Think before fetching a furry friend

Teebo (Pekingese) Kristy Shelley/Printz
Teebo (Pekingese)
Kristy Shelley/Printz

Lately, I’ve noticed college students being very interested in getting a pet. Whether they want to adopt them all when they volunteer at Southern Pines or see them in the window at Animal Medical Center on Hardy Street, they have puppy or kitty fever.

I was once in this position, which is why I currently have two dogs. If you know me, I love my dogs way too much and getting them was the best decision I ever made.
However, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. So, maybe this article will help those of you who are struggling with whether or not you should get a pet while you are in college.

Pro: Dogs are always so excited to see you.
Literally the second you walk in the door, they are jumping for joy. Their tails are wagging, they lick your face and sometimes they run around the house to get all their newfound energy out.
Con: Their excitement can often lead to peeing.
Yeah, they are super pumped to see you and you are super pumped to see them. You start talking to them about how much you missed them and love them and…pee. Sometimes they like your friends so much that they pee on them. Not cool.

Pro: Dogs bark at everything.
If you’re like me and afraid of the dark or being alone, your trusty pal will let you know of an intruder, someone who looks like an intruder from outside or confirm your suspicion that your house
is actually haunted.
Con: Dogs bark at everything.
Like, the birds flying outside, your neighbor Kelly whom they’ve seen a million times and the other neighborhood dogs who
walk by your house. Nap time between classes? Better think again.

Obi (Boston Terrier) Kristy Shelley/Printz
Obi (Boston Terrier)
Kristy Shelley/Printz

Pro: You have someone to eat dinner with.
Sounds sad, but it’s awesome to come home and start cooking and then feeding your pet. It’s like you’re having dinner with them. And they are full at the same time you are, so they’re ready to snuggle and watch tv when you’re done.
Con: Dog/cat food is expensive.
All of it. Especially if you are trying to be the best pet owner ever and get them the healthiest and best food, oh man. This is one of those moments you decide to be a grandma and never go out because buying $30 pet food is better than a few drinks at DeRe.

Pro: You will always have plans.
No matter what day of the week or what time of the day, your animal is always ready to play with you, snuggle with you, go on a walk with you – whatever you want to do. Also, if you’re really into exercising, taking your dog on the Longleaf Trace is a great way to bond with them but do something for yourself at the same time.
Con: When you do have plans, they have to revolve around your pet.
So, that one Saturday where you plan to go to lunch with a friend, shopping after that, ice cream after that, shower and get ready for your dinner and a movie date after that and maybe a few drinks after that, you have to re-evaluate. Because your dog has to be taken out three times a day, fed twice a day and of course they need some play time in between.

But since many of us are busy college students, I don’t recommend everyonego crazy and get a dog or a cat. They require more attention than just the average treat or belly rub. They need shots, check-ups and other medications that can be quite expensive. They need to be trained so they’re not chewing up your furniture or peeing all over your house. Most importantly, though, they need to be loved and cared for – all the time. So, you’ll have to be willing to make sacrifices for them. But in the end, I love having my dogs. They’ve taught me patience, responsibility and how to be selfless. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.