But he’s so FLUFFY!
Speaking as someone who spent the better part of the last 18 years trying to convince my parents to let me get a puppy, I know the pain of wanting a fluffy friend and constantly being told: ‘do you know how much work a dog is, do you??’ Chances are, you too have experienced this, and can relate. But puppies, kittens, snakes, turtles, guinea pigs, hamsters, and any other animal friends you can think of, are a LOT of work. Cute and cuddly as they are, pets are expensive , and even the cheap ones like bunny rabbits can end up costing a fortune in veterinary bills.
As a uni student, you’re not quite a kid any more, but let’s be honest, can we really call ourselves adults? I know I certainly can’t say it with a straight face. Being in this funky period means the kid part of you wants the pet, the adult is like, we cannot afford it right now, don’t be ridiculous. My adult side rarely wins any arguments, but it has prevailed in this one, as much as I want a St. Bernard (the dog from the Beethoven movies). The reality is that I can’t even afford to feed him or her, let alone take it to the vet, vaccinate it, and embarrassingly, I wouldn’t be strong enough to walk it.
Let’s break down the biggest responsibilities a pet brings, so that you can make an informed decision. To put it simply, you’re going to be responsible for another LIFE, a living and breathing creature that relies on you for EVERYTHING. Sound a lot like a baby? Well, it is similar…
- Veterinary needs/bills: animals are just like people, they get sick, they break bones, they get cancer, and the same way we have to go to the doctor, they have to go to the vet. Take Belle as an example. When she was a puppy, she started limping randomly, and my parents took her to all kinds of specialists, costing about $5000. Then the limp magically went away on its own not long after. We all decided she was doing it for attention.
- Along those lines, pets can’t actually talk, so if there is something wrong, it’s not easy to find out, unless it’s super-visible.
- Pet food can be expensive, depending on the size of the animal, you could be adding an extra $50 to your weekly groceries.
- They’re messy. Dogs have to be house trained, and even then, when they poop outside, you’re the one who has to clean it up! And cats: have fun changing a litter box, and paying for kitty litter (woohoo).
- They need lots of attention. This may not seem like a big deal, but you have to walk dogs every day, you have to play with them, cuddle them, feed them, bathe them, groom them, etc. It all takes a lot of time, which you may not have that much of, especially come exams and assessment periods.
- This is an obvious, but depressing one: they die. When my dog of 15 years died, it was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Let’s just say I didn’t handle it too well. Prepare for your friend to leave you in a few years.
Still want one? Make sure you do your research when it comes to what they need; every animal is different!