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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 written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Everyone loves animals, or at least I hope so. As a college student who may be living alone or with roommates, you may be looking for a companion. This may very well be your how-to guide to caring for pets in college. I must say I will be generalizing this how-to guide to dogs and cats. But if you’re into other animals, who’s to judge?

getting the pet

Before we talk about anything else we need to dive into acquiring one’s pet. There are plenty of options available on where to get a pet, but let’s talk about a couple. First we have the shelter, which is the most cost effective way (which to some people is the morally correct way). Most shelters have very affordable prices for both cats and dogs. You can get a cat for an average of $20 with neutering/spaying included, plus chips and vaccines, which can be very expensive to go through a regular vet, and an average of $50 for dogs.

That may be the advantage to the shelter but some of the animals may come from troubled backgrounds, require extra training, tender love and care to get them acclimated. This may be a con if you don’t have the time. The next option would be a reputable breeder, this is the more costly option, and will typically be kittens or puppies. For puppies, you will need to keep in mind the time and effort to train your dog.

Dog Or CAT

Of course, this decision is completely up to you. There are some general differences between the two. You will need to set aside time to walk and train the dog, which may be difficult if you are on campus most of the day. Dogs are usually more expensive when it comes to medical care. If you live in a student apartment, a pet fee is required for both dogs and cats, unless you make your pet an emotional support animal through your primary care doctor. You may have to look into what dog breed and size you can bring, while you don’t have to consider that with a cat.

Cats are more independent and less demanding than dogs as they do not require as much commitment. Also, a cat would be more apt to living in a smaller space, such as a college apartment or dorm (if your school allows). More people agree that cats would make a better pet for students, as it may be selfish to leave a dog in a kennel or small room all day. But a dog is very attainable if you know that’s a commitment you can honor.


dog bed
Comfy Pets Beds

After you make the decision between the two, you can find items for your new companion at in-store places like PetSmart, PetCo or online methods, like Chewy or Amazon. We all know that you can find a wide variety of cute quirky things on Amazon though. Chewy also has an option to set up re-accruing payments and receive your dog food or any other items you may desire on a monthly basis. If you have roommates, it may be right to inform them about your new fur baby.

Dog or cat, any of these fur babies would make a great addition to your college journey for those late-night study sessions or a cuddle session when you’ve had a rough day. Both require their own time commitments but it is all worth it in the end. Now you can potentially have a fur baby to deck out in cute outfits. Hopefully, this article made your choice a little easier.

Britni-Lee Salmon is a current undergrad student at UCF, she is currently majoring in public relations/Advertising. Participating in groups such as TAU Sigma and the Her campus UCF chapter. She loves to travel, create content to share with others, and talk about hairless cats.