You have heard it since you were little, “taking care of a dog is a big responsibility.” This was true when you were young and still is today as a college student. To make sure that you are ready, there are a lot of things to consider. To help you find out if it is the right time for you to take the leap and adopt a dog, we go into depth about things you should think about. Also, to make sure you are fully prepared we also cover some benefits and issues you may face. By the end of this article, you will know if it is Better Living With Fido now or if you should wait for that diploma.

Table of Contents

Things to Consider Before Adoption

Living Situation:

     Before you even think about adopting a dog in college there are 2  important things to consider about where you live:

  1. Does your apartment, dorm, or house allow dogs?
  2. What is the area around you like?

       In both of these instances, taking your dog outside is going to be an issue. If dogs are not allowed then you will spend the majority of time keeping them inside and hiding them. Also, if there are just parking lots around the housing, you will also run into a problem when a dog needs to take care of business. Without grassy areas, there will be nowhere for your dog to go to the bathroom.

     Making your dog stay inside all day will make them quite antsy. This could lead them to bark or, even worse, tear things apart. Then once you come home from a long day of classes you may face an extremely stressed-out pup. With no grassy areas or free-range, you may have to get into the car and drive to a completely different area. It’s an immense hassle.

     Is this the first time you are adopting a dog on your own? If so here are some tips to help bringing them to a new home as easy and comfortable as possible: Bringing Fido into a New House.

Roommates:

     Since your roommates will also have to live with this dog there are 2 things you need to consider about them:

  1. Are they comfortable with a dog?
  2. Will they help or hinder you?

     Your roommates are someone that you see every single day. Since you do spend so much time together it is important to keep a positive relationship. If there are any issues, it could lead to a very awkward and tense living situation. This is why you need to be 100% positive that your roommates are comfortable with having a dog. The last thing you want is arguments started because the dog is barking or some hair is on the couch.

     Not only do you want them to be okay with a dog you will also need them to be open to helping. Some days you may have to stay late in class or work overtime. In this situation, it is important for your dog’s well-being and your mental health to have a roommate that would help. This means that they would take them out real quick instead of letting them pee on the floor.

     Do you and your roommates like to throw a party now and again? Check out this article to see how to keep your dog safe and also how to let them join in on the fun: Party Safety with Pups.

Schedule:

     As a college student, there is no question that you will have a lot on your plate. To make sure that you are ready here are 2 things you need to consider your schedule:

  1. Do you have time to give them the attention that they need?
  2. Are you able to alter your schedule?
  3. If it’s a new dog, do you have time to train them?

     Dogs are not able to let themselves out. In turn, this means that you will have to return home throughout the day to let them out. However, this is just the tip of the milkbone. You will also need to make time in your day to take them on walks or to play. If your dog does not have the attention or human interaction that they need they could become upset. This could then lead to peeing in the house or destroying furniture.

     With all of this responsibility now on your shoulders, you will need to change around your schedule. Although, in college, your schedule is not something you can always choose. If you are not able to return home enough throughout the day then having a dog may not be right for you.

    New puppies and dogs are going to require training when you first adopt them. Not only will dog training help ease some tension on your schedule, but it will help to keep your housing clear of any damages in the long-run. Unsure how to start the training process? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you be confident and successful: Basic Training for Your Dog. Finding a way to work these essential training opportunities into your schedule will be the key to success.

Budget:

     When you are a college student money is something you do not always have on hand. Since you may be already running low here are 2 things to consider:

  1. Do you have the money required?
  2. Are you able to save?

     Since your schedule may fill your whole day you might not have time for a job. In turn, this means that you could not have money set aside for things you may need. With bowls, toys, leashes, food, vet care and more having a dog can get expensive. These things are requirements when you adopt a dog meaning that you could run into some issues.

     If you do have a job or money on the side then you will be able to afford these things at first. However, one thing to remember is that a dog is not just one purchase and done. They constantly need things like new food or shots. Every semester you may need to use that money for things like books or class trips. Not to mention all the fun adventures your friends invite you on. In turn, this could empty your bank account and not allow you to save for things your dog needs.

BENEFITS OF HAVING A DOG in college

Comfort:

     With assignments, exams, relationships, and more college can get stressful. This can lead to anxiety and even one or two breakdowns. During this time you can lean on friends but there is nothing like the comfort of a dog. From last-minute papers to final exams your dog will support you no matter what. They show this by staying up with you during all-nighters and cuddling with you when it becomes too much.

     All they want is for you to be happy and will do anything to make sure it is a reality. Not to mention how coming home to a dog can make all of the problems of the day go away. How can someone be sad with all those kisses?! With a dog by your side, you will find yourself feeling a lot more positive. When you have them by your side you can do anything.

Exercise:

     One thing that dogs love walks. All you have to do is mention the word and they will be jumping with joy. As an owner, this means that you will be spending a lot of your time walking them outside. Although, usually that is not enough to wear off all their energy so you will be playing with them a lot as well.

     These activities will not seem like much at the moment but they are actually very beneficial in the long run. Each time you walk or play your heart rate increases giving you a little bit of a cardio workout. This will help you improve your health and even help you stay away from that freshman 15! Not only that but it is also a great way to clear your mind. Taking a step back and putting your body to work will give your head a much-needed break.

Life Lessons:

     As a student, you will sit through many lessons that will help you with your future job. However, what you may not expect is how many lessons you will learn from owning a dog. The only difference is that these will not just help you with one thing. Instead, it will help you with your future as a whole. These lessons are responsibility, time management, and leadership.

     Since dogs are not able to take care of themselves you are in charge or responsible for their safety and well-being. This means that you will have to feed, walk, and watch them every day. Each of these tasks takes time and must be completed multiple times a day. In turn, this means that you will have to schedule or manage your time to be there when needed. As you care for their well being you will find yourself taking on a leadership role. In this position, you will teach your dog right and wrong so they can thrive.

Concerns and Solutions of Owning a Dog in College

College Campus Rules:

     Most college campuses do not let larger pets inside their dorms or housing. When considering dog adoption in college, your first and foremost concern is policy. Double check with your campus adviser and brush up on pet ownership rules. 

     However, if you live off-campus, this won’t be an issue. Especially if you’re attending college online, you will be living in your own home or apartment. In that case, it’s your property so the rules and regulations are dictated by your own judgement (or landlord).

Cost:

     Rent, books, food, tuition…with all these college necessities money can disappear quickly. Now with a dog, you can also add vet visits, food, treats, toys, collars, leashes, bowls, and grooming to that list. Just like your rent and food most of these things will you charge you multiple times a year. Before you know it the dog food bag is empty, their collar is broken, and the rent is due all in the same week.

     With all these costs adding up anxiety will as well. It can be quite scary trying to figure out how you are going to pay for all these necessities each month. Then on top of that what if your dog gets sick? Vet visits and medicine is far from cheap. All of this pressure adding to the stress of school is not good for your mental health. The last thing you want is something that is supposed to make you happy like a dog making you miserable.

     Low on money? No worries, here are some great toys that are $5 or less: The Best Dog Toys for $5 and Less.

Damage:

     When you are a college student you are required to go to multiple classes throughout the day. Not to mention all the extracurricular activities you need to boost your resume. With all of this filling up your day, long breaks are out of the question. In the end, this means that your dog will be home alone for extended periods of time. You may have roommates, but with such busy schedules, there are going to be times where no one is around to watch the pup. Plus, you don’t have the option of installing a doogie door because you’re stuck with college property.

     If you are lucky you may have a calm dog that likes to sleep all day. However, that is extremely rare and, more likely than not, you will have one that gets antsy. One way to get their energy out is to play with toys. Although, with no one there who is going to stop them from playing with the couch cushions instead? Especially in college dorms and uper-classmen housing, furniture damage is a big no-no. In fact, you will get billed for any damage that happens throughout the school year!

      Not to mention, your pup being left alone in the room also means no one is there to let them outside. Yikes, what if they go to the bathroom on the floor!? You can replace or clean up after them, but this will just add even more to the issue above. Unfortunately, this means you can say goodbye to the security deposit.

The Wyze Cam
Benefits:
  • Budget friendly
  • 1080p HD footage
  • Video streamed on your phone
  • 30 feet night vision
  • Magnetic base
  • 6 foot power cord
  • Connects with Alexa
  • 2-way audio
  • Time lapses

     Many issues tend to come from leaving your dog for long periods of time. If only you could check up on them while still going through your to-do list. Well, with the Wyze camera that can now be a possibility. While this camera is rolling 1080p high definition footage will be available to view right on your phone using their app. Not only will this camera work during the day but with 30 feet of night vision, it will work through the night as well.

     To set this camera up you will not need to damage any walls. This is because the camera has a magnetic base and a metal plate that allows you to put it anywhere. The only thing it has to be near is an outlet that its power cable can reach. Although, since it is 6 feet in length I do not think that will be a problem.

     Once the camera is set up you will be able to use all of its great features. For example, this camera can connect with Alexa. This means that you will be able to see what is going on in the other room with just the sound of your voice. Another feature that also includes your voice is 2-way audio. With this, you can speak directly to your dog no matter where you are. Lastly, this camera also allows you to take time lapses. In turn, this means you can make fun videos with your dog to share with friends on social media.

Simple Solution Extreme Pet Stain/Odor Remover
Benefits:
  • Low cost
  • Pro-bacteria and enzymes
  • Original or scented
  • USA made
  • 3 ways to release solution
  • Safe for pets and people

     With such a busy schedule you may not have had time to properly potty train your dog. In turn, this means that accidents may happen while you are gone. Thankfully, to take care of this mess and let you get that security deposit back there is the Simple Solution stain cleaner. Inside of this product, there is pro-bacteria and enzymes that will work together to remove odors and stains. This powerful formula is available in either original or scented cleaner. However, it does not matter which one you choose because both will defeat odors and stains from urine, feces, and vomit.

     What really makes this USA made cleaner unique is the sprayer located on the bottle. Instead of just 1 general action it actually can be modified to have 3. First, you can set the bottle up to release the solution in a foam form. This will let the enzymes get straight to work cleaning up the stain. Next, you can also set the bottle up to let the solution out in a stream, With this form, you can get deep into the stain and straight to the odors. Last, there is a mist release option. When using this form the solution can spread farther allowing you to easily cover a larger mess.

     With such a powerful formula you may be worried about its safety. Although, according to the company you do not have to worry. If you use the product as directed then you will have no issues with your pets or your roommates.

For more highly recommended pet cleaning products, check out Pet Friendly Cleaning Products.

Time Constraints:

     Class after class, assignment after assignment, shift after shift! As a student, there is always so much to do and definitely not enough time to do it in. Not to mention you also have to fit in social life and somewhat of a sleep schedule. Add a dog into this already crazy lifestyle and now you also have to find time to be home to feed them and let them out. Definitely will not want to oversleep now. Unfortunately, time is something that we can not add too or pause. We get 24 hours in a day and that is it.

     With so many tasks you may try to squeeze them all making you stressed and causing you to start to rush. In turn, this will make you work to finish and not worry about getting things done well. Also, while you are doing one task you will be worrying about everything else you have to do. This means that you will be distracted and not hearing important information. With all of this going on you are unable to live in the moment and time will slip away. Also, since you do not have the time and focus your school work could also diminish.

Amazon Basics Gravity Pet Waterer and Feeder
Benefits:
  • Low cost
  • Drops food/water to keep bowl full
  • Holds 1 gallon of water and 6lbs. of dry food
  • Removable lid on feeder
  • Leak prevention
  • Rubber feet
  • Dispenser comes apart for easy cleaning

     While you are busy on campus or elbows deep in online class papers, you may be worried that your dog is not getting enough water or food. It is not so easy to drop everything and run home especially when you live off campus. Well, thanks to the AmazonBasics’ waterer and feeder you will no longer have to worry. Both of these dispensers actually use gravity to drop food or water into the bottom bowl when needed. This will allow your dog to get some food or a drink during the day no matter what the time.

     The waterer can hold up to 1 gallon of water and has a special connector to keep anything from leaking. This is a bit different from the feeder which can hold up to 6 pounds of dry food. To fill this dispenser up all you have to do is remove the top and scoop the food in. To make sure that your pet will not run low on food the top is clear. This will allow you to see the level or water of food inside with just a glance.

     If your dog is a messy drinker or eater do not worry. On the bottom of both of these dispensers, there are rubber feet to keep it still. This will prevent it from sliding around and being knocked over. With these feet, messes may be prevented on the floor but over time you may notice that the bowl itself needs to be cleaned. Thankfully, to help you do this the dispenser comes apart. This will allow you to hand wash each part fully making sure no kibble is left stranded.