Meet Evie! While this has absolutely nothing to do with fashion, Evie is a huge part of my life and I want to be able to share how wonderful she is and a little bit of what it’s like to have a dog in college.
Evie is my beautiful, energetic, attitude-filled, scared-of-her-own-shadow dog. She’s a 1 year old jack-a-bee (beagle+jack russell) who came to me when she was 13 weeks old, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Evie talks a big talk, but when it comes down to it, she’s a big scaredy cat. Terrified of her own shadow, she can often be found with her tail tucked between her legs running towards my bedroom. That doesn’t stop her from getting into mischief around the house, though. When left home alone and free to roam, her favorite hobbies include chewing the stuffing out of the couch pillows, eating my socks from my dirty clothes, and stealing slippers from my roommates’ closets. She requires a whole lot of attention and definitely keeps me on my toes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
having a dog in college.
“Do you like having a dog in college?”
“How hard is it having a dog in college?”
“Should I get a dog?”
“Do you think people should get dogs in college?”
I get asked some version of these questions a lot, but they’re hard to answer. Having a dog is a lot, and I mean a lot, of work. It’s the kind of work that’s hard to describe– someone has to experience it first hand. I’ve seen so many college students adopt dogs without realizing the full responsibility of what they’re taking on, and the dog is always the one who ends up getting the short end of the stick. Having a dog is like having a kid; it’s taking on responsibility for living thing. All my plans are based around Evie and making sure she’s fed, walked, and taken care of.
Getting a dog isn’t something you should do on a whim and there are a few things anyone should think about before adopting, especially in college.
think about your priorities.
What do you value most about your life in college? What does your life look like day-to-day? For me, having a dog the minute I was able was the most important thing. Do you really like going out every weekend? Are you out of the house the majority of the day? A good rule of thumb is that puppies can hold their bladder about an hour for every month they’ve been alive. If your puppy is very young, you might only be able to stay out for a few hours before coming home to take him or her out. Do you really like sleeping in? Evie wakes me up at 10 a.m. at the latest, but a lot of dogs (definitely puppies) wake up earlier. If you like to go and travel on the weekends, you have to make arrangements every time. Spending the night out on a whim isn’t an option with a dog, they always have to be thought of and cared for.
think about your budget.
Dogs are expensive. Like, you think you know how much it’s gonna cost, but you don’t. I’m a big advocate of “adopt, don’t shop”, so the cheapest option for choosing an actual dog is always going to be going through a shelter. It costs a max of $250 to adopt, and that usually includes a first round of shots, spay/neuter, and a microchip. If you don’t go that route, you could end up paying upwards of $300 just for the spay/neuter and puppy shots. Other initial costs include a crate, baby gates, toys, etc. Monthly costs include food, flea/tick preventative, heart worm preventative, and probably more toys. If your pup is like Evie, get ready to buy new toys and bones on the reg. After the first year, shots aren’t as regular, but you should be prepared to spend $50+ for each visit to the vet.
think about your living situation.
I live in a house, so when Evie was a puppy and potty training, I had to take three steps out my front door to get to grass. If you live in an apartment, you could have to walk down the hall, ride down the elevator, and walk out the lobby to finally find grass; by that time, though, your pup has probably done what he or she needs to do. And it probably wasn’t outside in the grass. If you’re confident that you live somewhere that could comfortably house a dog, make sure you can even have dogs. If your landlord doesn’t allow pets, don’t fret! There are ways around rules against animals– do some research on getting your pup certified as a service animal. It’s usually a very easy process, and landlords legally can’t take any action against you. Lastly, make sure your roommates (if you have any) are dog people. There is nothing worse than feeling like your dog is the reason everyone in the house is angry and annoyed.
after you’ve done all your thinking.
If you still think you want to get a puppy– yay! Evie is absolutely the best thing in my life and I think owning a dog in college is incredibly rewarding. Regardless of my mood, Evie’s always happy and beside herself to see me. Time I would usually have spent laying in bed watching Netflix, I spend walking outside taking her to the park. Evie has taught me responsibility, time management, and the feeling of unconditional love. She might be a pain sometimes (like when she uses my roommate’s glasses as a chew toy), but I wouldn’t trade her for the world.
Photography: Tyler Cage