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What pet ideal for college student?

January 20th, 2006, 12:11 PM
I am a college student living in a small apartment looking for a dog but I have never had one before and don't know which breed(s) would be best. I work with small children (ages 2-6) and would like to bring my pet occassionally, I will travel a lot and would like a dog that gets along well in strange environments, is very easy going, and would be allright in a small apartment in a city with a lot of places I could walk it, something i could do daily. Any suggestions?

January 20th, 2006, 12:26 PM
College students getting dogs doen't always work out well because of schedules and time off from school, going back home to a place where the dog may not be welcome. It happens far too often. Figure out all the things that could happen and see whether a dog would fit into all of them before you decide to get a dog.

January 20th, 2006, 01:03 PM
I agree with Stacey. Not that getting a dog while in school is always a bad thing, but sometimes its not feasible.

A dog is a commitment that lasts many years. Before you get a dog, think about the future, when you are no longer in school but in the workplace. What are you going to do if your work schedule keeps you away from home far too long for a dog to "hold it". Will you be able to have a dog sitter come in to let him/her out?

A dog is also an extra expense. I know when I was in school, it was difficult money wise. There are vet bills, training classes, supplies, toys and food.

I got my dog while I was in university. I must admit, there were times when it was difficult. Luckily, I lived at home with my parents who helped me out. My school schedule wasn't too bad either.

Having a dog, or any pet, is very rewarding, but can also be time consuming and it is always an extra expense. Like Stacey said, think about every possible scenario and see if you can make it work. If you have any doubt, I would wait untill you are in a more stable lifestage.

January 20th, 2006, 01:07 PM
You have to be more of a home-body, IMO, to be a good dog owner in school. And you have to plan on having this doggy no matter what.

I'm a student with two doggies (but my bf works full time too). I spend most of my time "off" at home (not at the library or out with my friends), so my doggies see a lot of me. Money is hard sometimes, but we manage because the dogs are a priority.

You have to be 100% sure your landlord is ok with dogs first, and make sure you agree on a size too (if he's thinking pom and you're thinking dane, it won't work).

All that said, I'd get a bigger, older doggy. The main thing in an apartment is the energy level. The higher energy, the more likely the dog will bark all day while you are gone (neighbors really don't like that).

January 20th, 2006, 01:46 PM
I agree with everything that's been said. It's not easy beeing a dog owner/student...but if you do most of your studying from home, it can be done (I'm also a full time student). The most important thing to do is to chose the breed of dog VERY carefully. A dog you might find 'cute' may have a personality that you don't like. Here's a website which'll give you an idea on the different personalities of each breed :

research carefully -- a dog is a comitment of 10 years (more or less, depending on the age of the doggy when you get it!!) I would recomend and easy going adult. Then, you won't have all the nightmares of puppy ownership (housebreaking, chewing, etc, etc) Here's a website with LOTS of WONDERFULL dogs up for adoption :

Good luck, and don't be shy to post questions on different breeds on this board...people here are very helpfull!

January 20th, 2006, 04:02 PM
My brother is now providing a loving home for the two cats that his boys adopted when they were in college. The boys are out of school and out of the house with wives and babies and doggies. But in the meantime there were some years when they couldn't be responsible pet owners.

Fortunately my brother and SIL just love the cats and they are greatly pampered and cared for. But unless you know what your situation will be in a few years you might want to wait until you have more time to devot to the dog. Less travel for instance. It will be quite a hassle and also an expense making sure he's cared for while you're away.

January 21st, 2006, 11:54 PM
I got a dog when I was a sophomore in college. And yes, I lived in a dorm, a 13' x 12' single room.

My first dog as a child was a maltese. I remembered her being well potty trained, loyal, and quiet, and non-shedding. So I purchased a maltese from a local breeder. and she was exactly that.. but even better. The puppy I picked out was the smallest of the litter she was reserved, but followed the big dogs around and was happy.

It turned out better than I had expected because Athena, whom I named after my school's computer lab, NEVER barked. I took her everywhere with me. I took her to all the big lectures. (she would just sleep through all of them in her carrier) We picniced in the lawn and ran around in the grassy campus when I had time between letures, When we returned to my room in the afternoon, she was knocked off to sleepy land while I did my homework, or hung out with friends in the dorm. I potty trained her to go on the puppy pads, which worked well because she was really small. But most of the times, she'd hold it till we went outside.. she rarely pooped in the room.

I guess it worked out because I was studying all the time. I had done all my partying Freshman year (we were on pass/fail), and had a lot of work to do come 2nd year, 3rd year...) During the summer I stayed in the dorms or went home with my dog, she fit right under my seat in the plane.

It really didn't matter where I went after college because she'd come with me. Later on she got used to traveling alot and she loved it. Going skiing, kayaking, the beach..
Once I had to leave school in an emergency, and my next door friend took care of her for the weekend. People always wanted to take care of her..

The only thing that was hard on me then was the vet bills. I got help from my parents for her neutering fees, other times I paid them with my credit card, and acquired a small debt, especially because her teeth were in such bad condition and she had to get surgery several times to remove several of them. Other things, like food, treats, other supplies came from my own allowance, which was not much...

I guess I also lucked out because I lived in a pet ok dorm. there were tons of cats running around the floor down stairs, a big samoyed who recycled things around campus, and 2 huskies near by. My boy friend, who is now my husband, lived off campus, and had a big golden retriever, so we spent a lot of time there too..

My case could be a special one, but just wanted to let you know that I understand how you feel... I know getting a pet just because you are lonely or bored is not justifiable, but if you are not a social butterfly, being in college, being far from family, and studying all the time, can be kind of be hard on your soul.

Just make sure you choose the dog with the right personality... I couldn't have lasted a week with my current cocker spaniel way..