Pros and Cons of Having a Dog at College

Is it a good idea to get a dog while you’re at college? Before you decide, be sure to go over all the pro and cons to keeping a pooch while in school.


College is a fun and exciting chapter of your life. It is where you really start to become independent and you learn to make decisions for yourself – decisions that will affect the rest of your life. Though college is a wonderful time, it also comes with certain challenges.


Having a dog is a great way to reduce some of the stress that comes with college life, but it is not always the best choice. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of having a dog at college.


Pros of Owning a Dog in College


Nothing is better than coming home after a long day to have your dog greet you excitedly at the door. Owning a dog means that you will always have a friend – someone who loves you unconditionally and who is always happy to see you. Here are some other pros of having a dog in college.


  • Dogs offer excellent companionship. You may not like your roommate, but you’ll love your dog and he will love you right back. No matter what your mood or what challenges you’re going through, your dog will always be there for you.
  • Owning a dog can boost your health. Studies show that caring for a pet can lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, and improve your physical fitness.
  • Having a dog can improve your physical fitness and boost your mood. Studies have shown that petting a dog for just 15 minutes can boost your serotonin production and reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol.


Cons of Owning a Dog in College


Taking care of a dog is not always easy or pleasant. If you start with a puppy, you’ll have to go through the puppy stage which means housetraining, obedience training, and dealing with a high-energy puppy when you have other things to focus on. Here are some other cons of having a dog in college:


  • Caring for a dog is very time-consuming. There will be days when you have to take a break from studying for that huge exam to take your dog on a walk or to give him some playtime. You’ll need to factor your dog into your class schedule as well.
  • Your roommate may not like dogs. You should never bring a dog into a college dorm unless you are allowed to do so, and you have your roommate’s blessing. Some people are allergic to dogs or simply do not like them, so take that into account before bringing one home.
  • Owning a dog can be expensive. The cost of college tuition rises each year and it is no longer feasible for students to earn enough money with a summer job to pay for their next year of college. Adding the expense of owning a dog to your student loan dept may not be a smart decision.
  • You may not have as much freedom as you’d like. When you have a dog who needs to be walked and fed, you can’t spend all day in class and then go out at night without going home. You’ll need to meet your dog’s needs and that may mean making sacrifices in your social life.


Owning a dog is a big responsibility, when you are in college or not. After reviewing the pros and cons listed above, you should have a better idea of what to expect if you bring a dog to school with you. Just make sure that you are able to provide for all of his needs as well as your own without negatively impacting your education.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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