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Puppy and nursing school?

Students   (4,512 Views | 16 Replies)

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I am a 3year BSN program and want to get a puppy for my anxiety. I am married with two kids 12yrs and 9yrs do think this is a good idea ?

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671 Posts; 11,110 Profile Views

Dogs in general require time and attention. they will want you to play with them and will miss you a lot when you're not home( prepare for a messy garden disaster, sometimes dogs dig dirt and etc). I mean having a dog is nice and all but they do bring in responsibility from the owners. does anyone else in your family want a dog too?

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11 Posts; 1,194 Profile Views

Puppies in particular will require a LOT of attention. They don't come house trained so you will be chasing after them cleaning up poop and pee and spending a lot of time with them. Please don't get one only to find out you don't have the time for him, it doesn't work out with kids or hubby, etc and then dump him at a shelter or have to give him away. Thousands of animals die in shelters due to overcrowding each day. Please just think it through.

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annie.rn has 21 years experience.

546 Posts; 12,601 Profile Views

Have you thought about fostering/adopting an adult dog from a rescue group? The rescue group will ask you questions about your lifestyle and they can match you with a dog that will best suit you. I think a puppy might be too much. Even though your kids are older, if they are anything like mine the newness of a puppy will wear off quickly and they probably won't help out like they should. An adult dog will not require the attention a puppy requires. Also, if it doesn't work out, the rescue will take the dog back. If they won't then they are not a reputable rescue and I would avoid them. I have rescued three dogs so far in my life and they have turned out to be wonderful pets. Way easier than the two puppies I've raised. The rescues have all seemed to understand on some level that they were "saved" and I developed a very tight bond with them. If you are looking for a certain breed, look up that breed along with "rescue" for the city closest to you. They usually have puppies as well. The people that run rescues are very dog smart and they should be able to give you guidance on whether it is a good time for you to get a dog.

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17 Posts; 665 Profile Views

I think a puppy will only add to your anxiety! As others have mentioned, they require a lot of time and attention to train. I have two 2 and 1/2 year old dogs and they *just* now are growing out of their puppy stage. Some of this is breed-specific, but as phaniea69 mentions, fostering could be a great way to go. That way, you can test the waters to see if you and your family have the time required for a dog. If things go well, you could even put in an application to adopt the dog you foster!

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duskyjewel specializes in hospice.

1,335 Posts; 14,502 Profile Views

Puppies are a lot of work and they are also sentient beings with their own needs and rights. If you're going to adopt one then you need to recognize that and be prepared to meet those needs. They'll cry at night, you have to potty train them, train them not to bite, scratch, chew shoes.....and on and on.

I'm pretty sure nursing school is one of the worst times to do that.

I have now adopted two adult dogs, each about a year old when I got them, from rescue organizations. The experiences have been so good, and the dogs so easy to integrate into the family, that I will never adopt a baby animal again! They're already potty trained, and if the rescue is any good they're socialized. If you really want to get a dog, consider going that route.

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Kuriin has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency.

967 Posts; 8,872 Profile Views

I got a puppy in the beginning of my 3rd year. I lasted about 6 days with her (though I do regret it) because I literally could NOT study. Granted, we have two older dogs and they are dachshunds, so they are pretty mean. :|

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2 Followers; 14,620 Posts; 106,349 Profile Views

I would think that a puppy at this time would only add to your anxiety, not help it. In general, I think of pets (esp. the reasonably sentient ones, like dogs and cats) as being somewhat like children in the sense that you should not get/have one to meet your needs -- it's your responsibility to meet the pet's needs.

I encourage you to look at other ways to manage your anxiety, like seeking mental health treatment. Best wishes.

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Stephalump has 2 years experience and specializes in Forensic Psych.

2,723 Posts; 15,292 Profile Views

I got a puppy a couple weeks before I started my 3rd semester of nursing school. Puppies cause stress, lack of sleep, and more stress - not relaxation! It's almost the equivalent of having a baby.

I had to leave school during my lunch break and drive home to take care of the puppy and eat in the car on my way back to school. I couldn't stay after to study with my classmates because I had to go home. I was woken up every hour to two hours for god knows how long. I had to pay someone to take care of her on my clinical days while no one was home.

She was definitely a huge added stress. I love her dearly, but it's the truth.

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Everline specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

901 Posts; 16,477 Profile Views

A puppy? Probably not a good idea. I adopted an adult dog just before nursing school started. He was already house broken and well through the puppy phase. I had to do some work with him due to separation anxiety but it turned out well. He has helped me through nursing school, always there for me, by my side when I study and welcoming me home like I am the best person on this earth, lol. I would do it all over again and recommend it to others. But I very carefully considered my lifestyle and personality before I adopted a dog to get a high probability of a match. Puppies of any breed, however, can be so much work as to be a huge distraction. You might want to wait on it for your sake and the puppy's sake too.

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WookieeRN has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PACU.

1,045 Posts; 19,822 Profile Views

I would definitely say if you are thinking about a dog, get an older dog. It will probably cut the stress in about a half compared to a puppy.

You cannot leave a puppy alone for 8hrs a day. When we got our puppy almost a year ago we were constantly having to take him out every 2-3hrs to go to the bathroom (even if he didn't have to go). House training can take a while with some breeds. We have an Australian Cattle Dog, a very smart (too smart) breed and house training took us probably a month. My parents have a beagle/Boston terrier mix that is 7 and still has house training issues. We were lucky in that someone was ALWAYS home with him as a baby but that leads me to my next point...

Separation on anxiety can be an issue and it isn't breed specific--it's dog specific. Thankfully, our dog just gets really anxious now (after some serious work on behavior modification on my part) when he sees me grab my car keys or my bag. He immediately runs to the door because, in his mind, if he's at the door when I get there I just HAVE to take him with me. You can train some of the SA behavior out of dogs but some dogs will always have it. It can manifest in accidents in the he house, destructive behavior, etc...

Dogs need exercise. Our ACD has so much pent up energy we take him on 2 1hr walks a day, play frisbee for 1hr AND he has agility and canine good citizen classes 2x a week. And he STILL can be a monster (especially when it rains and he can't go play outside in the rain and make mudpies). Are you prepared to potentially take this much time out of your studying just to keep the dog entertained so he won't find his own way to entertain himself?

Is this dog solely for you? Or your kids as well? It could be a great opportunity to teach your kids responsibility but seriously, be prepared to pick up the slack. A lot.

If you're set on a dog, definitely look at the possibility of low maintenance dogs, but also be aware that dogs can be expensive. Our ACD got an ear infection in July and it set us back over $300 just to see the vet for 15 minutes and get the meds. That's pretty cheap for something like that but I always say that when I walk into the vet I am expecting, on a good day, to walk out at least $400 poorer (if not more).

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

3,169 Posts; 30,410 Profile Views

I am a huge pet lover so it's kind of difficult for me to advise you to not do it...but that is exactly what I am going to do. A puppy is a lot of work. To raise a well behaved, properly trained and socialized dog means a lot of time and effort on your part with the puppy. If you want a puppy, do some breed research and get yourself one as a graduation gift when you are done with school.

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