Pros and Cons of Having a Dog in College

By Rebecca Green on February 6, 2013

Most of us don’t feel fully complete without our furry friend sitting there waiting for us when we get home from school. But don’t run out and grab the first cute fuzzy face you see just yet! As busy as college life can get, let’s take a step back and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of having your own pet.

Pros:

Medical Health- Yes it is true!  Several research studies both in the U.S. and outside of it have shown that owning a pet does in fact improve one’s overall health. Studies have proven that pets improve the health of human beings in all different ways across the board. Lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, faster recovery from illnesses, lower stress levels, and even a longer life are just a few of the ways a new dog could help you.

Physical Health- No matter what shape or size, dogs need exercise just like people. The only difference is that while many people choose not to exercise and are content, dogs will get quite stir crazy and those new shoes you just bought might not look so new once your furry friend gets ahold of them. Taking your dog on a walk will get you up off of the couch, your heart beating, and your blood flowing. Getting a good walk in at least once a day is great exercise for anyone, and having a dog forces you out the door.

Unconditional Love & Companionship- Whether a pet lover or not, we’ve all seen how having a dog is not just adding a pet to a family, it’s adding a new member to a family. No family member is as around-the-clock loving and nice to us as our pooches are, and adopting a dog is like gaining a new best friend. You will always have someone there for you, whether you’re happy, upset, angry, or sleepy. If loneliness is a problem for you, that emotion will head straight out the back door as soon as your new dog walks in the front.

Cons:

Money- Many people, specifically college-age people, don’t plan or prepare for the financial burden having a dog really is on one’s budget. Many think of purchasing a dog a lot like purchasing a sweater; you pay one price in the store and then you’re done and it’s yours forever. When in reality purchasing a dog is more like buying a cell phone; you pay a large amount to receive the phone and then get bills for using it every month. Just in the first year of owning a dog you can pay from $900-$2000 and sometimes more between the purchase price, pet supplies, collars, vet visits, and toys. Then for the rest of your pup’s life you financially support them with food, toys, treats, occasional vet visits, vaccinations, etc. So remember budgeting is key if you are thinking of owning a dog.

Cleaning- Dogs, especially puppies, are not always the cleanest companions to have around and unfortunately cannot clean up their mess once they have made one. If you adopt a puppy you have the added responsibility of either potty and command training your new friend yourself, or enrolling them into a training program. But even when all grown up, certain kinds of dogs will always like to chew, dig, or tear their toys into tiny pieces all over the floor. And don’t forget, all dogs need to be bathed, brushed, and have their nails clipped on a regular basis.

Scheduling- College kids like to have fun. Going out with friends, staying out late and dancing the night away is not uncommon for the average college student. However, even if you can handle all of the tasks previously listed, you now have someone else at home relying on you to take care of them. When owning a dog, planning ahead and getting your schedule right is imperative. If you plan on being away from your house for a long time or overnight, arrangements must be made for your canine friend to either come with you or be watched or checked on by someone else. If you’re planning a vacation with friends you now have someone else’s well-being to think about too, not just your own.

So when pondering about whether or not buying a pooch is right for you, remember it’s not only fun and games like it may seem. Although dogs bring an incredible amount of joy and happiness to one’s life, they bring added responsibilities and finances as well. Know the facts, do your research and take time to think it over. Your gut decision after that is bound to be the right choice!

By Rebecca Green

Uloop Writer
Hey ya'll! My name is Becca Green and I am a senior Telecommunications & Media Studies major and a Journalism minor at Texas A&M University. Some of my favorite things include traveling, shopping, socializing, and obviously writing! I am truly a kid at heart and am completely obsessed with Disney World and pretty much everything Disney. So don't be surprised if the fun, optimistic kid side of me comes around frequently!

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