The Pros and Cons of Owning a Dog in College

In Emotional Support Animal by Emotional Pet Support TeamLeave a Comment

Without a doubt, one of the most difficult things about starting a new college is not being able to take your family pet with you. It can be an uncertain time, moving away from home and making new friends, so the temptation to take your four-legged family friend with you or adopt a new canine companion can be irresistible. 

Is it a good idea to own a dog whilst in college? 

Here are our pros and cons…


Constant Company

They’re not called “man’s best friend” for nothing! A dog makes a wonderful companion and will help you ease into college life no problem. Depending on how well trained they are, dogs are generally considered to be loyal and obedient and will love you unconditionally. Owning a dog whilst at college also means that you won’t feel lonely if you are new to the area and haven’t yet had the chance to make friends. You’ll have a companion with you during the night. Owning a dog can also help you make friends whilst in college and you might even find a roommate which will be happy to share the responsibility with you. Dogs also provide an endless source of amusement with their funny doggy antics! Who doesn’t love a wiggly, excited dog?

Good For Your Health

Being a lazy student isn’t an option when you have a dog, because owning a dog comes with a great sense of responsibility. To keep your four-legged buddy happy and healthy Petside suggests to walk it at least once or twice a day, maybe even more times depending on the size of the dog and breed. Bringing a large racing dog to college is probably not the best idea, but if you have a small or medium-sized dog then you are guaranteed to get more exercise. Come rain or shine, you will have to get your butt out of bed and take your pooch out for regular walks, which means you’re going to be a whole lot healthier. It’s important to note mental health here too. Dogs can massively reduce stress levels. Not only will you be getting a daily dose of exercise once or twice a day which will get your heart rate going and those feel-good endorphins, but you’ll also have a loyal companion to keep you calm during those stressful times when assignments are due. 

Life Lessons

Owning a dog teaches you valuable life lessons. You will learn about responsibility, help you grow into a mature adult and you will also learn about compromise. It also teaches you the value of love and time management. 


Limited Apartment Choices 

Finding an apartment when you are a dog owner can be a nightmare. Most college dorms don’t allow pets unless they are support dogs so unless you’re moving out on your own, you might find it very difficult to find a place that accepts dogs. Another problem is roommates; not everyone likes dogs and many people have allergies. These are considerations that you will have to make before taking a dog with you to college.

Huge Responsibility

Are you ready for this level of responsibility? You should ask yourself this question and reply with an honest answer. Moving away to college can be one of the most wonderful, freeing experiences you could ever have. You will make new friends and have new experiences – do you really want the responsibility of a dog waiting for you in your apartment? Not only will you have to exercise your pooch twice a day but you’ll also have to make sure they are well fed and have regular vet check-ups – still sound like fun?


The cost of owning a pet is no joke. Not only do you have to take into consideration the cost of food and dog toys, but if they get sick then vet bills can land you with a bill costing thousands of dollars.

Scheduled Life

If you’re normally a spur-of-the-moment kinda guy or girl then forget about owning a dog in college! It isn’t fair to leave a dog for many hours at home alone, so unless you’re sharing the responsibility of pet ownership with others then you can forget late-night parties and weekends away. Your life will change dramatically and have to run on a schedule. You won’t be able to attend many social engagements and you will have to consider your dog whenever you make arrangements. 


Dog-Gear states that dogs can be pretty darn messy at times! Not only can they be a little smelly but they love doing antisocial things like rolling on mud and…other disgusting things! Fancy splitting your time between studying and washing your dog?  


Owning a dog is one of the most intense, beautiful, and life-changing moments that anyone can experience. Being a dog owner comes with great responsibility, cost, time, and effort. Being at college is a time of your life when you should be experiencing fun in between your studies. Whilst dogs can bring so many benefits to your life, ask yourself this – is college the best time to experience this?

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