Teaching Young Adults About Responsible Pet Ownership

“We want a dog! We promise we will take care of him, walk him, feed him, train him…” If you’re a parent, chances are you have heard this from your children at one time or another. You know what happens, right? You end up taking on all of the responsibility of dog ownership and care. That’s all right, though. You love the dog and he’s a member of the family.

What happens, though when your children are young adults and want to have a dog when they go away to college? There are many reasons they’d want to have a dog with them when they head off – sometimes for the first time – on their own. Before you take them to a shelter and let them rescue a dog to bring to college with them you need to make certain they are aware of the responsibility involved with caring for a pet. They’ve always had you as a back-up for dog care and if you’re not there, will they give the dog the love, training and care he deserves?

Will the dog be in a shared room? Will the student with whom your child is sharing a room want to be with a dog? Will your child have the time to devote to training the dog? A dog who is untrained and left to his own devices while your child is at classes or working or hanging out with friends is a dog who may destroy the room simply because he’s bored or lonely.

To protect yourself and your child from a dog bite liability lawsuit, if you’re going to be adopting a dog for your child to take to college with him, you need to invest in dog bite insurance. This policy, costs pennies a day, and provides peace of mind and protection in the event your dog bites someone.

Teaching Young Adults About Responsible Pet Ownership

Here are some of the advantages of having a dog in college

  1. Your child won’t be as lonely. Going away from home for the first time is a major change and can lead to loneliness and even depression. A dog may help alleviate that.
  2. If they have a dog, they just may be more social and be prone to making more friends than if they don’t have a dog.
  3. Your child may not get the “freshman fifteen” if he or she has a dog. A dog encourages exercise and that will make them both healthier and happier.

Here are some disadvantages or items to consider when bringing a dog to college

  1. Who will train the dog and care for him when your child is in classes?
  2. Are dogs allowed? Service dogs are, but not all colleges allow dogs and many dorm rooms won’t either. Know the rules and don’t attempt to “sneak” a dog in – you will be found out, then if you have to get rid of the dog who will take her?
  3. Where will you take the dog for veterinarian care? Is there a vet close? Who will pay for the care if mom and dad aren’t around to do so?
  4. Will you have enough time and is there enough space to accommodate a dog? If you’re determined to have a dog in your dorm room you should look for a small breed dog rather than a large or giant breed. Do you research and adopt a dog that is suited to “apartment style” living.
  5. If you need to move out of the dorm in the summer, where will you go? Will your dog be welcomed at your summer accommodation?

Before your child decides to adopt a dog to take off to college, make certain dogs are allowed. If dogs aren’t allowed, but small animals (like hamsters or birds or reptiles) are, consider that as an option.

About FIDO

There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.

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