When students leave home they often miss their family pets; more and more students are adopting four-legged friends that live with them at school. Animals can act as stress relievers, and comfort students during stressful midterm and exam seasons, however they require a lot of attention and time. Matthews Animal Clinic is a vet clinic in London, and they often find that students aren’t prepared for the financial responsibility that comes with owning an animal. Initial vaccinations, spay or neutering, and food alone for the first year can reach up to $1000.
Emily Thomson is a 4th year student at Western university who adopted a dog with her boyfriend last year. She says many students who haven’t had dogs before aren’t aware of how much time they require. Between walks, vet visits, and school, her schedule is full. Emily grew up with dogs, so she understands the long-term commitment that owning one comes with, however she says she is skeptical that all students who adopt animals understand that they will live longer than the student is in school for.
Matthews Animal Clinic and Thomson both agree that animals are very therapeutic and can be beneficial for students to own, if they have the time, and money saved up. Thomson suggests adopting an lower maintenance animal like a fish, hamster, or cat before taking on a dog.