By Michelle Perez | Reporter
The first time I held my little pup was one of the happiest moments in college, right until he decided it was the perfect place to use the bathroom. Right then, I knew he was a keeper.
Dogs have always been known to be man’s best friend; however, they are most certainly not a college student’s best friend. According to the Huffington Post, having a dog can improve heart health, help you lose weight and even improve your social life. But according to my experience, this is just not the case.
Dogs are known to make people more active and fit. Although many don’t realize it, having to potty train your new pup may have you running up and down the stairs at your apartment complex or in and out of your back yard. Having a puppy with loads of energy forces you to walk or play with them. In doing so, extra calories are burned. A 2010 study conducted by the Sinclair School of Nursing and Research Center on Human Animal Interaction found that public housing residents who walked a dog five times a week for a year lost an average of 14.4 pounds. So, if your training for that summer body, a pup may be right for you.
Although you may get your exercise in for the day with your new puppy, exercise with caution — out of the 86,000 falls per year that are caused by pets, 88 percent are caused by dogs, according to the Heart Foundation. These injuries can range from a small bruise to a pretty severe knee injury (learned that one the hard way).
Sleep is something that college students worship at any time of the day. When getting my pup, that privilege was taken away from me. I am a month in as a new dog mom and have consistently slept for about four to five hours a night. I guess you could say I’m a bit tired. Stress, anxiety and very little patience began to creep in, and with every “accident,” a new gray hair appeared.
According to AKC Pet Insurance, “The cost of your new puppy takes a breeder’s time, resources and commitment into effect and can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.”
For many college students like myself, this can pose a challenge. Although this may be an inconvenience, it can also become something that can make it impossible to care for your pooch. Working over 30 hours a week and maintaining my pup has been a considerable challenge.
Lastly, having a pup requires all of your time. From primary care to training, your little dog will take responsibility and dedication.
So, if you’re thinking about getting a new pup, remember about all of the potty trips in the freezing rain, sleepless nights and advice from mom (they know what they’re talking about). If you just got a puppy like me, remember that you are not alone, the puppy stage will not last forever, and you will soon be reunited with sleep.