College Students as Pet Owners

Amber with her Yorkshire Terriers

Amber is a college student and Trupanion intern who has brought two adorable Yorkshire Terriers into her family.

Whether you grow up with pets or have simply always wanted a pet and have never had the opportunity, its inevitable that you will start thinking of getting your own pet once you move away from home. Many college students fall into this category, and the idea of owning a pet while attending college was discussed in a recent article on Fox Business.

The main point in the article was that college students should approach the prospect of getting a pet with caution. They need to truly understand all the responsibility that comes with owning a pet, and not focus entirely on the emotional aspect.

Here are some tips outlined in the article:

  • Consider the cost of the pet. The article quotes RaisingSpot.com, stating that the yearly cost of having a dog can range from $360 to $2,520 or more. Choosing to adopt instead of purchasing from a breeder can decrease the initial cost, but veterinary expenses and pet food and supplies need to be factored into the budget on a yearly basis.
  • Research pet insurance. The article encourages pet owners to do their research when it comes to pet insurance, if that is of interest. Of course, I would add that pet insurance is even more essential for a college student on a budget, that won’t have the funds available to pay for emergency care.
  • Prepare for a lifestyle change. Pets require attention and potty breaks, so heading straight to a friend’s house from class won’t work when a pet is in the picture.
  • Involvement in the Pet Community. There are many ways a pet gets people involved in the community. This can be a wonderful thing, but also comes with new commitments. It is also important to tap into the pet community to find pet sitters and veterinary clinic recommendations.

Did you own a pet while attending college? What was your experience?

Read the full article here.

About Heather @FamilyAndFur

Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue. Google+

One Response to College Students as Pet Owners

  1. Brandie says:

    Hi Trupanion,

    I am a University student in Alberta and I currently own two medium sized breed dogs.
    I have one Siberian Husky, Chinook and one mixed breed Husky/Shepherd, Quinn.
    They are both a handful but I love them to pieces.
    I agree with your article discussing the lifestyle changes pet owners should expect to make, especially while in university/college. Having dogs are definitely an expense on your budget which you need to plan for, and they also take a lot of time!
    I take my dogs to the off-leash parks everyday or for a long run and feed them high-quality Acana food which is about $62 for 13.5kg.
    I think that students should take time to seriously reflect on their budget for money and time and think about if a dog is the right choice for them! Dogs are a big commitment, people often jump into the commitment without thinking about simple facts that dogs need to be exercised and get out everyday! If they don’t, don’t expect to have the prettiest backyard anymore or a happy/healthy dog. I also always strongly encourage people to buy good dog food for their dogs, they deserve healthy, nutritious food just the same as humans do…not the stuff with grains, by-products, and fillers! That alone can cost more, but if you don’t want to break your bank on vet bills in the long run (this is where pet insurance helps too) feed them the best and they will live the best life!
    Being in university it’s tough to balance school, homework, work, and having dogs to care for but for me it is rewarding to have two of my best friends, travel companions part of my daily life!

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