College Pets: Benefits and Leg Problems

Biology senior Lydia Waner and her crested gecko, Ralph. (Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)

Coming home after an exhausting day of long lectures with a mile-long to-do list can be a defeat. Throwing away your backpack and sinking into the couch, wondering when the weekend is coming, you’re then greeted by a wagging tail and a lick in the face.

Having a pet lend a fuzzy ear to listen to or a feathered wing to cry on can brighten up any gloomy day. How sad can you be looking into a puppy’s eyes!

(Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)
Sophomore finance student Avery Evins and her dog, Blaze. (Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)

Pets provide opportunities for new activities like training and outdoor adventures. From dogs and cats to birds and lizards, taking care of an animal is a great way to improve your well-being.

However, as fun as it sounds, there are a few things to consider before adopting a college pet.

First, make sure your location allows pets. Some apartments or houses may have a no-pets policy, while others only allow small animals. Asking your property manager should be high on the list of things to do before saying yes to this Goldendoodle.

(Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)
Boots, the cat, all comfy in his sweater. (Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)

Money is another factor to consider. Buying a pet and taking it to the vet on a regular basis is no small feat, and college students aren’t exactly known for making bank. The list of things your pet will need is long: food, shelter, medication, emergency care, pet insurance, grooming, toys, etc. Your home or apartment may also require a monthly fee to own a pet in case it damages the property.

(Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)
Joey the guinea pig. (Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)

Your time as a student is scattered between schoolwork, jobs, extracurricular activities, and socializing with friends. Most pets require a lot of time and attention. A pet that hangs out in a terrarium most of the time might be better suited to someone with a busy schedule, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still need love and attention. .

Your pet may need training, daily exercise and entertainment to stay mentally stimulated. Even the small task of taking your dog for a bathroom break takes time, so consider renting a house with a fenced-in yard if you’re worried about having to go outside during a Zoom call.

(Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)
Biology senior Lydia Waner and her crested gecko, Ralph. (Kourtney Rumback | College Media Group)

Also check with your housemates before adopting – they might not be comfortable sharing their living space with Jerry the tarantula. If you’re not an animal lover, it could also affect where you live while in college. If you don’t want to rent a property that has recently had pets, be sure to view the property ahead of time or make it clear to the property manager that you do not want a property that has housed pets – no one wants leftover cat odor!

While it’s easy to see an adorable animal in need of a home and rush to adopt it, make sure you have the resources to care for it before you get too impulsive. After checking this list, a pet could be the “purring” way to make college even better!

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