What to Consider

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Puppies are delightful and they are also work. Owning a dog requires one to two decades of commitment so a dog owner must be ready to dedicate sufficient time, money and energy in those upcoming years. Being in college poses unique challenges to having a pet so before finding yourself a furry friend, consider whether you are suitable for a college canine.

What is Your Living Situation?

The most convenient living spaces for dog owners are houses, especially ones with a backyard. The second best option is an apartment that allows dogs. Without a backyard as a playground and bathroom for the dog, you would need to take the dog out for walks and bathroom breaks more frequently. If you live in a dorm, you cannot have a dog and need to wait until your living situation changes.

Can You Afford a Dog?

ASPCA estimates that the yearly cost of owning a small dog is about $420, medium breeds $620 and large breeds $780. These figures include food, veterinary visits, toys and license, but exclude initial costs such as spaying/neutering.

Do You Have Enough Time and Energy?

A dog needs walking on a daily basis. PetMD suggests that dogs need between 30 minutes to two hours of exercise per day, depending factors such as breed, size and health. Every dog is different and veterinarians can provide exercise suggestions for specific dogs.

According to Banfield Pet Hospital, owners should also  brush their dog’s teeth once a day. Dogs are not immune from developing gum disease and cavities. Though the process should not take long, it requires patience and persistence, especially when getting used to.

Keep Your Canine in Mind

Being a proper dog owner means keeping your friend in mind. Living situation, finance, and pet health aside, you must also evaluate whether or not you can accept that you will be responsible for your animal. For example, if you like to travel, you must figure out what to do with your pet while you are away. If you sometimes skip meals, you must still make sure that your dog gets his or her proper nutrition.

SOURCES:

“General Dog Care.” ASPCA. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/general-dog-care (accessed June 1, 2014).

“Exercising with Your Dog 101.” Pet Health & Nutrition Information & Questions. http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_exercising_with_your_dog101 (accessed June 1, 2014).

“Teeth Cleaning For Dogs – Brush Dogs Teeth.” Banfield Pet Hospital. http://www.banfield.com/pet-health-resources/preventive-care/dental/do-i-need-to-brush-my-dog-s-teeth (accessed June 1, 2014).

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