Dog Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to college Fall 2016, and I really want a dog. For my first year, I'll only be taking maybe 4-5 classes and maybe hopefully be able to pick up a part time job. I'll be living in a dog friendly apartment. I'll be in a close proximity to a dog park. 2nd and 3rd year I'll be enrolling in the vet tech program which im not exactly sure how that will go, if it will be a full time campus thing or not. If so, I will hire a dog walker. I've never had much of a social life considering I'm pretty introverted.

Is it doable? Or would it stress both of us out more than needed?

Keep in mind I'd never get a dog if I would not be able to meet it's needs. I just want to hear some advice or input.

I would really like to adopt, but as for breed specifics I've been looking at whippets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
I'm going to college Fall 2016, and I really want a dog. For my first year, I'll only be taking maybe 4-5 classes and maybe hopefully be able to pick up a part time job. I'll be living in a dog friendly apartment. I'll be in a close proximity to a dog park. 2nd and 3rd year I'll be enrolling in the vet tech program which im not exactly sure how that will go, if it will be a full time campus thing or not. If so, I will hire a dog walker. I've never had much of a social life considering I'm pretty introverted.

Is it doable? Or would it stress both of us out more than needed?

Keep in mind I'd never get a dog if I would not be able to meet it's needs. I just want to hear some advice or input.

I would really like to adopt, but as for breed specifics I've been looking at whippets.
College is a pretty big change for most people. I would highly recommend you wait until you're done school to get a dog but at the very least I would suggest waiting until after your first year of school is done so you can adjust without the extra stress of having to care for a dog, also that way you will have a much better idea on your schedule and life in college, that way you can accurately judge if you'll be able to care for a dog and what kind of dog might best suit you and your living environment.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,240 Posts
Honestly, I would recommend holding off and at least getting into school and doing a little bit to see what your time looks like. I got my first dog in college and if I am being honest, she didn't have the life she deserved. I got better when I got more dog friendly friends, but really, it wasn't a good life to raise a dog in. I would get a year in, land on your feet, and then revisit it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
Having a dog often times tends to be more work than you planned, even for experienced dog owners. I honestly would advise against it. I would start college first and really get a feel for your schedule, stabilize yourself and then think about adding a dog at that time.

Being young with a dog isn't always glorious. There are a lot of responsibilities you're going to have and freedoms you won't have that your friends will, because you have a living, breathing animal depending on you. It can be a lot, especially when the dog is young.

I think you have great intentions I just think you should wait unless you have a lot of family support.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
I had 2 dogs before college, and although I don't regret getting them, I do regret the timing. I would advise waiting. College and making ends meet is hard enough, adding dogs into it at least the first couple of years just isn't that smart. It made things rather difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
I'm in college doing my research thesis and will start working full time next year. Luckily, I don't actually need to attend uni for my thesis so I've been staying home for the whole year. Despite that, most of my free time goes into caring for my puppy. It's definitely a lot of work but I think you will be even busier when you start working. Then there's the problem with getting married and having children. There's always obstacles in life and you just got to think how you can work around the problems. Having said that, I agree with others about waiting until you have settled into college life.

I'm living at home until marriage so I have my family to help me out when I need to go out for a few hours. If you have an adult dog, potty training is so much easier so I think your workload might be lighter and if you get a dog that already knows some basic commands, that is even better. I need to keep an eye out on my dog all the time so that he doesn't poo in the wrong place. Like you, I don't really have a social life so aside from one date a week with my bf, the rest of the time is spent on my dog. I fit my study in during his napping and sleeping time (4-5hrs) and playing time (1-2hrs). The rest of the time, I'm either taking him out for a walk, training, playing or supervising him so he doesn't pee/poo in the wrong place.

However, if you are living by yourself, then you also need to consider the house chores. I think you will definitely be able to work something out as there are people working full time caring for their dog to the best of their ability. Quality time is better than quantity but I definitely agree that dogs take up a huge amount of time if you really care/are concerned about spending time with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,485 Posts
Coming from a current college student, I would definitely say you should wait until after your settled into college life. While I don't agree that getting a dog while in college is a bad idea, I think it is a bad idea to get a dog before you move.

4-5 classes a semester doesn't sound bad, especially if you've just left high school, because you're thinking "I had eight classes that met every day, and I handled that just fine!" The reality here is that college professors expect a lot more from you than any high school teacher ever did, and they (for the most part) don't care that you have other classes, or a job, or whatever else taking up your time. A lot of professors won't give deadline extensions for any reasons, though some are more reasonable.

The same with a job. For the most part, they don't care if you're in college. You'll find some bosses that are great about working around your class schedules, and others who aren't.

Using personal experience to highlight my point, let me tell you about one specific day from my semester. Someone on second shift called out, and I had to take their shift. So I went to classes from 12pm-7pm, worked from 7pm-8am (even though I was only supposed to work 10-6), and had classes the next day from 8am-2pm. That meant going almost nonstop for 26 hours. Could you imagine if I had been trying to squeeze feeding, walking, and caring for a dog into all that?

You might be thinking that's nothing like your situation, but believe me, you'll be amazed how quickly your whole schedule fills up and you're writing sleep (and anything else that takes "free time") off as a luxury that first year in college. It's always hard, but when you're still adjusting to it, it's just that much harder. You don't want to do anything to make that transition even harder on yourself, trust me.

My advice is to go to college, wait at least a few months, get into a set routine and figure things out for yourself, and then look back into getting a dog.

I have a question, do you plan on having roommates? Because if so, that's a whole other thing entirely that complicates the situation.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
I agree that you should wait until you've settled into your college life before taking on the sole responsibility of a dog. A great time to bring home a dog would be at the end of your freshman year at the start of your long summer vacation.

In the meantime, there are many ways to get your dog fix and gain a lot of hands-on experience. You could start up a dog walking or sitting business and make some money. You could also volunteer for your local shelter. If you're itching to have a dog the spring semester of your freshman year, you could volunteer to foster a dog. Then you'll get a chance to experience what having your own dog might be like without the long term commitment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Other posters have made a lot of great points, but I'd also throw in there that dogs can be costly. It's not just the day to day expenses--food, basic vet care (shots, heartworm medicine etc.)--but those unexpected costs that can crop up suddenly. If you're paying for college and an apartment and only have a part time job, a $500 bill suddenly appearing out of nowhere (and that's not a hard number to run up with a veterinary emergency) can cause real problems.

A lot of colleges now have pet therapy programs that are open to any student, whether he/she lives on campus or not. That would be another way, beyond the ones already suggested, to get your canine fix without taking on a dog right away. As everyone else suggested, I'd really consider strongly waiting until you find out how much time you really have in college before getting a dog. You may be more pressed for time than you think, and dogs just can't wait until you have a free moment for them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
I hate to agree, because having a dog in your life is awesome, but I think you should wait. I came very close to getting one while I was in college, and I'm so glad I waited. I was absolutely swamped with work, there is no way I would have been able to give appropriate care.

I also agree with @Tilden about cost. Aside from the purchase price of my Aussie, unexpected medical stuff does crop up. Three days after I got him, he had an ear infection. He got bit at the dog park and we had to take a trip to the emergency Vet. Then there is food, toys, shots, flea/tick treatment. It adds up in a hurry. I think if I were to total the amount I spent on my dogs in a year, I would probably cry.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top