You shouldn’t do it – but you should totally do it.

Living with a dog while being a full-time student is stressful and definitely limits my social calendar. I always need to be home to feed him dinner, take him for walks, and give him the love and discipline that he needs. I have to give up on parties, social events at school, and sleeping in. Yet, I would not change it for the world.

Because who doesn’t want to pet a dog after a stressful day… or at any time really. The reason the B.A.R.K. program exists, is because people do not take their pets to university, and are obviously missed, resulting in homesickness. Not only that, but spending time with a dog can decrease stress, science says so. Having a dog of your own simply increases all of those feelings that you get from a B.A.R.K. dog, except you also get the responsibilities.

It must be first noted that not all pets require the same amount of attention, meaning it is easier to have a certain species over another. A cat for example, requires attention, but not as much attention as a dog. A cat you can leave at home and it will do its own thing, it will entertain themselves and eat when the are hungry. Essentially, cats are your lazy roommate that are happy when you come home but will get along fine without you. Dogs on the other hand, require a little more attention. All of your attention. Dogs depend on you to feed them the perfect amount of food, take them for walks, entertain them, and give them love and discipline. This is not to say that these are the only pets that you can have. I know several students who do not want the responsibility of a four-legged animal, so they got a fish.

Now if you were to ask anyone, pet owners included, if you should get a pet while going to school, most people would say no because a student’s life is never consistent. There are late nights at the library, late nights downtown, and rarely a consistent place to live. University students are not known for living in the same place for an extended period of time. Moving in at the beginning of a school year and out at the end, just to do it all over again the next year. This would not be as big a problem, except we live in Kelowna where there is little to no pet friendly rental opportunities, especially for a dog.

A dog is worth every moment you can spend with it. They will be your best friend and will love you no matter what. To have one while you are at school is tough, tougher than you could imagine. I would not recommend it to anyone… but if you do get one, you will not regret it.