Scrolling through Free & For Sale, I see the fifth “Kittens for sale” post this week. Like many before me, I tagged my housemates, hoping they’d agree to a kitten for the house.
Pets can be our best friends. They help us through our worst and celebrate with us at our best. But for a university student living away from home, a pet may not be the best idea.
Whether it’s a new addition or an old companion, the one thing any pet really needs is a devoted owner, or owners. But this commitment is tough, especially in the life of a university student when we’re busy juggling our schoolwork, extracurricular activities and jobs.
Of course, you can share the responsibility with roommates so your pet gets more attention. However, keep in mind that roommates may have mixed feelings about pets. Also, don’t forget to take the financial expenses of a pet into account. Annual expenses can total over $1,000, including regular health check-ups and necessary equipment.
This financial burden can sadly lead to surrendering our animal friends or abandoning them altogether. One way for students to test the waters is by fostering an animal. Creating a foster home allows students to make a short-term commitment to see if owning a pet is right for them.
There are several organizations in Kingston that support fostering, including the Kingston Humane Society, Loyal Rescue and many more. Some organizations provide all the necessary supplies such as food or toys, while others will cover just veterinary expenses.
However, the decision to foster an animal is still not one to be taken lightly. The time commitment is often large, with some animals needing around the clock support.
The final thing to consider is what happens after graduation. Do you or one of your housemates bring the pet with you? Will your pet play a role in your decision to accept a job abroad?
Many students ultimately make the decision to give away or sell their best friend where a new chapter in their life begins.
Make sure that you’re adequately informed and prepared before taking on a pet. It will help improve not just your own life, but a little furry one as well.
Jessica is The Journal’s Assistant Photo Editor. She’s a second-year Commerce student.
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