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Adopting a dog before school?

Posted
by ColorMeUp ColorMeUp (New) New

Hi guys!

I start nursing school in January and I currently live by myself in a decently sized apartment (not luxurious, but not a shoebox!)

Ive been thinking about getting a dog for the last few weeks especially since I only have one class this semester and do not start nursing school until January. Im going to look at dogs today and have found a 2 month old Golden retriever puppy. I don't necessarily want a puppy but since I don't want to adopt something that may bark and upset my neighbors I would rather start with a fresh canvas.

I also feel that it would be easier to have a dog now and it be about 6-7months old before I start school rather than feel out the first semester of school and end up getting one in April thus the dog only being 4 months old by the time class starts again in August.

But I am also scared because I do not have a roommate that can let the dog out on the very very rare days where I may be tied up with school. I want to give the dog the best life, ya know?

Im supposed to be visiting the lady with the dog at 4pm today. Ive been 100% down to get the dog until last night when my dad mentioned that he doesn't think that "its the right time in my life to get a dog". What do I do?

Flames9_RN, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Has 10 years experience.

I like dogs better than most humans. My 2 dogs mean the world to me, but 1 does need to make sacrifaces for them..such as finding a dog walker when ur away. A key component is finding a dog thats more suitable to apartment living and possibly being alone for extended periods of time. My dogs are around 30 lbs and have no issues..I watch them on cam..they sleep a lot,lol but some dogs are not like that..they have anxiety issues and can cause a lot of damage. I would recommend you foster a dog. That way if it isnt working out, you can reach back to the organization and they take the dog back. If you adopt a dog right away, and it is not working out, then your options may not be that great.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

I don't think it's natural for a dog to be left alone for hours and hours on end. I solve that by having more than one dog. If you live in an apartment you really need to find a dog sitting service. There are people who provide daycare for dogs I hear.

Dogs are pack animals and can be become very neurotic when left in the unnatural isolation of an apartment or house without another animal or human as a companion.

I even got a third dog recently because one of my dogs is very old. That way my young dog will have a companion already in place for when the old one goes to doggy heaven. My dogs are very well-adjusted because they go a lot of places with me, and when I'm gone they have each other for company.

We leave our dogs alone sometimes, but we have a dog door and a large backyard, and there is plenty of room to run around.

If the dog is going to be crated all day, I wouldn't recommend adopting one right now. If there's lots of opportunity for the dog to run and play, then it might be a good time. You should also understand that dogs are a huge commitment - not just time and love, but financially. You want to make sure that you've done proper research on the breed, that the breed is a good fit for you and that you can meet the needs of the dog.

And as much as I hate to be "that girl", I'm going to recommend that you check out your local shelter. There are so many dogs out there that need to be rescued - a lot that are already trained and ready for a forever home.

Good luck in your decision.

shibaowner, MSN, RN, NP

Has 1 years experience.

I took my dog with me to nursing school and she was a lifesaver! However, she was an adult and well trained. I don't think getting a puppy is a good idea. Puppies simply don't have the bladder capacity to hold it for very long. You would be better off adopting or fostering an adult. You can research breeds that do well in apartments and are independent. On days when you are away for more than 6 hours, hire a dog walker to come in and walk the dog or look into a doggie day care service. Sometimes people will dogsit in their on apartment or house, so ask around the neighborhood. Good luck.

ERNurseErica, BSN, RN

Has 1 years experience.

I understand that you will have some time to train your puppy, but I'm not sure if getting a dog right now is a good idea. You are currently guessing that you will only rarely be caught up at school, but you don't know for sure. What happens if you need to speak with your professor after class or your classmates have study group right after class? How far is your school from home? What if there's traffic? Just take worse scenarios into mind and then see if your dog would be happy in those events. I have a dog and he is 3 years, but his needs are very similar to a younger dog. I hate that during the day, I don't see him, but my lifesaver is my little brother who is home all day on summer break. I really suggest deep thought or getting a dog walker/sitter like previous posts suggest.

Rionoir, ADN, RN

Specializes in Neuro ICU.

You already know the answer...

TriciaJ, RN

Specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory. Has 40 years experience.

I'm definitely in favour of adopting vs buying from a breeder, but I think your dad is right. Even if you can have a dog in your current apartment, sometimes apartments don't work out and you find yourself unexpectedly having to move. Then you'll have to find another place that allows your dog.

Others have already weighed in on the advisability of having to leave your dog alone for hours on end. Then there is the financial burden. Are you more well-off than the average student, or should you be taking a hard look at the associated costs? Have you had dogs previously and have some idea what you're getting into? Or will this be a new experience?

I did not have pets while I was in school. It would have been nice to have something furry to come home to, but just not feasible and not fair to the animal.