Having a dog in college isn’t practical


Savanna Briscoe, Staff columnist

Before coming to college, many students fantasize over the idea of owning a dog; this is before they know how much work it is to take care of one. The workload college students accumulate requires a lot of their time and attention. The schedule of a college student makes it nearly impossible to take care of another living being. Most of the time, students are either at school or work, leaving hardly any time to tend to their pets. Although the idea of having a dog in college may be exciting, people need to understand the ramifications of having a pet in college.

First off, it is not fair for your pet to be neglected 24/7. Dogs require plenty of exercise in order to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. According to petMD, a dog should spend between 30 minutes to 2 hours on an activity every day. Which means it is imperative for the owner to carve out some time for their pet to exercise. If dogs lack exercise, health issues such as obesity may arise which can lead to major issues in the future.

Additionally, it is also cruel to lock up your dog in a cage for hours on end. Pets need to be let outside in order to use the bathroom. No human being would be OK with being stuck in a cage for six hours at a time. Since college students’ schedules are so busy, pet owners tend to leave their dogs in cages until they can return home, which might not be until the end of the day. According to DogCare, it is hard for puppies to refrain from relieving their bowels in their cage after 30 to 60 minutes. Locking a dog in its crate for an extensive period of time is outright inhumane and sad.

Like most pets, dogs need to be trained. With that being said, as a pet owner, you must take the time to train your dog. It is extremely important that you train your dog when it’s a puppy as it becomes more difficult when they get older. Potty training also plays a huge factor in a dog’s life, so you should potty train your dog as soon as you purchase it. As a dog owner, you must learn how to properly discipline your pet and teach them right from wrong, almost like raising a child. If you do not take the proper steps toward teaching your dog obedience, they may start acting out by chewing on a piece of furniture or using the restroom wherever they please; this is because they don’t know any better.  

Before you make the decision to become a dog owner, you need to do your research on the extra expenses dogs can rack up. College students are known for being broke and if you are barely supporting yourself, there is no way you can afford to support another living being. When you first adopt a puppy, you have to take it to the vet for its vaccinations which will burn a hole in your wallet. If your dog gets sick or has an infection, parasite or any other illness, it requires medical attention and treatment which could result in a giant hospital bill. On top of all of those expenses, you have to purchase food, a crate, a dog bed, collar, leash, vitamins, treats, toys… it all adds up. Another thing to keep in mind is that a dog needs to be groomed regularly, checked for fleas, have their nails trimmed, be properly cleaned and have their glands expressed.

The bottom line is that dogs require a lot of attention. If you think you will be too busy to take care of your dog, don’t get one. The worst thing you can do, other than neglect your pet, is adopt one and give it away when it becomes too stressful to maintain. Dogs need stability in order to live happy and healthy lives. It is hard as a busy college student to be able to provide your pets with the love and care they deserve; not to mention how expensive it is to own a dog. Taking all of that into consideration, it is evident that it is not ideal to become a dog owner in college — it just isn’t practical.