Should You Adopt A Pet In College? Part One: Your Living Space
How to know whether or not you should adopt a pet while you’re still in school.
College is a favorite time for many people because it is often their first real opportunity for living on their own, having their own space and making their own big decisions. Before college, you often have to check in with your parents and siblings before making major decisions, and many people find themselves living with significant others in the first few years out of college that they must share important decisions with. However, in college, you really can try out new things you never have before!
For some college students, getting the puppy or kitten that they’ve always wanted is often top on the to-do list as soon as they get their own apartment or living space. In fact, for those who have parents or siblings who may be allergic to pets, it may be the first opportunity they’ve ever had to get a pet of their own!
However, adopting a pet while you are in college can often be a risky move, especially if you are busy with classes, work and all of the other extracurricular activities that come with being a college student. Therefore, before you decide to run out and bring a dog or cat home to your brand new living space at school, make sure of the following:
You Live In A Permanent, Pet-Free Living Space
Many apartment buildings and dorm rooms will often have very strict rules regarding pets. Some many not allow pets at all, others have a weight limit set on the types of dogs and cats that are allowed in the building, and others may have no limits at all! Therefore, be sure to check on the specific restrictions within your building before bringing a pet into your home.
It is also a good idea to be settled in a long-term home or apartment when buying a pet, rather than a one-year dorm room or rental. Many college students move often from space to space and you never know the restrictions that your future residence may have towards pet. Therefore, you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you have to decide between a home and a pet. Wait until you are in a semi-permanent living space instead.
You Have Indoor and Outdoor Space For A Pet
Not every pet is meant to live in small spaces. For instance, large dogs like Golden Retrievers or Huskys need space to move around and explore. (Not to mention they take up a lot of room, and they can feel like they are constantly in the way if you try and fit them into a small space.) Therefore, make sure you are making your decision about what kind of pet to adopt based on the space that you live in. If you are in a small apartment, a small breed of dog or a cat may be best for you.
You should also factor in how much outdoor space you have available to you when deciding if you should adopt a dog. Not only do you need ample space to let your dog out to go to the bathroom and to play ball in, but some dogs like to run around in large spaces and stretch out their legs. (Greyhounds are just one example of dogs that need to go outside and run frequently as part of their DNA!) Therefore, if you are in a downtown area with little open outdoor space for dogs, you also may way to consider a pet that doesn’t have as demanding of space requirements of large, highly active dogs.
To learn more about whether or not you should adopt a pet while you are still in college, be sure to tune in later this week to read part two of our “Should You Adopt A Pet In College” blog. Our next blog will touch on the topics of financial requirements and personal schedule. Stay tuned!
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