Pups at Penn State 101

Life at Penn State is hectic, crazy, tiring and downright stressful. Some days students will spend something like 12 hours running around campus. That’s why when students return home, they need something to look forward to. So what are those things that get them through the day? Is it a nice bath, a bottle of wine? Or what about a dog?

Believe it or not, having a dog at college is possible. For those that live on campus, it might be hard. For those that live off campus, having a dog is definitely possible. If it is something you’re interested in, check with your apartment complex or landlord to see if pets are allowed in your building.

While other pets can produce the same effects, there’s a reason the age-old phrase “Mans Best Friend” has stuck around for so long. So, if you are interested in getting a little furry friend for you and your roommates, pay attention to Valley’s four suggestions about owning a dog in college.

Talk to your roommates

Having a dog around the apartment is cruel to everyone if not all roommates are on board. Before even considering buying or adopting a dog, make sure each person on that rent bill is completely down with the idea. Persuasion with cute puppy pics is acceptable. Bonus: If your roommates are really on board you can get them to help take care of the pup!

Decide if you want a puppy or an older dog

There is something special about raising a little pup from his or her early age and watching them grow up. And while puppies bring all that love you need in a tiny little package, older dogs can do just the same. Puppies often require training, which can be overwhelming to a college student attempting to juggle classes, work and a social life. Training a new puppy can be a bit like having a newborn in the house. You will have to clean a lot of messes, they often don’t sleep through the night for a while, and they require a lot of devotion. If you do decide to train a new puppy, make sure you do your research first. Don’t let them get away with everything just because they’re cute.

Acknowledge the responsibility that comes with being a dog owner

No matter whether you choose a puppy or an older dog, all pooches require attention and care. Dogs do best on schedules so you will most likely have to form your day around when they wake up, when they need to eat, when they need to go for a walk- and make sure to have time for some play, too. If you don’t have time to take care of a pup, don’t take on that responsibility. Your dog will give you all the love he or she has, so make sure you will be able to show enough back.

Do your research, check your wallet

Buying and owning a dog can get extremely pricy. If you buy a purebred dog, they can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Adopting a four legged friend will be much cheaper. Adopting a puppy costs anywhere from $30 to $400. So before you head to the adoption center or puppy mill, check your finances and make sure you will be able to afford this purchase — before you fall in love with a little guy. The cost of the dog is just the beginning. New owners will have to fork over major cash for things like vet visits, crates, toys, food and so many other little things that dogs need. Also be sure to check with your apartment complex as there may be a pet fee. Valley suggests making an Excel spreadsheet of all the costs and checking to make sure that this all fits your budget.

Having a dog in college can be overwhelming at times, but the rewards will usually outweigh any stress. Plus, think about how many more likes your Instagram posts will get with a new pup in your life.