4 Things To Consider Before Adopting A Puppy In College

By Katherine Gardner on July 1, 2016

I am a dog lover. I’m the type of person who will squeal with excitement if I spot someone walking his or her dog past me, as I’m sure any dog lover would. I’m also the type of person who has gone to a dog park without having a dog of my own just to try and pet some of the puppies that are there (I would advise against this strategy, it gets a little weird when people ask you which dog is yours).  Although my love for these four-legged fur balls is unconditional, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration before giving one a forever home, especially if you’re a busy college student who is just trying to make it through finals week without overdosing on caffeine in the library. Here are a few things to consider before making the decision to adopt:

Dogs are expensive – This should go without saying. Depending on the type of dog you decide to adopt, the annual cost of owning a dog could range anywhere from 500 to 2,000 dollars according to peteducation.com. There are many expenses that must be considered before going out and finding a puppy to take home like the cost of food, toys, training, and check ups at the vet, all of which are necessary to ensure your dog has a healthy and happy life.

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Dogs need a lot of attention and exercise – Unlike their stealthy and cunning nemesis the cat, dogs needs copious amounts of their owner’s undivided attention in order to lead a happy life. This is one of the most important factors to consider before making the decision to adopt because so many people underestimate the amount of time and attention that dogs truly need on a daily basis. According to dogtime.com, most dog breeds require a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day, and puppies and young dogs require even more time than that. Without proper daily exercise, your hyper puppy will most likely take out his or her pent up energy on everything you hold dear to your heart. In addition to potentially destroying your home out of boredom, without proper training, exercise, and socialization your dog could quickly turn into a nipping and barking nightmare.

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Puppies need to be socialized and trained (Or they will turn into furry monsters) – If you are dead-set on adopting a puppy into your life, socialization and training are VERY important if you want to your puppy to grow up to be a friendly and outgoing dog. Socializing your puppy means allowing him or her to have positive experiences with other dogs as well as humans and other animals. Lack of socialization can lead to a more aggressive and timid dog, which is never a good time for any party involved, be it dog or human. In addition to socialization, puppies need to be trained on a daily basis to ensure that they will have good manners when they grow up and will not terrorize any guests you wish to have over in the future. Nipping is cute when they’re five pounds, but it’s not so cute when they’re eighty pounds and capable of tearing open an artery.

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Your roommates need to be on board – As stated above, taking care of a dog, especially if you are a college student, isn’t easy and takes a lot of time and dedication. If your dog isn’t properly trained or if it isn’t getting enough exercise it might not always be a joy to be around, which could cause tensions to run high between you and the people you’re living with. Making sure all of your roommates are on board is imperative when making your final decision of whether or not to adopt a dog.

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Every puppy deserves the best life they can possibly have. They are furry bundles of pure love and happiness and bring so much joy to people’s lives. If you are lucky enough to truly care for and love a puppy properly, then, by all means, go and rescue as many as you can and give them all of the love they deserve! But if you are basing your decision to adopt purely on a whim without fully understanding what owning a dog entails, I strongly encourage you to rethink what you are getting yourself into. Every puppy grows up into a dog, and that dog is going to be around for a long time! It’s up to you to give it the life and the love it deserves.

 

I am a junior at Florida State University and I am majoring in editing, writing and media. I'm a gluten-intolerant minimalist who has a passion for reading, writing and cleaning.

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