Becoming a College Dog Mom

I don’t know many people in college who haven’t considered getting a dog. It is really tempting to have a furry friend hanging around while you’re so far from home, I would know. The thing is… dogs are a big responsibility. Yes, you may have grown up taking care of your family pets, but you’ve never done it on your own and there's a big difference. 

For starters, dogs are expensive. The saying “there's no such thing as a free dog” is painfully accurate. Food, toys, bedding, heartworm & flea/tick prevention and vet bills add up quickly. If your family is willing to help- that's great, but if not… you better budget for your pup. You never know when something could go wrong, and you need to have the funds to get your fur baby the care they need. 

Dogs are also time consuming. They need to be fed, watered, walked and loved. If you get a dog in college you don’t get to leave class on a Friday and go straight to pre-gaming for the parties that night. You also don’t get to stay out all night and roll in at 3:00pm the next day. Your dog depends on you and you need to be there for him/her, no matter how hungover you might be. For the same reasons, you’ll need to add 20 minutes to your morning routine. Your pup doesn't care that you’re already running late to your 8am exam… he/she needs to go potty RIGHT NOW or they’re gonna make a mess on your floor. 

Even if you have the cash and the time you need to keep in mind that some people don’t like dogs, and your dog won’t like some people. If you’re the type to have lots of people over… keep in mind that everyone might not get along with your 4-legged roommate. You need to be ready to put him/her in her crate if anyone gets uncomfortable, especially your pet. 

I thought long and hard about all of these things before getting my lab mix, Cora. What I didn’t consider was her tendency to try and run away or her urinary incontinence when she gets scared or excited. All of these things are worth it to me, and I wouldn't give Cora up for the world, but she taught me that you never know what you’ll get when you get a dog. There are a million reasons to get a pet in college, but remember that their life comes before yours now. Be ready for that.