What You Should Know About Owning a Dog in College
College Life | 

What You Should Know About Owning a Dog in College

PSA: They're harder to potty train than you think.

These days it's hard to pull up Twitter or Facebook without being confronted with a video or picture of an effing adorable puppy. I mean... who doesn't love puppies? Colleges around the country even bring in dogs from the local humane society to libraries during finals or midterms week to help students cope with anxiety or stress, or have training programs for service animals for students. But if you are a college student thinking about taking the step in having a canine of your own, there are a few things you need to know.

They make you take breaks.
When you own a dog, you are their sole provider. So if you are in the middle of an essay but your puppy is whining, you have to stop what you're doing and let him or her outside. While this does sound like a huge hassle at first, it actually can be healthy for you. College can be stressful and it is so easy to forget to take time to breathe. But if you own a dog, they remind you.

Potty training is no walk in the park.
You may have had dogs in the past, but let's face it: Your parents probably did most of the work. If you want a puppy, and duh, why not, you will spend a lot of time taking the puppy out on walks. Letting the puppy back in. Cleaning up when the puppy pees on the floor. Hearing your roommates yell when the puppy poops discretely in their closet (oops). Or when the puppy pees on the brand new bed you just bought it. Exhibit A:

Source: Rachel Morgan

You will start to put them first without even realizing it.
I noticed this when my bed started feeling much smaller. But in reality, it was just my dog hogging the bed and pillows, leaving me a small little edge to sleep. And while I made comments about my "spoiled" pooch, I knew that I wouldn't make him move. You'll be at the store and suddenly you aren't buying that extra box of Gushers or a new shirt that you absolutely don't need. You'll find yourself buying doggy treats and toys because even though you won't admit it, buying doggy treats makes you happy because of the pure look of joy on your dog's face because of them.

Source: Rachel Horne

You won't go out as much.
I know you probably think I mean this in a negative way, but it is actually quite the opposite. In my personal experience with owning a dog in college, I found myself not going out so much. Now this doesn't mean that I sit in my room everyday with my dog and do nothing (although some days that is the case). However, I find myself coming home earlier than I would have before I owned my dog. The idea of leaving them home alone for an extended amount of time just irks you. Plus, drunk cuddles with your puppy are possibly one of life's greatest joys.

Your reputation will be based on them.
You will now be identified as "Are you [insert dog's name here] mom?" Your friends will come over to see the dog more than you; and yes, people will even talk to and acknowledge the dog before they even think of saying hi to you. That being said, make sure you take the time to train your dog. No one wants to be friends with the person who has the dog that pees everywhere or who won't stop barking. Your dog's behavior is a reflection on you, so make sure it is a good one.

They become your biggest support system.
Get a bad grade on a test? Fighting with your best friend? Going through a breakup? Your dog is 100 percent down to cuddle and love on you. Dogs don't judge us based on our failures or shortcomings or appearances, which is something every college student can appreciate. They never interrupt you, and they are the prime example of unconditional love. I always tell my friends, "I may have rescued him from the shelter, but in the end he rescued me."

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College Life | 

Do's and Don'ts of Owning a Pet in College

If you can't afford to feed a dog, don't get a dog.

Just like your parents said when you were little, owning a pet is a lot of responsibility. If you're thinking of adopting an animal while you are in college, there a few things to consider first. It's important to remember the different levels of responsibility that come with different pets. For example, a goldfish is going to be way more low maintenance than, say, a dog.

DO talk to your roommates to make sure that they are on board with whatever animal you plan on bringing into the house. It's their house, too.

DON'T push your pet duties onto your roommates. It's one thing to ask them every once in a while to walk the dog while you're at work, but it's another to ask them to pick up after them.

DO consult your lease and landlord to make sure owning said pet is allowed in your home. Some places will allow cats and not dogs.

DO make sure you plan a budget for your animal. Pets are expensive and you want to give them the best. If can't afford to feed a dog, you probably shouldn't get a dog.

DO pick up after your pet (obviously). It MIGHT start to annoy your roommates when the dog tears up garbage or the couch is full of cat hair.

DON'T forget that pets get sick. My best friend had a cat that couldn't pee and she sadly had to surrender him to the vet since she couldn't afford surgery. Make sure you're emotionally and financially prepared for any bad news that could come up.

DO research on how a pet could help if you have a disability. My roommate registered her dog as a therapy pet for her sleep anxiety. That also ensured that we could have the dog in our house (which doesn't allow dogs).

DO research which type of dog is right for you. Some dog breeds have different personalities and energy levels than others.

DON'T forget that puppies/kittens require lots of maintenance and attention. It's difficult to properly train a puppy while being a full time student. An older animal might be a better fit.

So keep all this in mind when trying to decide if owning a pet in college is right for you

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College Life | 

Perfect Things to Do When You're High

May or may not involve food.

Chances are, while you're in college someone is going offer you a puff of marijuana. If no one offers this to you, you're probably not hanging out with the right people.

I'm kidding. Be a good friend to your buddies whether they smoke weed or not. Trust me, it's easy to get away from your sense of self when you get to college, and being a good friend is really important.

Anyway, you can be a good friend to your non-stoner friends and still befriend stoners. What will you and your stoner friends do once you're high? Read on to find out.

Don't eat at all. (Just kidding, go to the dining hall immediately.)
Seriously. Go to your dining hall. We're talking about the unlimited supply of already-paid-for, buffet-style food.

What could be better for a high college student than rows and rows of pizza, prepared hot meals, soups, sandwiches, and French fries? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

Roll in with your crew of high friends, grab a huge, round table, and have at it.

Warning: you may experience anxiety when exposed to so many non-high people, like for instance the person you hooked up with last weekend who keeps trying to force eye contact from across the room.

Just remember that you don't look out of the ordinary; you're experiencing time much slower than everyone else, and no one is judging you. They're too busy worrying whether you're judging them.

Play with puppies.
Quick, hit up your friend who has a puppy/dog/whatever and see if they will let you play with their dog. There is literally nothing more fun than playing with a puppy while high. Their cuteness, playfulness, and puppy-ness is magnified. Once you get your hands on that little ball of fur, your mood will soar. Nothing can make a high college student happier than puppies - not even the dining hall.

Go to the movies.
Preferably, a 3D IMAX movie. Nothing can make the plot of a movie pop like some marijuana. Even if you're too high, all you have to do while you're in a movie is sit there and not talk. It's the perfect activity.

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College Life |  Source: Shutterstock

Weird Things That Dog Owners Do

Are you really a dog owner if you don't do these things?

To the outside observer, dog owners are weird. We treat our dogs like they are our children. And we do that because... well, because they kind of are our children. We do some pretty odd things, but they're completely justified and normal in the eyes of other dog-owners.

1. Tell your dog that you'll "be right back" when you're leaving.
"Bye, Rover! I'll be right back!" I know he can't understand me, but... I just want to let him know that I will be right back, and that I'm not leaving him forever.

source: giphy.com

2. ...And give him/her the occasional speech before you leave.
"I'm leaving for work, Daisy! I love you so much! I'll be back in about eight hours, OK? Be a good girl, don't pee in the house, drink lots of water and behave yourself! Mom loves you!"

Do you think she retained any of that? Probably not, but... it makes me feel better knowing that I said it.

source: giphy.com

3. Allow your dogs to chill in the bathroom while you do your business.
Sometimes, they just follow you in there, OK?

source: giphy.com

4. Ask them how their day was.
You: "How was your day?"

Dog: *licks you*

You: "That's great!"

source: giphy.com

5. Make them pose for pictures they clearly don't want to be a part of.
All of us dog owners have done it before. We put them in some silly outfit that they are clearly less than excited about wearing, and we make them sit there for a countless amount of time until we get the perfect shot. Because Instagram.

source: giphy.com

6. Watch a movie with them... and make comments.
"Did you see that? What an idiot. He's so stupid. He shouldn't have done that," you mumble to your dog as he stares blankly ahead at the pixelated screen in front of him.

source: giphy.com

7. Place them in front of a mirror and make them look at their reflection.
"Do you see that? That's you!"

source: giphy.com

8. Reward them for the smallest triumphs.
Did your dog poop outside instead of in the house? Congratulations, here's a treat! Did he sit after you asked him to five times whilst pushing his bottom to the floor? Good job, here's another five treats!

source: giphy.com

9. Think about your dog when you're not home.
We've all done it... you're at work or school, and you start to wonder what your dog is doing at this very moment and what they could be thinking about. Are they causing a ruckus because you're not there? Are they taking a nap on the sofa? Who knows!


10. Say something to your dog just so you can see them do the head tilt.
The puppy head tilt is every dog-owner's weakness. Unless you have a heart of stone, that is.

source: giphy.com

11. You have an entire album on your phone dedicated to your dog.
C'mon. They're just so cute! They have to have their own album so that when you're boasting about him/her to your friends, you don't have to scroll through your entire camera roll to find that photo of when he/she stole a sock out of your dirty laundry.

source: giphy.com

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College Life |  Source: Naturallyerika_

What Walking Shelter Dogs Taught Me About Life

Don't let previous shit keep you from trusting others.

I've grown up with dogs my entire life. When I was a freshman in high school my parents finally decided to adopt a dog rather than buy one from a breeder. When we first picked him up from the shelter he was timid and scared.

They found him as a puppy wandering around the train tracks in one of the worst areas of North Philadelphia. He wouldn't eat, he kept trying to run away from our house and he didn't trust us. It took him almost two years to really open up and trust us.

Because of this, one of the first things I did when I moved to Philly was look into getting involved with local dog shelters. There are a bunch of different ways you can volunteer around animals in Philadelphia.

You can volunteer at the SPCA, PAWS, or even at the Philly Zoo doing all kinds of things like running fundraising events, educating people, cleaning the shelter or walking dogs around the city. I chose to walk dogs at PAWS because it's a no-kill shelter and I wanted to be involved with the dogs first hand.

I volunteer one to two times a week walking dogs around Philadelphia. It's really beneficial and rewarding for me. It gives me an escape from school drama and classes. No matter how shitty my week was or how bad my classes were going, the dogs and their optimism would brighten my day.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing the expression on the dogs' faces when I pick them up and take them for a walk. It humbles me. I am reminded that my boy problems and the C- I got on that last exam are insignificant compared to the dogs' struggles with trust and finding a secure home and family.

I form bonds with the dogs and help them open up to new people. Some dogs are timid and won't go for walks until after they are in the shelter for a while and some won't go at all because of the abandonment and abuse they have experienced.

Others are eager to be helped and excited to go out in the city on walks, despite how much they have been hurt in the past. The dogs that are guarded and scared to trust don't have as much fun and have a harder time getting adopted, but they have taught me the most.

They require the most attention and the most love and my job is to be there to help them heal, despite them pushing me away. I have learned patience, tolerance and how to stay positive.

When life gives you a bunch of shit to deal with, you can respond in two ways. You can accept help from others, allowing you to heal and move forward. Or, you can let it defeat you, subsequently pushing people away and retreating back to yourself and your own mind, making it harder for you to ever recover.

The dogs at PAWS taught me that the better way to respond is to stay optimistic, despite who or what has hurt you in the past. There are people who will make you open up, trust and be yourself again, you just have to be open-minded and let them.

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College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

You Need To See These Dog Maternity Photos

My dog is lucky I didn't think of this.

What did we do to deserve dogs? I like dogs so much that sometimes I would rather hangout with them then some people I know. Maybe someday i'll become a dog lady, who knows, but in the meantime, I will only limit myself to the two puppers I have now and forcing random strangers on the streets to stop so I can love their dog.

While I was creepin' around on Twitter (don't even try and pretend you don't do that), I found the most ADORABLE dog maternity photoshoot.

This soon to be mama's name is Fusee. In the photos, Fusee was accompanied by her mom/bestfriend Elsa Veria-Menas, a flower crown and a sign that reads "Soon 2 Be Mom."

This adorable maternity photo shoot was taken by 19-year-old freelancer and designer, Meet-Clayton.

Naturally, everyone and their mothers on Twitter freaked the f out. It was retweeted 62,000 times, and received a lot of love in the comments.

Lucky for us, Elsa Veria-Menas isn't the only dog mom who has done this!

This happy dog mama is Lilica, and she gave birth to five adorable puppies after her shoot.

Here's another prego pup named Beyonce.

source: mashable

And you thought that Beyonce's pregnancy photos were cute...

Here are some other cute puppers

source: people

source: what to expect

source: house beautiful