee7