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I will be going to university soon, and I plan on renting a place with a few friends rather than stay in dorms. I will in university for at least 5 years, but throughout I would either be at my parents place or my own place. At my parents, we have two dogs; a bichon, and an amstaff mix.

I am considering getting an italian greyhound. I love the breed and have for years, I think that it would be best if I had a smaller dog incase wherever I live doesn't allow big dogs. I know all about the breed and things like that, but I'm not sure if its the best time to get one. I know I will be busy studying, going to class, and working, but I want my own dog so that I will be motivated to get up early, exercise and have a little best friend to help relieve my stress!

I will either get an italian greyhound or a cat... Whats your opinion?

*If you think it is a good idea for me to get a puppy, when should I? First year, second, third, fourth or fifth?
 

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I personally wouldn't get one going into it, (maybe a cat if you really need companionship) UNLESS you are really willing to put the time into it (especially in the winter), I know when i went to college i really couldn't have managed it with the amount of work i had to put into school, but who knows maybe you will. I don't really know the temperament of those Italian greyhounds so i don't know about the age thing, my Australian cattle dog is about 2 and bounces off the walls and my other mix is 1 and calm as any dog I've ever seen. I personally wouldn't use the dog to be your motivation to get up but i guess if it works for you ha ha. Anyways best of luck on whatever choice you make. There are plenty of people on this forum who i am sure can give you better advice than me.
 

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Getting a dog to motivate you really doesn't work...that's why it's important people get a dog that fit their lifestyle. I absolutely wouldn't do it. So much changes during college and if your friends and you have a falling out (and trust me, that's very likely) then what will you do? You're going to have to find new roommates who don't mind your dog and aren't allergic. I really don't think it's fair to the dog. When you say your motivations are all about you (getting up, exercise, stress relief) and nothing about the dog itself, that concerns me.
 

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Definitely don't get a puppy your first semester of college! Those are both two giant, GIANT adjustments to make to your lifestyle. Puppies are really stressful and they take up a whole lot of time. And you don't know yet how your life schedule will be affected by the transition to college. Give it some time, see if you appreciate the flexibility of going out with your friends when you want/when they're going out, take advantage of life. Get used to college, and then see if an IG will fit into your life as it exists.

If you are wanting soft fluffy things for stress relief--and I'm not gonna lie, that is a very, very big reason I got Calypso--either visit your family dogs (it sounds like you will be in town?) or volunteer with a shelter or rescue group.

If you want motivation to get up early, take an 8 AM class. ;)
 

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I got my dog second year of college, it was much easier because I knew what to sorta expect from my first year. I live on campus though in a dorm with my dog. I'll just say its been no walk in the park to have a dog these couple of years but I found it worth it.

You just have to remember that you choose a dog, there is going to be a lot more sacrifices. Luckily, because all my dogs have friends, we understand our limitations but your dog will require your time when other fun events come into play and you have to choose. Your dog will depend on you and its your job as the owner to be there.

I suggest waiting and getting a feel to your school life. Go out with friends, explore, have fun, be stupid or whatever, but if you're still interested in getting a dog just understand that the dog's responsibility relies on you.

I wouldn't have it any other way, I love having a dog in college, even after a bad day I have a happy face waiting for me when I get back. But I also have to get up earlier than I used to before classes to make sure she is set before classes. I had a few added expenses like her food budget and her medicine. Going out with friends needed to wait.

Think long and hard about it
 

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I will be going to university soon, and I plan on renting a place with a few friends rather than stay in dorms.
You didn't say how your friends would feel about you getting a pet (dog or cat, but I'll say "dog" for the sake of brevity). Truthfully, if you're renting a place with friends, it's every bit their decision as it is yours. Do they all like dogs and would be willing to participate in training? Would the dog like all of them? Would they be having parties or bringing over people who knew how to properly treat animals? Will there ever be intoxicated people around the dog?

I've lived in a college town, and the local shelter almost never adopted animals to any student living with a group of other people. There were so many risks, too many stories of parties getting wild and animals getting hurt, animals being abandoned when students decided not to live together anymore. Even if you're the most responsible owner you can be, you're having to put your faith in your roommates that they are all equally responsible. That's a level of responsibility that they may not want but a shelter will expect in order to adopt any animal out to you.

How much money can you budget for a pet, including vet costs? Can you afford insurance considering your dog would be living in a high-traffic environment with any number of potential items to chew or swallow?

Animals are wonderful companions, and it's awesome that you want to give a home to an animal who could use a caring owner. But the dog will need you; your companion will need training, grooming, proper nutrition, a regular routine, and a comfortable and safe environment.

Give it time. Settle into school, save accordingly, and ensure you have the right home environment for a pet.
 

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I got a puppy in my 3rd year of college.

I wouldn't wish that on anyone else. It was HARD. And expensive. Like, really really "I wanna give up and curl up in a ball and cry" hard. And for the first year and a half, I lived with 3 other roommates too.

Not ideal. Really. Just wait, you'll be far better for it.
 

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I got a puppy in my 3rd year of college.

I wouldn't wish that on anyone else. It was HARD. And expensive. Like, really really "I wanna give up and curl up in a ball and cry" hard. And for the first year and a half, I lived with 3 other roommates too.

Not ideal. Really. Just wait, you'll be far better for it.
Agreed^.

A dog is a pretty big stretch in school. I got my first adult rescue years back and I was in school. That was pretty brutal at times. I can't even imagine the kind of stress a puppy during school would produce.

Some folks just need to experience something themselves and don't put a lot of stock in anecdotal advice or others' experiences. That's totally ok, I am 100% that way too. But let me tell you, as someone who does indeed think like that, I wish I would have listened to others more, at least on this matter. (FWIW, I hardly EVER say, "gee, I really should have listened to XYZ after all," so that ought to tell you something!)
 
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Agreed^.

A dog is a pretty big stretch in school. I got my first adult rescue years back and I was in school. That was pretty brutal at times. I can't even imagine the kind of stress a puppy during school would produce.

Some folks just need to experience something themselves and don't put a lot of stock in anecdotal advice or others' experiences. That's totally ok, I am 100% that way too. But let me tell you, as someone who does indeed think like that, I wish I would have listened to others more, at least on this matter. (FWIW, I hardly EVER say, "gee, I really should have listened to XYZ after all," so that ought to tell you something!)
Yup. Especially considering that's such a tumultuous time to begin with. Having a puppy while being a full-time student is majorly stressful enough, so just wait until life throws you the inevitable curveball. All the stress, anxiety, and general malaise is amplified a thousand times over. Trust me. And of course, it would happen at the worst time.

This past fall, my reproductive organs had a little whoopsies. Fixing/deleting said "whoopsies" had some complications and I ended up in the hospital on and off for 3 weeks. Naturally, I couldn't really go to work AND school during all this. But I still had the dog to take care of, so I had to make a choice and ended up withdrawing from the semester so I could focus on working in between hospital and doctors visits. It was past the university's cutoff date, so I wasn't eligible for any tuition refund. So, that was about $8,000 completely down the drain with no credits to show for it.

Obviously, I'm not saying that you're going to end up in the same situation. But life has a funny way of getting in the way and having another life that you're responsible for complicates that. Big time.
 

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You could, but like others said, it could make life difficult and expensive.

I got a pup during summer right after my last year of undergrad, before I started grad school. But I still live at home and my parents were happy to help out. They also wanted me to have this dog so I wouldn't be hiking alone. So there was always somebody home I could trust to watch him.

Another perk to living at home is reduced cost of living. They don't charge me rent and I don't use any more electricity than they do on their own (I'm a bit of a minimalist and very energy conscious). So my part time jobs allow me to pretty much take care of the rest of my personal expenses, including pet care, and that's a lot because I have a LOT of animals (3 cats, 3 dogs and a handful of reptiles).

That's on top of paying for gas/car maintenance, research expenses for my thesis, food, any recreational activities etc. It does add up. And you never know when an unexpected expense will come up. Shortly after I got my puppy, he started cocking his head. He had fox tails stuck in one and it was $200 to remove them. Or when I took my car in for an oil change and they had to go and tell me I needed new brakes and a fuel filter too. I'm lucky I get grants that pay for my tuition, and this year I've actually made a profit being a student because I received a $3800 grant. I'm applying for more. Side note: Grants are your friend. Apply for ALL the grants!.

I don't think I would have gotten a dog if I was not in the situation I was in with supportive parents. Remember that if your not living at home, a dog can really add to your expenses even more, beyond just basic care and vet.

A lot of land lords require a pet deposit, and an increased rent fee each month to keep a dog. You might have a hard time finding a place to rent period with a dog. I went with my boyfriend to Utah while he took a summer course at Southern Utah University and I took my dog. It was a bugger trying to find a place to stay. College towns are not always the most dog friendly places. Real estate doesn't like dogs and students living together...It suggests disaster and lost profits.

If you decide to have roommates to reduce housing expenses, remember that they will be around your dog. They may not treat your dog the way you like him treated. They may be irresponsible and leave the door open so your dog escapes. They may not be on board with helping care for your dog when you aren't there, so you might not be able to count on somebody else letting him out to potty or playing with him. If the dog causes problems in the house and chews on stuff or pees in the house, it can create major roommate drama.
 

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I got Molly right before the start of my 4th year in a 5-year program. I couldn't have handled it without my boyfriend sharing in the responsibilities, and the 1-month break between classes that I spent raising her and adjusting her to her new home. We decided we wanted a dog 2 years before the timing was right to actually get one, and even then I wish I'd spent more time preparing (Why didn't I find this forum before I got her?! Reviewing my first posts here is almost painful).

She's a year old now, and I'm still nervous about how difficult it'll be with my senior project and (hopefully) part-time job this fall.

It would be awesome for you if there's a time in your school career when you have the proper time and resources for a dog. Molly has brought as much happiness into my life as she has stress (okay, more happiness :) ). Just make sure you prepare yourself. It's not uncommon for living situations to change unpredictably when you're first starting out. I'd recommend spending at least one year getting acclimated to everything before adding a pet.
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