Owning a pet in college
On a warm day in Milledgeville, it is not uncommon to see students and their pets lounging on front campus or playing a good game of Frisbee. Having a furry or in some cases scaly friend proves to be a popular theme at GC.
The type of pet students get usually depends on what their schedules look like and the space where they live.
“Fish are apparently the easiest pet to take care of, so we had to do that. One time my roommate forgot to feed it and it lived for 6 weeks without being fed,” said Michael Newcomer, freshman geography major.
According to the 2017-18 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, the most common pet type is a freshwater fish. People tend to gravitate towards an easy-to-take-care-of-pet when choosing what to get, especially in college.
“Having my pet turtle doesn’t really affect my school life because he is very low maintenance. I have to feed him twice a day and clean his tank about every one or two weeks,” said Lexi Pellack, sophomore athletic training major.
For students who don’t prefer slimy and scaly pets, cats are an easy to take care of animal that is more interactive than a pet that lives in a tank.
“I love animals and have always wanted a cat of my own, and I’ve always wanted one to help me with my anxiety,” said Perri Olton, a senior anthropology major.
Among the three pets, there are three different costs when it comes to the price of taking care of them.
“The most expensive part of having Louis is the pet fee at my apartment and his shots. That’s pretty much it,” said Olton.
The initial costs for some pets might be higher depending on the animal.
“Having a turtle is not very expensive in the long run. At first, the tank, filter and rocks for the tank are expensive, but the only thing one needs to buy after that is the food. His food lasts him awhile and is inexpensive,” said Pellack.
A common assumption students have about getting a pet is that it will be a large time commitment that will interfere with their academics or their social lives. Students can have it all if they choose a pet that is easy to maintain and is especially cost-effective.
“He doesn’t really interfere, I just feel really sad leaving him when I’m in class because I worry I’m not spending enough time with him,” said Olton.
Having the extra company can be a nice thing when feeling lonely.
“He definitely makes me feel less alone because I only have one roommate that’s gone a fair amount, and he doesn’t bother her,” said Olton.
The type of pet a student gets all boils down to a few factors, their schedule, their finances and location.