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The Pet Checklist: Ready for a Furry Friend?

Imagine this scenario: You wake up in the morning and can finally sleep in. After a long week of classes, all you want to do is stay curled up in bed. Before you are willing to make the extreme effort of actually getting out of bed, you feel like someone is watching. Suddenly, you sense an uninvited presence hop on your bed. If you make any sudden movements or open your eyes, it’s all over. Your sleep day will be ruined. This uninvited guest licks you in the face and makes this weird wining noise. Your dog has successfully woken you up. Their beaty eyes and snuggling makes you forget the anger you first felt. Damn their cuteness.

Do You Have Enough Time?
It may seem like a no-brainer, but pets require a lot of time and maintence. The time obligation varies depeding on the type of pet you have. For example, a dog will generally take up more of your time than a hamster would. Regardless, it is imperative to ensure that you are not too busy. How demanding is your class schedule? How involved are you with sports or clubs? In other words, make sure you have the time to devote to pet ownership.


Are You Ready for the Commitment?

Who needs a boyfriend when you can have a pet for a perfect long-term relationship? They listen to you, don’t talk back and cuddle without complaining. A pet is a long-term commitment and a major responsibility. They are going to be with you for their entire life, which is amazing, but you have to be sure you want that. You are not going to be able to take periods of time off from your pet. If you frequently go out of town, remember that you are accountable for another life. You either need to have good friends that can help watch your pet, board them or travel less. If you are ready for that, a pet can be one of your most loyal and best relationships.

Can You Afford One?
Pets cost money! Danget. Again, depending on what pet determines how much. You need to set aside money for your pet to take care of: feeding, training, veterinary and other such expenses. Some landlords charge an extra fee for pets. As collegiettes, we are shorter on money than most others. Do you have a job or other financial resources to take care of your pet?

Will Your Home Accomodate a Pet?
You must live in pet-friendly housing. As collegiettes, it’s harder to have a pet because most of us rent or live in a dorm. If you live in a dorm, don’t get a pet. You will get caught eventually, and it really isn’t worth it. If you rent, two other people have to be ok with a pet: your landlord and your roommates. I have a dog, and my roommate wanted to get a cat. Tiny problem: I’m deathly afraid of cats. We compromised by her bringing me to the shelter to find one I wasn’t afraid of. That is where we found our new house guest, Fat Cat Griffin. He was sweet, and I figured I could run faster than the fat cat. Shameful, yet true.

If you really want an animal, and meet this criteria, I highly recommend it. I got my dog in May, and it has been a blessing. Everyone thinks their pet is the best, but that is only because they haven’t met mine. Just kidding, kind of. So if you are willing to clean up pee stains, take them out to go to the bathroom and have a slight immature side to play with them, go for it! Dogs and other pets are also a woman’s best friend.  

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