Puppy Fever: Should You Give In?

Puppy fever can be strong and contagious. My Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feed have been full of puppy pictures lately. I feel like a lot of college students are taking the big step of being a pet owner. I’m one of those people—I gave in to puppy fever and am now the proud doggy mommy of a 5 ½-month-old bundle of joy named Ringo.

I don’t at all regret my decision to bring Ringo home, but now that I’ve had him for a few months I’ve realized there are a lot of things that I didn’t consider before I got him. I knew it would be a lot of responsibility, but I didn’t really know until I brought him home. The point of this article is in no way to deter college students from becoming pet owners. This is simply to make you aware of some of the obstacles and responsibilities you may not have considered.

1. Are your roommates on board?
My roommates were pretty excited about me bringing a puppy home, but I know that sometimes he drives them nuts. Before you bring your puppy home make sure you all agree on assigning responsibilities and remind them of how much work and patience raising a puppy is.

2. Do you have the money to bring home a puppy? 
I don’t even want to think about all the money I have spent since I’ve gotten Ringo, and I didn’t even have to pay to adopt him—my sister’s dog had puppies. You need to buy certain supplies to get started (kennel, leash, food/water bowl, toys, etc.) The vet fees for vaccinations aren’t cheap either—and it takes multiples visits. You may also want to think about whether or not your landlord charges a pet deposit.

3. Do you have to the time that a puppy needs and deserves?
It’s obvious that training a puppy takes a lot of time, but it goes beyond that. Your puppy needs you to be home sometimes. In college you generally don’t have a backyard and have to kennel your puppy while you’re gone, and I feel guilty leaving my puppy in there for long periods of time so sometimes that means dropping by the house to take him for a walk or stretch his legs before I have to leave again.

4. Are you patient enough?
I never knew a cute little thing could test my patience so much. Puppies try to chew on everything from your favorite shoes to your hair (yes, your hair). You need to understand that your puppy is a baby and needs time to learn but that he also needs your guidance—it’s a delicate balance.

5. If you go home for the summer are your parents cool with your new family member?
Okay, so I’m a little hypocritical on this one. Originally my parents told me I couldn’t bring another dog home (we already had two), but when my sister’s dog had puppies I couldn’t resist, and I persuaded them after showing them pictures chocked full of puppy-infused adorableness.

Bringing home a puppy can be challenging, to say the least, but it can also be very rewarding. Sure, my little guy can drive me nuts, but when he masters a new command or crawls up next to me on the couch and falls asleep it’s all worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever done something as rewarding as caring for another living creature. Plus, look at how cute he is—how could I not love him?

By: Samantha Latting


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