Is college the time to own a pet?

There are some things you should consider before taking in a companion

Madison Diemert
Staff Writer

Everyone wants a pet. They’re cute and cuddly (or sometimes not) and can be great companions. Especially while you’re trying to get through something like college. But if you’re a college student, is it really a good idea to get a pet?

First, it depends on what kind of pet you want. Dogs and cats are among the most common and a lot of people already know how to take care of them from past experience. But then there are other types of animals like rabbits, snakes, turtles, birds, etc. that are a little less common. Animals like these can be great to have in your life. But they’re much different from cats and dogs.

You need to take the time to learn about these animals, even if you think you know what’s best for them. A little research goes a long way, but sometimes college students don’t have enough time to do the research. In this case, you should definitely wait to buy or adopt a pet.

Then, there is the fact that all pets need TLC, even animals like snakes or lizards. You have to be willing and able to take time out of your day to care for them. But if you don’t think you have enough time, you probably shouldn’t get a pet.

For example, you should be taking your dog out frequently for walks; but if you have class all day and work all night, you won’t be able to do this. Therefore, your dog will suffer. This also goes for other animals that might not need lots of exercise, but a lot of human interaction or upkeep.

If you are so busy that you forget to clean your cat’s litter box, it can start to smell, and your cat will get sick and start having to use the bathroom elsewhere—which is not a mess anyone wants to clean up.

You should also think about the environment in which you live and if it would be good for an animal. If you live with many other roommates and your home is loud and bustling, it might not be a good place for animals to live. Many animals need their own downtime where they can relax and sleep, and if there’s too much going on they can get stressed out. But if your home is too quiet, this can also be a bad thing.

If you or your roommates use a lot of chemicals to clean, or use candles or fragrance sprays, that might also not be a good choice. Many animals like dogs, cats, or rabbits can be very sensitive to odors and get sick.

Lastly, you should think about yourself. What does your home or apartment say about pets? Are they allowed? Is there a fee? If the fee is too much for you to afford, or the apartment has strict rules, then having a pet probably isn’t an option for you.

Your roommates should also come into play when you are deciding if you want a pet. What are their opinions on the pet you want? Are they allergic? You should always keep them in mind when deciding on something as serious as adopting a pet.

Ultimately, the choice is yours on whether or not you should have a pet in college. Just keep these things in mind and hopefully you can make a more educated choice when the time comes.

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