Galen asked in PetsDogs · 10 years ago

Owning a dog while in college: Can you make it work?

I am currently a sophomore in school and I wanted to get a puppy either in spring or summer of 2011 (end of junior year). I have owned several dogs before which all live at home with my parents so I know all about chewing, exercise requirements, training, vet bills, food costs, and everything else that goes into owning a dog.

I am also thinking of starting my own online natural pet store this summer because I know a lot about dog nutrition and believe strongly in holistic foods, that way when when i graduate I can open an actual store. No matter what my career will involve animals...

I go to college in a small city and am getting an apartment next fall about 15 mins away in a duplex that allows pets with a decent sized yard. I love to exercise and will easily be able to have my dog join me on my daily runs. Since I am half way done with school I have taken most of my harder classes in order to make junior and senior year quite a bit easier. I will probably end up only having classes on tuesday and thursdays and the other days free.

I'm trying to get a job at one of the doggie day cares near me (which shouldn't be too hard because I have great references from a dog training facility that I interned this past summer) so that when my dog is old enough he gets to attend for free. Plus it would be a fun job to get to spend my days playing with lots of dogs.

Cost wise my parents are paying for school including most of my living expenses so most of the money I make can easily go towards my dog which I figured would be about $1000-$2000 per year in expenses.

Anyone have any experiences they can share about having a dog in college?

or any opinions?

It would be next spring or summer when I would only have three classes for the entire semester so very easy and i will have lots of free time for housebreaking and training of a puppy.

Also... I'm not much for partying, I've been there done that and it's gotten pretty old

10 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    I can share my experience :-)

    I am a junior and I graduate Spring 2011. Last June my bf surprised me with an 8 week old puppy. Luckily I had a lot of time for her because that Summer I only worked 10 hours a week in an animal cognition lab. Having lots of time to potty train a puppy for those first few months is key because ever since August hit I am taking a full schedule of classes and working 30 hours per week. Even with being this busy I find that I am still able to spend lots of quality time and excercise time with my now 11 month old puppy. I don't think you would have a problem caring for a dog at all. If I am able to do it and do it well, then surely you will do great!

    I agree with your view of partying! Been there done that. It's old news. I'm focused on my future now more than ever.

    Good luck with a puppy! I think you will be a great owner. I definitely recommend a dog to college students because they are just such great company. I don't know what I would do without my pup :-)

    Source(s): Just for fun here are pics of my dog as a very young puppy and one of her now. Her name is Jade and she is a Beagle-mix.
  • 10 years ago

    If you can afford the dog itself and all costs associated then i can see you making it work. However you DO have to consider that at some point you will have to take over paying for yourself (apartment, food, etc.)

    When that happens you WILL be working longer days. You will not be playing with dogs all day forever. You will likely need to have a regular nine to five job with better pay. Your business will not start out immediately out of school and may not even kick off on the internet.

    Just things you DO have to consider.

    I would check with the parents to make sure THEY don't mind pitching in just in case your plans fall through with the job or your business. Other than that, i say you definitely have the potential to make having a dog work.

    If you where a freshman, newly out on your own it would be another story.

    Source(s): Owned by Mutt
  • 4 years ago

    Oh my what a problem! Leaving your dog or an adopted dog over breaks with a friend could give them feelings of abandonment which is hard to break once you come back. Since you are going to a school with a vet degree, they may have a shelter themselves - check and see. But talk to the various shelters and see what their policies are about fostering and if you can trade in a dog with behavior problems that your land lady is unhappy about. You will probably have to have written permission from her to become a foster parent. The attachment issue is a problem. So many people out of work are giving up their animals and fewer people are adopting, so animals are staying longer. Which means you will have them longer, and become more attached. That doesn't mean you can't adopt them, but that brings up the issue of what to do with them over breaks. I would guess driving is out of the question. How long is your flight? Some airlines used to let small dogs in the people carriers board with the dogs. You know the carriers that look like purses. But you would have to have a dog that doesn't bark. But I suspect you want a bigger dog. But you would also have to check the airline you fly. There really is no great answer except driving which seems to be out or you wouldn't be flying. So next best would be fostering, if your emotions can take it. Maybe volunteering at the shelter would give you exposure to dogs and taking them for walks without all the other problems. I know I would be lost without my dogs. I have never been without them except for vacations and I would rather stay home than go without them. I had to go take care of my son on crutches who was very unsteady. It was to hot to leave the dogs outside all day. I had this deep pit in my heart and stomach, I missed them so much. As soon as my son was stable on the crutches, I had my other son bring the dogs to me. Everybody laughs at how attached I am to my dogs and me to them, except my oldest son who is the same way with his dogs. So I know how much you miss your dog. Good Luck and hope you find a solution. And congratulations on being mature and having a good work ethic. You don't have to party and drink to have a good time! I had a great time in college without doing either, had lots of friends, and got good grades. You will be a very good vet I'm sure.

  • scrgrl
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Many people have dogs in college. You seem to know what is required to be a dog owner. Many people work full time and have dogs. I think the only thing would be if the dog became unhealthy. Would you have the funds to do what was needed? Again, many people who live from week to week have dogs.

    I would honestly recommend a shelter dog. While puppies are cute, I believe they require 24/7 care and have more of a chance than an adult to have health issues to sort out.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    sounds like you have a lot of knowledge and a dog would be lucky to spend it's life with you...and if you are dedicated (as it sounds like you are) then yes, you can make it work...i am a full time college student, work part time and homeschool my kids and i have four dogs all of whom have great lives and great training, get enough exercise and are happy and i think you could pull it off ;-) congrats on making it so far in school and keep up the good work!!

  • 10 years ago

    The genuinly difficult part is when you graduate, and looking for and possibly moving cities for a new job. Housing is more difficult to find with a dog

  • 10 years ago

    Sounds like you have thought it all out and made a plan.

    Looks good to me.

  • 10 years ago

    Yes you can make it work and they are good for when you are stressed out!

  • 10 years ago

    sounds like you could make it work.

  • 10 years ago


Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.