I can totally handle a puppy in college, right!?

By Serena Doescher on November 12, 2014

Photo by Serena Doescher

Homesickness at college is inevitable, and it seems like the weeks before Thanksgiving and Winter Break bring it out in the best of us. The stress of quickly approaching finals and the lack of home cooked meals effects everyone in different ways, but the comfort of a fluffy pet presents itself as a cure all in college life. Colleges have even tapped into this and have began bringing in therapy dogs to get students through the last couple weeks. Sometimes this, and the spontaneous roommate, adventures to pet puppies at Petland only spark a deeper desire to have a cuddle monster of your own. Before asking how much that puppy in the window is, consider these six thoughts on having a pet in college.

One less lonely girl, one more lonely cat. While the presence of an animal may cure your loneliness when all your friends go out on a Tuesday but you have a test to study for, your precious pet will be submitted to loneliness while you go from class to job to party. The time it takes to train, socialize and just adequately love an animal might not fit into your already tightly packed planner. A pet might make your life better, but do you have the time to make its life better?

Another mouth to feed. Dogs can’t live off ramen and wine. Shocker, I know. Dog/cat food is expensive. So are vet bills, and toys, and groomings. Next time you find someone to drive your starving butt to the grocery store, take a gander at the prices on those adorable dog supplies. Unless you’re making bank at your part time job, a pet might not be in the college life budget.

Shhh! The landlords coming! Unless you have stumbled upon the coolest landlord ever, your apartment probably isn’t allowed to have anything that lives outside a fish tank. I know what you’re all thinking, ‘I can hide my pet. My landlord will never find out.’ I hate to break it to you, but that is way more work than it sounds. Every time you need the furnace fixed or the plumbing checked, you will have to make your  pet scarce. And, I bet that neighbor who always complains about your music won’t take kindly to the lonely barks or meows of your furry bae.

Photo by Serena Doescher

Mother knows best. Come winter break, little Fido won’t be able to stay in your apartment for a month while you go home. I don’t know about you, but every time I hint at getting a puppy my parents Shut. It. Down. I can’t imagine they would welcome my surprise puppy with open arms over breaks. You can only hope that their hearts melt like yours did when Fido flashed those puppy dog eyes.

I can’t have the pre-game, my cat is sleeping! The terror on your cat’s face when your drunk friend decides they are the cat whisperer reincarnated and proceeds to manhandle poor Fluffy against his will (trust me, it doesn’t end well) definitely makes you never want to host a party again.                                                                           **Plus side, your days of cleaning up after randos are over

Sometimes the lure of a constant companion is just too strong If you look at this list and think ‘I can handle a pet’, then by all means get that lovable ball of fur. But PLEASE consider rescuing from a shelter. Shelter animals can make the best pets and deserve to be loved too!

My name is Serena Doescher. I am from the suburbs of Chicago, but have been transplanted to Iowa City for school. I am a Junior Journalism major at the University of Iowa and plan to pursue a career in public relations upon graduating. I can be easily persuaded by the promise of puppies and food.

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