Pet Ownership as a UGA Student

Moving into an apartment near UGA is an exciting time. It is often the first taste you’ll have of an independent life. A lot of students decide this is the time to adopt a pet. Luckily, many new apartments in Athens are pet friendly. This responsibility should not be taken lightly. Pets live a long time, and you need to take into consideration your lifestyle along with your future situation. Your lifestyle will now need to take into consideration your pet, which entails where and how you spend your time. If you like going downtown, you have to make sure your animal has the proper arrangements set, and you will be back home soon enough to feed them and take them out to the bathroom if it is a dog. If you are used to late classes and sleeping in, you will have to shift this completely. If you are taking care of an animal, it requires care early in the morning especially if you decide on a dog. Dogs require walks frequently to keep them happy and healthy. Having a pet does have benefits, just take into consideration the responsibilities having an animal brings along. 

Start Your Search for Pet Friendly Apartments

Benefits of a Pet ownership in Athens

pet owner uga

Owning a pet has many well-known benefits. Living with an animal reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. Pets bring along companionship which greatly improves mood. For UGA students, stress is always very high with challenging classes, jobs, and extracurricular activities, and nothing relieves the stress of the day like cuddling up next to your pet. Having a dog will help improve social aspects of Athens life. When you take your dog on a walk or go to a dog park you will meet other students in similar situations as you. You might meet some fellow Dawgs, and your puppy might make a couple new buddies as well! 

Things to Consider

Carefully Choose Breeds

Some apartments at the University of Georgia have restrictions on weight and breeds. You will want to check with the property you want to live in the next semester before making any decisions on a pet. Even if your dog is allowed, take into account big dogs are harder to manage. They can be hard to control if not well trained and require a lot of exercise which many students may not be able to handle with the commitments they already have. It is unfair to the dog and you if your current lifestyle prevents you from getting the animal proper exercise. Without it the dog may become unhealthy and irritable.

Pet Fees

Having a pet means you will have to pay pet fees at the property you are living at. For a college student these fees may be hard to manage on top of loans, living expenses, rent and food for the pet itself. Do not burden yourself with more expenses than you can manage, as college is supposed to be a time of freedom and a time to find yourself.

Time commitment

Being a Dawg means you will likely have a busy schedule. Whether you are studying for an exam, spending time with friends downtown or participating in an extracurricular activity, you will have a lot on your plate. With these packed schedules it leaves little time for the care of a pet that is completely dependent on you. 

Adopting a Pet in Athensathens human society

Once you've carefully considered whether you can take care of an animal properly, you'll want to start looking for your new furry friend. There are plenty of dogs and cats deserving of your love in animal shelters. Check out the Athens Humane Society and view their adoptable pets. Go in person to meet the animals and after signing some paperwork, you could leave with a new best friend. If you're not quite ready for that step, consider volunteering at the humane society or becoming a foster pet parent

Finding a Pet-Friendly Apartment near UGA

There are many properties that allow pets in Athens. If you are planning on becoming a pet owner, it is important to research these beforehand. Signing a lease that is not pet friendly is risky, because if you are found out there can be serious consequences including high fees or worse eviction. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If an apartment community is pet friendly look into if there are dog parks nearby, or a trail like Firefly trail that runs near downtown Athens. Another thing to consider is unless you are living in a one bedroom apartment, you will most likely have a roommate. If your roommate is random, reach out to let them know you plan on having a pet. The more roommates you have, like in a 5 bedroom apartment, it could make it harder to have a pet. Make sure to set up a budget for your apartment's pet deposit. This includes the additional monthly fee of having a pet on the property and the damages the animal might cause.

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