Tips for Caring for a Dog as a College Student
We all know how chaotic and challenging College life can be, and adding a dog into your daily routine is definitely a decision worth pondering. But boy is it worth it! Dogs bring in tons of fun and excitement into our everyday, so why not bring one into College and create a bond for life with a little furball? Here are 5 easy steps to follow to make the transition into taking care of a dog in College easier!
The number one step for becoming a dog-owner, especially as a College student, is being prepared. You want to make sure you have everything your furry friend needs before you commit to the dog. Although dogs are a mostly lower-maintenance pet, they do require necessities.
Being prepared with food, toys, potty-pads, a leash, and treats is always a great step in lessening the stress of being a new dog-owner. Getting these obligations out of the way puts you one step closer to a stress-free life with your four legged best-friend!
Set and Maintain a Routine
Juggling classes and a dog will take responsibility, but it’s not as hard as it may seem! Creating a consistent routine and schedule to accommodate your dog into your school life is crucial. For example, a simple routine could look like:
- Feed and refill water bowl
- Take on a 5-10 minute walk to get in exercise and have your dog relieve themselves
- Play and socialize with your dog
- Groom (when necessary)
Creating a concrete routine will help you and your dog better adapt to your school schedule and allow you to find time to take care of and enjoy your furry friend’s company. It’s also useful to keep track of your pet’s vet visits, how often they go through a food bag, and when they like to go out.
Make Physical Activity a Priority
Dogs are usually pretty active animals. According to Animal Wised, “Dogs need to run, walk and breathe fresh air on the daily, especially when living in small spaces..”. College students almost always live in smaller apartments, homes, or dorms, so making physical activity a care priority is essential.
Healthy physical activity for a dog can be thirty minutes to an hour depending on the size and breed. Fitting in proper exercise for your dog is important for its physical and mental wellness. A good way to get in exercise for your dog could be by walking or jogging with them around campus or even exercising with them!
Create a System of Care
College students are busy. Your dog is a priority, so it should be taken care of like it is. Ensuring you have a care system set up is important! This means you have a way to take care of your dog if you are in class or are gone for an extended period of time. This could be a roommate, significant other, friend, or professional pet sitter. This step should be relatively easy with already accomplishing preparation and setting a routine. Care is a part of sharing your College experience with your dog, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance when you need it!
Another important part of being a dog-owner is simply being attentive. College students are used to multi-tasking and having to split their attention in various ways. So being attentive to particular priorities should be easy! Being attentive to your dog means that you recognize their needs, prioritize its necessities, take good physical and mental care of it, and seek any help (medical or other), as necessary.
Bringing a dog into your College life can be a big decision, but following these tips can make it easier. Sharing your life with a furry companion is a rewarding start to a new and exciting chapter as a College student!