If you do not currently own a pet and are getting the itch to own one, I encourage you to consider a few things first.
I already owned my dog, Riggs (aka: Riggles/Rigsy) when starting the program, but pets can be a large responsibility. So consider how much time you will be able to devote to your pet during the program, especially if it is a dog. If you’re considering a dog, will you have to train them? Will they be crated or not? What are the traits of the specific breed (i.e. are they prone to anxiety, are they high energy, etc.)? The answers to these questions will impact how much time you will need to devote to them and ensuring they have healthy outlets to exert their energy. If you plan on balancing work, school (classes, studying, group work) and a social life (including events before or after class), are you okay with knowing that you may have to rearrange your schedule sometimes to meet the needs of your pet? In addition, you will need to consider whether your student budget can cover the cost of vaccinations, vet visits, food, and toys.
On the flipside, I completely understand wanting to come home to a cuddly, fluff ball. They can become quite the companion too. Heck, Riggs is like a son to me (yes, I just admitted that). A pet can bring life to a home even when you have no energy left after work or school. In addition, having to walk a dog can be surprisingly relaxing. I have come to use the walks as refreshing study breaks to clear my head and relax. One of the many benefits to living in Columbus is that it is really pet friendly. There are quite a few dog parks and scenic areas to walk your dog. There are also several places to board your pet if needed, and several daycares (If you live near Grandview or Upper Arlington…I highly recommend Puptown Lounge!). Some extra perks are that there are several food establishments that are pet friendly. DQ has “pup-cups” (Vanilla Ice Cream w/ a Milkbone) for dogs AND if you bring your dog to Graeter’s on the first Thursday of the month during the spring/summer months they will give you a FREE Frosty Paw Treat (dog ice cream)! Needless to say, but Columbus is pretty great!
Between work and school, I definitely find myself rearranging my schedule to ensure I am able to meet the needs of Riggs. This means that sometimes I can’t go out after class or I can’t just relax on campus between my job and class. In my opinion, it’s totally worth it. However, not all people would agree. So consider what is practical and feasible to maintain while pursuing the MHRM program.