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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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