So, you’re in university. You’re living on your own for the first time, or the second time, or you’ve been on your own for a while now. The point is, you have new freedoms that cannot be experienced under the umbrella of guardians. Things like drinking, partying, sex, and the most importantly, the ability to own a pet. Hooray! Here is a quick guide to which pets are best to get on a student budget!
I’ve Always Wanted a Dog!
But can you dedicate all your spare time to one? Dogs need at least two walks a day, their food and emergency vet bills are expensive, and they need toys to play with or they will rip up your furniture and home. Many students rely on OSAP, minimum savings, and a part-time job to scrape enough together for tuition, rent and groceries. So, maybe a super dependant, medium-sized animal isn’t a good idea.
Okay, Well How About a Cat, Then?
Much smaller than the average dog for sure, but still a huge responsibility! Cats may not seem as dependant as dogs, but a lonely cat soon becomes a bored cat, and bored cats can tear up a house as easily as a dog. Not to mention, nine out of 10 cats recommend galloping around the house while running from invisible ghosts at all hours of the night. A cat will have no respect for your sleeping patterns and even less respect for bed space. Not a great idea for students who need to be refreshed and rested.
Alright, Fair, But I’ve Always Wanted a Lizard.
I hope you love sitting on the bus with a box of live crickets, because that will become your life in order to feed your lizard! Of course there’s nothing wrong with this, but live food does sometimes cause hilarity. Some online stores don’t even package their live food properly, and so opening a box can lead straight to hundreds of crickets leaping out onto you, effectively infesting your home. Also heat lamps, adequate tank space, and enriching environments can be expensive and take up a lot of space that you might not have in a shared home. But yeah, live food is fun.
Oh My God, Okay. A Fish.
Fun fact! I once had a friend who bought a fish every month or so because they kept dying in various gruesome ways, despite his best intentions. Here are some of the fun ways his fish died, in order of deaths: jumped out of the tank, sucked into a filter, eaten by another fish, jumped out of the tank again and was run over by a wheely chair, and unexplained death. Please do not be like this friend, and just give up on owning fish if you realize that you may be an unintentional fish serial killer. Also yeah, fish bowls suck and you actually need huge tanks and expensive filter equipment.
I’m Super Depressed Now. Guess I Won’t Get a Pet.
Whoa hold on there partner! We have not discussed the EASIEST, CHEAPEST, BEST kind of pet there is. Guaranteed to cost absolutely NOTHING for food, medical aid, cleaning, etc. Will ALWAYS be there for you when you need them, makes NO NOISE at all, takes up BARELY ANY SPACE, and can be carried with you EVERYWHERE.
What is this mysterious, fantastical pet, you ask?
A rock with googly eyes.