There’s nothing like the first taste of freedom one feels during their first few months at college. All the sudden, everything that your family always decided are all on you. While this comes with certain cons – such as chores, paying utilities, and more – there are also plenty of pros. One of the first things that many students at Texas Tech might think of during their first weeks of freedom is adopting a furry friend. For those who spent their entire childhood drooling over neighbors’ dogs and cats and telling their parents that as soon as they are on their own, they will have their own pet, college is a dream. Taking on a pet of your own is a huge commitment – especially when combined with the rigor of school, work, and extracurricular activities.
For these reasons, it’s important to consider some tips before adopting your first pet during your college years. Adopting a pet is comparable to adding a new child to the family in that you two will be forever. How often you are home, your work schedule, budget, and roommates are just a few things you should consider before deciding to take an animal into the family. There are certainly some things you can do to make the smartest decision before taking your new pet home.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Pet
Many people have a certain type of pet in mind prior to adopting. However, there are certainly varying types of animals that might do better living with a busy college student. For example, a larger dog like a German Shepherd that requires many hours of exercise and socialization a day might not be the best idea if you find yourself out of your apartment all the time. But a properly socialized cat or smaller dog breed could turn out to be perfect. Some things to consider before choosing a breed or animal include both activeness and size.
Many dog breeds require at least two hours of walks a day, such as Huskies. If this won’t fit into your busy schedule, you should probably look elsewhere for your new best friend. Certain dog breeds – such as English bulldogs and Boston terriers – are much more sedentary and might pair perfectly with the student lifestyle. However, it’s important to remember that even the most sedentary dogs and cats require a great amount of attention and socialization, and you must allocate enough time in your day to provide this regardless of the breed.
Everybody knows that the size of dogs varies very widely, and many have a preference one way or the other. Make sure to check in with your new apartment near TTU to be sure that there are no size restrictions before adopting a larger dog, however, as this can be a large inconvenience without taking this crucial time to plan. Consider also that a larger animal usually means a larger expense, due to the cost of food and medical care.
Tips for How to Make Pet Parenting Easier
- Be prepared. Have extras of all the essentials for your pet so that you don’t have to worry about navigating picking up food during exam week.
- Adopt. It is highly recommended to adopt a pet from a local shelter such as The Humane Society of West Texas. Most animals from local shelters are also already fixed and vaccinated, saving you a crucial penny on a students’ budget.
- Maintain a schedule. If you must be out of the apartment at certain times of the day, be sure to train your pet to be on a schedule so that your pet is used to your absence and knows when to expect essentials like food and walks.
- Keep a savings fund. Budgeting can be especially difficult in college when there isn’t much money to go around for most students. Be sure to set aside a savings fund for your pet and add to it regularly to ensure you are financially prepared for an emergency.
- Stay connected with other pet-owning students. One of the most undervalued resources for pet parents is knowing other pet parents in the area. Whether you want to go home for the weekend, or your car breaks down and you are unable to get home to feed your pet dinner, knowing someone who lives nearby who is willing to come lend a hand when you need it can be vital for college students looking to add a pet to the family.
Find A Pet-Friendly Apartment in Lubbock
Now that you’ve taken all the necessary steps in planning for a new member of the family, it’s time to choose an apartment with the best amenities for you and your furry friend. Be sure to investigate all the apartments you are considering and verify they are pet-friendly and accommodating to the size or breed of your pet. Then, you can look into the more creative part of finding an apartment – choosing from pet amenities! Many brand new apartments in Lubbock
offer balconies and patios for small pets to get some outside time! You have a host of considerations to make, from dog parks to waste stations. Make sure to also ensure your apartment is surrounded by suitable walking trails if you plan to walk your pet nearby.
Having a pet in college can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made, due to the companionship and love they will provide to you. During the stressful and invigorating time that you spend in college, you will be thankful for the mutualistic relationship you and your pet will share.
« TTU Student Guide