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Pets in College

by Rebecca Weiner 5 years ago in health
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What college students don’t think about

When buying a dog, most people don’t immediately think of the potential future expenses that are likely to occur once the dog reaches old age. In the beginning, all people think about is the dog in its prime, healthy stage. If the dog was able to stay this way throughout its life, owning them would be perfect, but sadly, that’s not the case.

Thirteen years ago, my family went to a breeder and bought our dog, a Boston terrier we named Sid Vicious after the famous rock and roll star. In the beginning, he seemed perfectly healthy to us and everyone who saw him, but it wasn’t long after we got him that he began to develop allergies to most normal dog food.

Right off the bat, we were paying a little extra money to try to find him food that didn’t make him itch. When this wasn’t possible, we resorted to paying for medications for him. Medications which were hundreds of dollars a month. For him it was worth it though. We had the money and we loved our dog.

As he aged, however, the health problems began piling up, leading to more and more money having to be spent just to keep him comfortable. Now, thirteen years later, his health is so costly, both monetarily and timely, that most people likely would have put him down by now. We love him too much to do that.

At this point, he has gone through two different operations, one of which damaged some of his nerves, making him incontinent. In order to combat this problem, we have resorted to buying even more expensive food, and there is an entire room in our house that, because of him, it is no longer safe to go in there for long periods of time. After touching him, it is absolutely necessary to immediately wash your hands because of the large amounts of E. Coli likely living on his fur. When he comes out of his designated room, he constantly has to be cleaned up after because of the drippings he leaves everywhere he goes.

I don’t think the risk of getting a dog with health complications is necessarily a reason not to get one, but I think it definitely needs to be considered. Being a college student, whenever I talk to anyone about their future housing, an overwhelming number of students plan to get a dog or another pet, either during or right after finishing their education. It’s quite clear to me that many of these students, most of whom do not have a significant amount of spare cash, underestimate the potential extra costs of having an animal.

I don’t want to scare anyone away from getting a pet, especially college students. Having an animal can be very beneficial for people’s mental health, and living the stressful life of a student can really take its toll on a person. Having an animal may be the difference between succeeding at education and having to drop out. However, it’s important to have a plan for how to handle a situation involving the animal’s health before that situation occurs.


About the author

Rebecca Weiner

Hello! I am a student who is here to get better at writing and share my views on different topics. I hope you enjoy my work!

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