You are hereTo buy or not to buy? The college pets dilemma.
To buy or not to buy? The college pets dilemma.
With the sunny spring season in full bloom, many students are starting to consider pet purchases. But, potential pet owners of all ages should think long and hard about lifestyle changes before adopting furry friends.
The common college student life doesn't fit perfectly with the needs of a pet. Extracurriculars, partying, and overbearing landlords don't make living life with pets easy. Sacrifice and attention to rules are necessary.
Alex Vetter, a CU senior, had a cat named Stacia last year. In Alex's words, Stacia was "the perfect kitty."
Alex and her roommates spoiled Stacia and enjoyed her presence in their apartment. Unfortunately, the apartment complex didn't allow pets. When a routine inspection came and Stacia was found, the girls were upset to find out that their beloved cat had to be relocated.
Another situation where this occurs frequently is within the dormitories. Feeling detached from home and craving companionship, students run off and get pets to keep in their dorms, even though dorm rules forbid the keeping of pets.
Punishment quickly follows, often times making the students feel more low and lonely than they felt before they obtained the pet.
Regardless of obstacles, college students continue to love having pets. Nearly a quarter of college pet owners report that their pet helps them maintain an active lifestyle and avoid weight gain. Eighteen percent say that their pet is an important tool in getting them through hard times. In fact, the number one stated reason for pet ownership among college students is loneliness.
For students set on getting pets, the Boulder Humane Society is a wonderful resource. The staff is happy to educate students and urge potential pet owners to give careful consideration before making a final decision.
Bridgette Chesne, Director of Shelter Services, encourages students to volunteer at the shelter before adopting a new pet:
"It provides a solid trial run for different aspects of life with a pet. It all depends on the student's individual lifestyle and available time, whether or not he or she is well suited for a pet. There is no one right answer. Volunteering helps students to gauge their commitment to the process."
Isabelle Azadmanesh, a local journalist, got her Sharpei "Pei Wei" during her time in college at CU. After careful deliberation, and a job at a local pet care establishment, Azadmanesh decided that she was capable of the full time responsibility.
"I took very careful consideration into getting Pei. He requires a lot of attention and care, but every day is worthwhile. I can't imagine my life without him. He's a prince," said Azadmanesh.
Before getting a pet, experts advise asking yourself three questions: Why do I want a pet? Do I have time? Can I afford the costs?
If you have given these three questions careful thought, and hear "yes!" inside your head, then life with a pet in college could be appropriate for you.
The biggest consensus among experts is that this decision must be made after extended deliberation, not on a whim.
With the successful stories of Azadmanesh and other happy young adult pet owners, it is certainly possible to have a fulfilling pet experience in college, with a satisfied owner and animal.