What it's REALLY Like Having a Dog in College

Hi doggie lovers!! I'm sure y'all know by now that I have a dog Mia, a maltipoo (you can follow her on Insta here). Our family got her in January, it was really one of those things that you just chalk up to fate, and I brought her with me to college in February! I was so excited and nervous about having a dog in college and I can honestly say that it has changed my life! I thought I would do a post sharing the pros and cons, the real truth about what it's like having a dog in college!


  • Always Someone to Come Home to:

It doesn't matter if I've been gone 45 min or 5 hours, I always get the same treatment. The "oh my gosh you've been gone for like EVER and I missed you so so much" response, and I love it. I can't think of anything better than coming home to someone who doesn't care about anything else except that you're back with them.

  • A Best Friend!

It's so rare to have someone in your life that loves you unconditionally and doesn't care how smart you are, how pretty you are, all the things that us humans care about. All they want is for you to love them back and treat them kindly. This is why pets are so amazing and why they really make the best companions.

  • Excuse to go Outside and Exercise:

Despite what other people tell you, it's hard being a college student. It can be overwhelming and when you have hell week coming up (test week) and you are cooped up in your apartment or library, having a dog makes it impossible not to go outside whether to take them to potty or on a walk. I've learned that this encouragement is a good thing being that college can be a very lazy/busy time.

  • Fun Doggie Events:

Honestly, one of the funnest things about having a dog. You're able to go to so many cool events that are for dogs and their owners!! For example, Wags and Waves is an event in Garland, TX at Hawaiian Falls Waterpark that allows dogs to come to the park on the last day of the season! It is SO fun and this year was my first time bringing Mia!! She had an absolute blast and so did I!!!

I'm not sure which one of us had more fun - jk it was probably me 🐶🏊🏽 #wagsandwaves #maltipoo

A post shared by Sabrina Lin (@themeaningfullife) on

I had so much fun at the water park today with Mommy!!!! #wagsandwaves

A post shared by Mia The Maltipoo (@mia.the.maltipooo) on

  • Conversation Starter:

Who doesn't love dogs?! Well maybe some people, but I don't know any. My point is most people love seeing a cute doggie and it can start some great conversations allowing you to meet a lot of new people! Also meeting other dogs!! I'd be lying if I said I hated the attention I get when I'm with her ;). Mia loves meeting other doggies and so do I!!

  • Stress Reliever:

It is a proven fact that dogs and pets in general are an amazing stress reliever. As a psychology major I know how detrimental stress can be and furry friends are an antidote! 

  • Snuggle Buddy:

Long weekends means longer cuddle sessions 💤 #labordayweekend

A post shared by Sabrina Lin (@themeaningfullife) on

Now I understand that some dogs don't like to cuddle, but Mia does and there is nothing better than a cuddle sesh with my cutie <3

  • Living in ATX is the Best!!

Now this is only a pro if you live in Austin, or a dog loving city like Austin. I have never been to a city as dog friendly as Austin and I absolutely love it. Mia loves going to Zilker Park and playing with other doggies, shopping with me at the Domain, hiking on the weekends, the list goes on! Living in Austin makes having a dog 10x more fun!


  • Living in an Apartment:

I live in an apartment like most college students do, and this is definitely a huge con when being a dog owner. First of all a lot of apartments don't allow dogs, others allow dogs but you have to pay an additional fee. They're typically small spaces (main reason why I wanted a small dog), but a big con for me is finding grass! Mia can be picky sometimes about her "business" areas and sometimes it can be a little walk to find grass and not as convenient as having a backyard. Not to mention that college apartments can be busy making it a little distracting for doggies. Another apartment con is if you live in an upper floor, it takes longer to get to the grass!

  • Taking Them Out:

Taking a dog out can definitely be a pain. No matter how fast your doggie goes, it still takes time and this kind of ties in with my last con, doing it all on your own isn't fun!

  • Mommy Guilt:

Yes I know, she's a dog not a child, but she is my child and mommy guilt applies to all living things under your care, okay?! I feel bad when I leave her too long and I have to consider her in pretty much all decisions I make. I definitely feel like a Mom, and I do whatever I can to make sure that I'm taking the best care of my baby and avoid the mommy guilt.

  • Baggage:

Dogs, just like anything that's your responsibility, are baggage. It makes travelling, spending hours away, extremely difficult. 

  • $$$:

You know how on Yelp they rate how expensive the restaurant is by the number of $$?... Dogs get $$$. If I didn't have my parent's support with Mia, there's no way I could afford a dog as a student. Dogs are expensive, once you add in food, vet visits, toys, grooming, it really adds up. I think the important part of this con is to make sure getting a dog is a well thought out process because the last thing you want is to have to give up your best friend.

  • Sole Caretaker:

This is probably the hardest part of having a dog, being in college you are typically on your own, leaving you to be the sole caretaker which is a lot of work! When you have a family dog the responsibilities can be more divided, which is why I think having a good support system when you have a dog is really important! Whether it's a best friend or significant other, it's great to have someone who can take care of your doggie while you're busy! Payal is Mia's godmother (you might remember her from our hair-dying post linked here) and I trust her with Mia completely! She has been a huge help whenever I'm not able to take care of Mia! They have so much fun together and I'm so lucky to have her.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post!! Do you agree with my list? Do you think I missed anything? This post was completely my opinion and I wanted to be completely honest with y'all. While the con list was pretty long, the pros of having a dog in college, not to mention the love they add to your life, is priceless. Mia has completely changed my life and I wouldn't trade my time with her for anything.