If you’re considering bringing a pet to college, you might want to try a goldfish––anything bigger or furrier might turn out to be more trouble than it’s worth. I myself have considered buying a puppy for school, but after a little research and some brief experience in the matter, I came up with quite a few reasons to hold off.
A friend of my roommate had a bunny (named after Hugh Hefner) that she asked us to watch overnight this past year. We thought it would be fun to have company, so we took little Hughie for the night. The poor rabbit didn’t sleep at all. Instead, he made a mess of his cage and thumped nervously on the floor all night, keeping everyone up. Clearly, the little guy didn’t want to be there.
The most important lesson I learned from the furry Mr. Hefner is this: college life is not for a pet. It is simply too busy and too loud for most animals, with the exception of frat boys. You’ll be playing music, doing work, having people in your room, or attending class most of the day. Meanwhile, your pet will be sitting in its crate craving attention that you won’t have time to give. Want to go out of town to visit a friend for the weekend? Good luck finding someone to watch your puppy.
The second problem is going to be money. The “poor college student” is a common stereotype for a reason. Even if your furry new friend is affordable upfront, there are many other expenses associated with raising it: food, vaccinations, accessories and housing, just to name a few. In addition, you might want to take into account all the things that your animal will invariably ruin and that you’ll need to replace.
That brings me to my next point: young animals are destructive, even the sweetest ones. They’re going to chew on your shoes, have accidents on the floor, tear up your furniture and yes, maybe even eat your homework. We’ve lied about it many times in elementary school, but when it actually happens in college, professors won’t care. Room damage and homework destruction are distractions you can’t afford, especially if you live in a dorm or small apartment. And if that’s the case, your roommate will want to kill you anyway.
You do not want to be stuck in the unfortunately common situation of buying a pet and later realizing you can’t care for it properly. So for yours, your roommate’s and your dorm room’s sakes, think twice before getting a pet in college.