College students, think twice before adopting a puppy

By Madison Day | Assistant News Editor

Many people know that having a dog is a very rewarding experience, and college students often feel a part of their life is missing without their family pet waiting for them when they get back to their apartments or houses. I mean how could you not? They’re cute, fuzzy and cuddly little guys who provide entertainment and a buddy at all times.

To fill this hole, students often rather impulsively, and without consultation with their parents, adopt puppies. Students should think twice before purchasing a furry friend. Although raising a puppy is a lot of fun, it also takes more time and money than one would think.

According to CNBC, the average cost of raising and caring for a dog throughout its lifetime — say 10 or so years — can cost upwards of $20,000, coming in at around $2,000 per year. So, if your parents aren’t willing to help you with the costs, a puppy may not be the best investment during your college years.

It’s not all about the money though. Like a baby, puppies need a lot of attention and time dedicated to them. They can’t just be locked up in their cage all day everyday while you’re off at class because they won’t be getting the day-to-day interaction they need to develop their puppy brains.

Puppies also should be walked every day and have to be let outside about every two hours. You can forget about sleeping until noon on the weekends. Your puppy will not patiently wait for you to get up — they’ll want to be let out and eat breakfast bright and early. You can forget about being out with your friends all night or studying for hours on end in Moody, because I can assure you their puppy bladders will not wait for you.

A friend of mine adopted a chocolate lab puppy his junior year of college without talking to his parents. When he finally broke the news to them before break, they informed him he wasn’t allowed to bring the puppy home with them, and they weren’t going to help him with any of the expenses — not something he was expecting. So, he had to start saving up his money to pay for the puppy’s expenses and add an additional cost of paying someone to care for him during breaks.

After purchasing puppies and facing the reality of raising one — time, money and a little loss of freedom — many students end up having to give their little guy to back a pet store or shelter.

Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs and miss my sweet yellow lab back home more than you know. But most college students just don’t have the time, money and energy it takes to raise a puppy.

Now if you find yourself having an abundance of free time and an overload of cash, might as well get a puppy. However, if not, don’t make the 10 to 14 year commitment of purchasing a young furry friend just yet.