rds726

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So i just got a puppy about 2 months ago.
I got him planning to take him to med school with me, but now thinking about it, i feel like it might not be fair to him to make him sit at home alone all day while i study.
If i dont take him, my parents are willing to take him.

Some people have told me that having a pet during med school is good for stress relief, but others have told me that it's unfair for the dog and also the care involved can affect studying time.

What you guys think? Do i dump him off on my parents, or take him with me? I guess he can help when Anatomy rolls around...
 

PlayMeSomeMusic

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I'm brining mine. she just turned a year old and at least is house broken and pretty laid back. I've actually been looking for apartments/a roommate that also might have a dog so they can keep each other busy during the day. I think if he/she is important to you you'll be able to manage. I still plan on playing and walking her and all those good things but she is a priority.
 

bbb333

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great question. i was thinking of getting a puppy now to take to med school in the fall but i'm also worried i won't have enough time for her.
 
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sunny1

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I guess he can help when Anatomy rolls around...

I don't get that...?

Offhand I'd say your parents might need to take the dog. But first, I need more information. How old is the puppy already and have you trained him/her yet? What breed is it?

Tell us about your expected living situation. Will you be looking to have a roommate? Perhaps they could help with the dog.

If you will be in a townhome or rental home with a small fenced backyard (instead of an apartment) you could have a doggy door so it can relieve itself during the day instead of waiting for you.

How flexible is the class schedule of the school you'll be attending? Is it M-F 9-5 mandatory or can you be home sometimes during the day? If you can be home more during the day, that would help. Study at home too.

Alternatively, you could do doggie daycare a day or two during the week to allow the dog to play with other dogs all day. There are dog parks too, and you could either take your dog there early in the morning before you leave for school to get him tired out or you could take him after work to the dog park. You could also just go on long walks with him in the morning and evening as part of your own exercise routine.

There are LOTS of options. But - it takes dedication to have a happy dog in my opinion. It's not that hard, but it does take dedication. If you don't have the time for that, then I'd suggest letting your parents have the puppy.
 

Depakote

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I know a few people in my class that have dogs.

If you manage it well, you should be fine. You'll just want to get used to studying at home and maybe make sure you live close enough to campus that you can sneak home at lunch to let the dog out. I think you'll enjoy the companionship.
 

rds726

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I'm brining mine. she just turned a year old and at least is house broken and pretty laid back. I've actually been looking for apartments/a roommate that also might have a dog so they can keep each other busy during the day. I think if he/she is important to you you'll be able to manage. I still plan on playing and walking her and all those good things but she is a priority.

according to your MDApps you are not gonna be going to any school i might be going to. our dogs couldve kept each other company...

I don't get that...?

Offhand I'd say your parents might need to take the dog. But first, I need more information. How old is the puppy already and have you trained him/her yet? What breed is it?

Tell us about your expected living situation. Will you be looking to have a roommate? Perhaps they could help with the dog.

If you will be in a townhome or rental home with a small fenced backyard (instead of an apartment) you could have a doggy door so it can relieve itself during the day instead of waiting for you.

How flexible is the class schedule of the school you'll be attending? Is it M-F 9-5 mandatory or can you be home sometimes during the day? If you can be home more during the day, that would help. Study at home too.

Alternatively, you could do doggie daycare a day or two during the week to allow the dog to play with other dogs all day. There are dog parks too, and you could either take your dog there early in the morning before you leave for school to get him tired out or you could take him after work to the dog park. You could also just go on long walks with him in the morning and evening as part of your own exercise routine.

There are LOTS of options. But - it takes dedication to have a happy dog in my opinion. It's not that hard, but it does take dedication. If you don't have the time for that, then I'd suggest letting your parents have the puppy.

the Anatomy comment was a stupid joke. I could use him to study. haha.
bad joke, i know.

He is about 4 months old. He is a Chinese Crested Powderpuff. He is a little guy, that will max out at 10lbs. He is pretty house broken, with random accidents sometimes. Right now, I am working full time and i keep him at home. I have a roommate who is in dental school, but my dog seems to be pretty happy.

Like PlayMeSomeMusic, I would like to find someone who has a dog also to keep eachother company. I haven't decided on a school yet so I dont know what the living situations will be or what my schedule will be like.
I would really like to take him if it won't interfere with my studies and I can keep him happy.
 

Ben62734

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great question. i was thinking of getting a puppy now to take to med school in the fall but i'm also worried i won't have enough time for her.

I would recommend getting a slightly older dog then. Puppies are a LOT of work, and need a lot more time. There are plenty of great adult dogs that need homes, too, and a lot of them come pre-loaded with housetraining and a trick or two :).
 

sunny1

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He is about 4 months old. He is a Chinese Crested Powderpuff. He is a little guy, that will max out at 10lbs. He is pretty house broken, with random accidents sometimes. Right now, I am working full time and i keep him at home. I have a roommate who is in dental school, but my dog seems to be pretty happy.

Like PlayMeSomeMusic, I would like to find someone who has a dog also to keep eachother company. I haven't decided on a school yet so I dont know what the living situations will be or what my schedule will be like.
I would really like to take him if it won't interfere with my studies and I can keep him happy.

It sounds doable to me.:)

P.S. I don't know that you're interested or if he would ever need it, but if you do ever go to a dog park in the future, please be sure it's got a separate fenced play area for small dogs only.
 

Perrotfish

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Do research on the breed. A St Bernard would be just fine sitting in your apartment all day, while a border collie would go completely nuts. Find out how much attention a Chinese powderpuff needs and make the decision based on its needs.
 

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I have a 5 yr old (turning 6 in 11 days) yorkshire terrier, who is the love of my life!! He's not going anywhere! Now maybe during my really "hard" clinical rotations he'll stay with my parents, but in generl I've been able to manage with him (and yorkies sleep a lot too), so we have our schedule down while I work and am in school. Generally when I'm home a lot he just goes off and sleeps, lol, so the breed and personality of the dog will largely dictate how it works out. You also need to get your dog on your schedule, and start early. Don't spend every minute of every day with the dog then start school nd suddenly be away all the time...that's when they start acting out and getting really upset.

I'm actually thinking about getting a second dog for him to have a companion (since they are small and not very expensive in general other than shots which you can anticipate the cost). The same rational (for some) as having a second child. I have heard that they often prefer to spend time together than with the owner...so who knows. I just don't think I could get my family to watch two vresus one. But I'm realllly thinking about it. My family has never had 2 dogs so it would be really different, but I would love love love to have another....we'll see :-\
 

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to the OP: are you starting to wonder if you can keep the dog during medical school b/c you're having trouble taking care of the dog now???? Not trying to be mean or anything, but if that is the case then maybe you should look in to having your parents take the dog. If you're working full time now and are managing just fine with your pup, then you should be ok for school....

I just got a dog (a 1 1/2 year old rescue) about 6 months ago, and I'll be starting school in the fall. I'm planning on living close enough to school so that I can run home during free time, and hopefully having enough space in my apt to be able to study at home instead of at the library. although my fiance will be in school as well, hopefully he'll be able to help out just as much...

It's certainly not impossible to have a dog during school, you just have to make it a priority- just like having a child. (and you can look in to day care, asking friends to puppy sit/take it out during lunch, etc- just like a real kid!)
 

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Maybe you could get a cat to keep the dog company. Cats are super easy to take care of and pretty self-sufficient. Small dogs usually bond with cats pretty well, especially if you get a kitten when the dog is still very young and they get to grow up together.
My boyfriend and I have 3 cats and a 6month old sheltie. We both work full time and are taking full time post-bacc classes so we are very busy. The dog seems to be really happy and her and the cats get along just fine.
We leave her at home all day while we are at work/class and she hasn't chewed anything or destroyed anything. She is a pretty high energy dog so we just make sure to take her on a really long walk or go to the park when we get home. Which is actually really nice to have an excuse to get outside and do something. It's nice to have her there when you get home, especially if you have a really bad day.

I read in a dog training book that guilt is a human feeling. The dog could really care less if you are around all the time as long as you pay attention to it when you are there. Sure there are probably exceptions to this rule, but as long as your puppy doesn't have separation anxiety you should be fine.
 

Mobius1985

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Some people with really small dogs like yours (is 10# the final weight?) can train them to a litter pan when they're small, as well at to paper or grass surfaces. If you started that now, you wouldn't 'have' to get home every four hours to take her out.

Having her with you would have an inestimable value: companionship, stress relief, exercize companion, chick/guy magnet, and entertainment.
 
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searun

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I vote for a cat. I am very familiar with the psychology and emotional needs of both cats and dogs. Dogs get pretty desperate when you are not around, but cats think they are doing you a favor when the notice you.
 

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great question. i was thinking of getting a puppy now to take to med school in the fall but i'm also worried i won't have enough time for her.
I think it is a great idea to have a dog especially if you rescue one (so you dont feel as guilty cause anything is better than the life the dog came from.) Just think about it...you are going to need to take breaks while studying...you can take your dog for a refreshing walk outside. Also..being a dog owner myself...I love coming home and my dog greets me with such excitement! DOGS HAVE NO CONSEPT OF TIME
 

rds726

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my puppy is pretty paper-trained. so i dont have to come back and take him out.
he is at home most of the day and i just feel bad that he has to be alone. otherwise, he does fine on his own. He has random accidents every once in awhile and has ripped up the paper he pees on, but he's getting better.

I think I will bring him if I can find someone to live with who also has a pet or will be home more often than I am.
Thanks for the advice guys.
 

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i miss my little wiener dog. had a dachshund (spelling?). so sweet and such a great companion. some people just dont understand how important pets, especially dogs can be.my brother always gives me that "oh my god, its just a dog" line.....
 

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I vote for a cat. I am very familiar with the psychology and emotional needs of both cats and dogs. Dogs get pretty desperate when you are not around, but cats think they are doing you a favor when the notice you.

I don't know much about cats, but I was just talking to a neighbor last week and she got a cat because she didn't think she would have enough time for a dog. Turns out the CAT had separation anxiety, and even though she had the front claws removed, the cat was miserable and would destroy all of her furniture and belongings with its teeth whenever she had to work late. She ended up giving the cat to her parents, and it's perfectly behaved now that it has lots of attention. Go figure. If it were me, and I wanted a cat right before med school, I'd probably get one from a foster program. That way you know the energy level of the cat and its needs. Ditto with a dog. Foster dogs are great, and you know their strengths and weaknesses ahead of time. And I agree with those above who caution that a puppy at the start of med school (if you're living/training it on your own) is a recipe for disaster.

I've got a dog (almost eight years old) and am thinking of moving somewhere 10 minutes from school instead of 30 minutes from school just so I can run home to let my dog out on an hour break from class. And I regularly dream of backyards and dog doors. Now that would be awesome.

As for if dog ownership is worth the extra trouble? For me - absolutely. My dog is family, and his impact on my happiness and sanity when I'm stressed is incomparable.
 

Marthea007

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I brought my dog to school (he's actually sleeping on my bed right now) and I would be completely miserable if I hadn't. They're great company when studying as long as they don't get jealous of your books and try to sleep on them. There will more than likely be other students in your class that have dogs. I've got 2 other friends with dogs and we've just formed our own study group and while we study the dogs can play. It's definitely doable if you're willing to put in the time and the effort and put aside the funds for food/vets/emergencies. I know I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

SirGecko

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I'd like to second the "get a cat to keep the dog company" idea. Even big dogs love cats if you introduce them at an early age and they live together for a while.

The one thing that I would watch out for though (and this is rather long term obviously) is that once you have more than one animal don't let it drop down to just one. I had a puppy I got when I was about 6 or so and he died when I was 15 from a heart defect. (he was only 9! it was quite sad) We also had a cat who is still with us and they were the best of buds. But when my dog died the cat got super depressed. He gained a lot of weight, stopped moving arround as much and got super grumpy. (he actually attacked my mom, something he never did before) We wound up getting a kitten to see if it would cheer him up and low and behold it did. (so even when pets get a lot of attention from you sometimes they just need a friend as well)
 

EpiPEN

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Coming form a culture that eats dogs, I say, yes, bring a dog to medical school. Emergency ration if nothing else.


j/k

I have been thinking of getting a puppy but that would mean I need to take care of it during med school. Is a puppy really a LOT harder to take care of than a dog? should I just adopt an older dog instead?
 

lyn2006

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I would be so sad if my dog wasn't here with me! He's a mastiff-boxer-pitbull (?) mix (rescue) and is pretty much the laziest dog I've ever met, so sleeping all day isn't a problem for him.

If you do take your dog, get to know your neighbors! we have some neighbors that LOVE our dog and are happy to let him out midday if we're gone for 12 hours. And we take him running in the AM, to the dog park a couple times a week, and hiking when we can... it's definitely do-able and makes med school much more managable!

To reply to EpiPEN- we adopted our dog when he was about 1 1/2 because it is much harder to train a puppy that get a dog who is already housebroken. You'll have to be home a lot during the puppy's first few months to get him/her properly housetrained. They have a lot of energy too! Look on petfinder for rescue programs or shelters- there are SO many adult dogs out there who need loving homes.
 

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I have 4 dogs. Fortunately my parents live just down the road and can help out. I think getting an older dog from rescue is the way to go. The foster home can give you a good idea of what the dog is like. Most dogs are social animals. Even if you are around a bit, they like to be with their own. Sometimes rescue has dogs that have been together before being surrendered and the foster home does not want to split them up.
 

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I'd only do it if you have some help.

My SO takes care of our dogs on days that I am gone / stuck in the library. I couldn't imagine doing this to my dogs if I were single. It would be borderline cruelty to animals.
 

rds726

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so i guess the best thing is to find a roommate who will also have a dog.
is that gonna be hard to find?
 

Ben62734

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I have been thinking of getting a puppy but that would mean I need to take care of it during med school. Is a puppy really a LOT harder to take care of than a dog? should I just adopt an older dog instead?

Yes and yes. Puppies need you around a LOT more often (like at least every couple hours, especially for the first few months), and need a lot more work with training, housebreaking, etc. Do you have a real reason for getting a puppy over an adult dog, other than "puppy!! puppies are cute!!", because they do eventually outgrow that. I'm not saying no one should get a puppy -- if you have the time and are willing to put in the work to raise them into a full-grown dog, then it's a great experience and a great thing to do. But you have to be realistic about the time you have and the time the dog needs from you -- in a lot of ways it's like suddenly having a baby to take care of. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with adopting an adult dog -- doesn't even have to be an old one, could be 2-3 years old. You'd be giving a home to a dog that otherwise might end up never getting one. I got my dog when he was 6, and it's 3 1/2 years later and I'd never consider going to school without him. But personally I don't think I could handle getting a new puppy and starting med school at the same time.
 

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Two of my friends who are in medical school already had to give up their dogs midway through their first semester because they couldn't adequately care for them, and I was pretty upset by that so I wanted to put my two cents in.

First of all, having a dog (especially a puppy, but all dogs) is a lot of work and it's cruel to neglect them. Exercise and attention are incredibly important. If you've got experience caring for dogs and know you'll have ample time for this, then go for it.

Secondly, planning ahead is important. What about third and fourth year when you'll be on the wards? What about residency when you'll be even busier? It's really not cool to get a dog and then have to give it up in a couple years--that's so hard for the dog.

I love dogs, and I don't want to discourage people from enjoying their company. It's just that, because I do love them, it really pains me when I see young people get them and unable to care for them, or care for them well. I'd like to urge everyone to really think this through very thoughtfully before making any decisions.
 
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