Owning a dog in college is great but has challenges

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Photo by Melissa Grimmel

Owning a dog as a full-time student may sound like a good idea – you would always have a companion, a walking buddy and someone always there when you get home. However, bringing home a dog in college means balancing the responsibilities it comes with, as well as the challenges of schoolwork, jobs and a social life. Here are some things to consider before bringing home Fido:

Cost

The costs of having a dog may be too high for some college students to handle. Since not all students have a job, it can be difficult to budget for themselves and an animal.

“I didn’t realize how much it truly costs to take care of a dog until I lived on my own,” Kendra Lay, senior in secondary math education, said. “Between dog food and vet bills, it can add up.”

Location and roommates

K-State Housing and Dining Services permits certain pets while living in on-campus housing, but dogs aren’t on the list. Therefore, most pet owners have to look at places off-campus in order to find a pet-friendly place to live. They also have to search for roommates that are okay with living somewhere that has a dog. In addition, owners can face having to pay an additional pet deposit.

“I live outside of town where I have a larger backyard so Squeeks can run around,” Lay said. “I brought her to school this year after getting the approval from my roommates. Other than the pricey pet deposit, things have gone good.”

Regrets?

Even though having a dog can have its challenges, according to a Fox Business article, having a dog in college can provide stress relief.

“Going home to Mya after a long day of school always makes me happy,” Charlsie Craig, senior in agricultural communications and journalism, said. “Plopping on the couch and having a cuddle buddy is a plus.”

Caden Lynch, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, said while it can be tough sometimes, he does not regret bringing home his dog Yeager, a black labrador. For him, the positives of having a pet around outweigh the negatives.

For Craig, owning a dog in college has taught her to be responsible and care for her Austrialian Shepherd and Border Collie mix, something she considers important life skills.

“Between feeding her, letting her out, cleaning up an accident or walking her, I have gained a lot of responsibility,” Craig said. “It’s nice to take care of something other than yourself, I have also gotten better with time management. Even though it would be nice to sleep in some mornings, I know I have to get up and let her outside. It’s almost like having a kid.”

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