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Dog Lessons from a College Life

By David13676 @dogspired

Dog Lessons from a College LifeOwning a dog as a college student can be very challenging. Students often have crowded living arrangements and busy schedules.  Time and space constraints can make it difficult to have a large animal and keep him healthy and happy.

I am a student at University of California, Santa Barbara, and in addition to being a dog owner, I also know others in my situation. Students today often have a job to fit into their scattered school schedules, and adding a pet into the equation can cause people to slack in certain parts of life. The non-routine of living with an animal while going to work and having an ever-changing schedule of classes can be very hard to manage for college students.

College life for myself and many others involves living in rooms with more than one person and houses packed full of people.  I am fortunate this year to live in a house with four people, but my neighbored has student-packed homes on either side, with two to three and sometimes four people in each room.  These living conditions and busy schedules often cause dogs to be a victim of neglect, as many prioritize school or work over their pet, sometimes without even realizing it.

One of the worst and most common things I see is students with large dogs and little space or time to offer. Usually these larger dogs end up overweight, lazy, and seemingly depressed, because much like their owners, they do not have regular eating, sleeping and exercise times.  A student’s time for a dog fluctuates according to the amount of school work, which means during finals week the dog may be getting very little attention.  These are all things that most students don’t fully consider when getting a dog.

College students can be naive about their situation and their dogs, as many of them are first time dog owners on their own.  If students were more informed about the type of dog they should have, including the size of the dog and the kind of temperament he has, they might be able to do a better job of taking care of that animal. With a better understanding of what it takes to own a dog, students can make good decisions about how to provide their college dog with the best life situation, the most love, and the best life possible.

If there is a lesson that can be learned from my experience as a student, it is to not be selfish.  Don’t buy a dog if you can’t meet its needs properly, and if you intend to get a dog, make sure it is one that suits your personality and life situation.

Grayson Nance is a recent graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and now works with FindTheBest, which has just created a new tool for finding information on best dog breeds. Using research tools like this can help people to be more informed and keep dogs out of unfit homes.


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