These days it's hard to pull up Twitter or Facebook without being confronted with a video or picture of an effing adorable puppy. I mean... who doesn't love puppies? Colleges around the country even bring in dogs from the local humane society to libraries during finals or midterms week to help students cope with anxiety or stress, or have training programs for service animals for students. But if you are a college student thinking about taking the step in having a canine of your own, there are a few things you need to know.
They make you take breaks.
When you own a dog, you are their sole provider. So if you are in the middle of an essay but your puppy is whining, you have to stop what you're doing and let him or her outside. While this does sound like a huge hassle at first, it actually can be healthy for you. College can be stressful and it is so easy to forget to take time to breathe. But if you own a dog, they remind you.
Potty training is no walk in the park.
You may have had dogs in the past, but let's face it: Your parents probably did most of the work. If you want a puppy, and duh, why not, you will spend a lot of time taking the puppy out on walks. Letting the puppy back in. Cleaning up when the puppy pees on the floor. Hearing your roommates yell when the puppy poops discretely in their closet (oops). Or when the puppy pees on the brand new bed you just bought it. Exhibit A:
You will start to put them first without even realizing it.
I noticed this when my bed started feeling much smaller. But in reality, it was just my dog hogging the bed and pillows, leaving me a small little edge to sleep. And while I made comments about my "spoiled" pooch, I knew that I wouldn't make him move. You'll be at the store and suddenly you aren't buying that extra box of Gushers or a new shirt that you absolutely don't need. You'll find yourself buying doggy treats and toys because even though you won't admit it, buying doggy treats makes you happy because of the pure look of joy on your dog's face because of them.
You won't go out as much.
I know you probably think I mean this in a negative way, but it is actually quite the opposite. In my personal experience with owning a dog in college, I found myself not going out so much. Now this doesn't mean that I sit in my room everyday with my dog and do nothing (although some days that is the case). However, I find myself coming home earlier than I would have before I owned my dog. The idea of leaving them home alone for an extended amount of time just irks you. Plus, drunk cuddles with your puppy are possibly one of life's greatest joys.
Your reputation will be based on them.
You will now be identified as "Are you [insert dog's name here] mom?" Your friends will come over to see the dog more than you; and yes, people will even talk to and acknowledge the dog before they even think of saying hi to you. That being said, make sure you take the time to train your dog. No one wants to be friends with the person who has the dog that pees everywhere or who won't stop barking. Your dog's behavior is a reflection on you, so make sure it is a good one.
They become your biggest support system.
Get a bad grade on a test? Fighting with your best friend? Going through a breakup? Your dog is 100 percent down to cuddle and love on you. Dogs don't judge us based on our failures or shortcomings or appearances, which is something every college student can appreciate. They never interrupt you, and they are the prime example of unconditional love. I always tell my friends, "I may have rescued him from the shelter, but in the end he rescued me."