Student Pets Guide
Having the independence of a UGA college student, you can make big decisions like getting a pet. Whether you’ve loved animals your whole life or you’ve been waiting to leave home so you could have a furry friend, you should think critically before signing any adoption papers.
Are you Ready to Be a Pet Parent?
When an adorable little puppy or kitten face looks up at you, it’s only natural to want to take the little fur baby home. But, as rewarding as it is, parenthood brings a whole new world of responsibility. As a college student, your number one priority should be to learn and grow the most you can. Before you take a lil cutie home with you from the Athens Humane Society, try to weigh your options and decide if owning a pet would hinder you from making the most of your college experience or be one of the best parts. The fact of the matter is that an animal is fully reliant on you. You need to be able to commit to providing it the best life possible. All too often college students will make a rash decision to get an animal, then realize they can’t take care of it and have to surrender the animal to a shelter. Here are the positives and negatives you should consider.
Now more than ever, college students struggle with connecting to others and feeling alone. Having a dog to curl up with or a purring cat to comfort you can be a great aid to balancing your mental health and course load. College is a time of uncertainty with finding yourself, planning for your future, and exploring the social scene. An animal can provide a grounding unconditional love. Animals are also great for interacting with humans. Being a pet parent is immediately something to bond over. Plus, taking care of a pet keeps you physically active and accountable. Getting a pet in college can be a super special bond, as that pet will be with you through major milestones like graduation, your first job, and even getting married.
Are you prepared to get up and take the dog out at 6 a.m.? Remember that when you have a pet they change your daily life. You have to think about them when planning a night out, taking a trip or even having people over. You are also responsible for the quality of life of the animal. Make sure that they are getting played with or walked. Think about all of the associated expenses such as regular vet visits, medicine, food, and treats. While college may only be four years, you’ll own a pet for their entire life. If your plans are uncertain after graduation, maybe you want to go abroad or take a travel-heavy job, you’ll still have to factor in your animal. Your pet will also likely cost you a fee or deposit from a pet-friendly apartment community.
If you’ve decided that being a pet parent is for you, then a great next step is to find an apartment that will welcome you and your furry companion. Before you ever sign a lease as a dog or cat owner, double check the pet policy to confirm that your animals are allowed. Many apartments have weight and breed restrictions that could get in the way. It is also helpful to look for a spacious floor plan and plenty of green space for your animal(s) to enjoy. Once you’ve found the right pet-friendly apartment, consider adopting from a local animal shelter such as the Athens Humane Society.