Pets in college: Will it work for you?

By Molly Zupan, Special Sections Editor

I have had pets my whole life. Until college, I hadn’t lived without at least one. Life without them is a big bummer, but I’m managing. I often think about whether I’d be able to take care of a pet at school, along with myself, classes and work.

Obviously, I want a pet. I want a dozen pets. But the reality of being a pet owner as well as a full-time student and part-time worker sounds pretty tough.

Every time I see students walking their dog on campus, I contemplate the pros and cons, and I feel bad for even thinking there are cons to having a pet.

I fully believe and feel that pets, especially dogs and cats, can provide a significant amount of emotional support for their owners. When I’m back home and spend time with my dogs, the stressors of an irritating day are wiped away.

When I’m at school and I’m consumed by projects and deadlines, there’s nothing I want more than a few minutes with my dogs. But that’s the price I have to pay. The only issue is the amount of attention and training they need.

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    On the other hand, I know I can only spend a limited amount of time with a pet per day as a college student. Since I do adore animals and value being a good, reliable owner, I would be sure to do my absolute best.

    But unfortunately, my schedule is typically packed during the school year, and I know that would affect my pet’s health and well-being.

    I would feel awful if I adopted a pet and it spent most of its time alone in my apartment. Since I love dogs the most of all pets, and I know they require attentive care and affection, I would have a difficult time leaving it each day, for such large blocks of time.

    Although I’ve loved every pet I’ve ever had and wish I could have a million of them, I’ve never been a primary pet owner. My parents have always paid for their food, shots and tags, so that’s something I’ve never fully dealt with on my own.

    However, I do think I could take care of and handle an older dog, because it wouldn’t have as much energy and it would likely be properly trained. A puppy would be a lot of fun but also a lot of extra work.

    For now, I just settle for petting other people’s dogs and enjoying texted photos of my own dogs, courtesy of my mom.

    If you find yourself wanting a pet, be sure to consider these factors and more. Yes, having pets is wonderful in many ways, but remember, it’s a big commitment. There are always pets in need of homes; if you think you can do it, I fully support it.

    Molly is a junior in FAA.

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