wustlnyc15

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Mar 31, 2015
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hey guys, i know there have been other threads about getting a dog in medical school, but I'm wondering about the specific case of sharing a dog with a boyfriend who is also in medical school. a lot of the other threads seemed to agree that getting a dog on your own is tough and with a SO is manageable, but what if the SO also has a crazy, unpredictable schedule? has anyone else had this exact situation and found it manageable? i really really really want to get a puppy. i think i would love it so much that the logistical challenges would be worth it.
 

trs88

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Mar 20, 2013
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What about fostering dogs instead? That way, you can still have animal companionship and in the event that time management becomes a problem, you can let the foster organization know that you are unable to continue fostering dogs.
 

IsWhat

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Jul 13, 2012
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A dog requires training, playtime, bathroom breaks, vet visits, etc. A responsible owner knows at least 30-60 minutes of everyday belongs to the dog - not you. If you are willing to make that sacrifice, then why not. It's hard to give that time to an animal when a final and/or shelf exam is coming up, though.
 
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Does it have to be a puppy? You can always adopt senior dogs that sleep most of the day, want to play maybe an hour and is perfectly content with a quiet home. Then you can still get your puppy snuggles when you are home, but not feel guilty about not being around all the time. We adopted two senior dogs who are still fairly active (currently ages 17 adopted at 14 and our newest addition at age 12). Our dogs still swim, they take walks, occasionally go on short runs with me. Bonus points that they already came housetrained. Just another option instead of a puppy that requires A TON OF ATTENTION. Most puppies don't like being left alone for more than an hour otherwise they tend to destroy things.
 

neoevolution

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I don't think a younger dog is really possible, maybe with pee pads and electronic feeders, but it still probably wouldn't be enough attention.

I think the main problem would be clinical years, especially away sites with housing that ban dogs. Especially during M4 rotations, you might both be forbidden from bringing your dog with you.
 
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TheFutureFatMan

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Apr 8, 2016
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hey guys, i know there have been other threads about getting a dog in medical school, but I'm wondering about the specific case of sharing a dog with a boyfriend who is also in medical school. a lot of the other threads seemed to agree that getting a dog on your own is tough and with a SO is manageable, but what if the SO also has a crazy, unpredictable schedule? has anyone else had this exact situation and found it manageable? i really really really want to get a puppy. i think i would love it so much that the logistical challenges would be worth it.
Got two. Best decision I ever made, they're family.

It can be easy or tough either way, largely based on the dog's temperament and YOUR ability to actually train a dog. Most of the problems you hear that people have with their pups is based on their inability to train and provide a consistent environment for a dog. You need to understand those realities before you get a puppy, and go from there.

Sidenote, find a good vet first. Look into pet insurance. You're a med student and unless you're one of the fortunate few...money is tight. If you have a holy crap emergency, that insurance comes in handy. Also, PLEASE get your puppy spayed/neutered and keep them up to date on vaccines and heart guard. Also do some research on the breeds, if you get a super active dog and you're in medical school...you're not doing them any favors. Dogs that are suitable for "apartment" living, tend to also be suitable for med student schedule. Hit the inter webs and talk to trainers at your local pet store for input.
 

FantasticDoctorFox

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Jan 30, 2015
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What year are you? I didn't go to lectures during MS1-2 so my time was largely my own and I was able to pretty easily schedule my time around the needs of my pup. Taking the time to really train a puppy is worth it, but it is VERY time consuming if you are going to do it the right way. If you are an MS1 currently then by the time you get to clinical years your dog won't be a puppy anymore which makes things a little bit easier, but there are still some obstacles to overcome. In my opinion, it's not fair for a dog to stay home alone all day while you are on a 12hr shift (let alone when you have to take 24 or 30hr call) and so if you don't have friends who can help out or are not able to pay to send your pup to doggie daycare, don't do it.

I also second what was said about looking into the cost of vet care, emergencies, food, toys, etc... Also consider if you think having a dog will become an issue when/if you have to move for residency, etc... I definitely understand the desire to have a dog, I love my dog like he's my family. But they are a lot of work and can cost a decent chunk of change to take care of, so just make sure you are really ready to take on that commitment before making any rash decisions.
 
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Crayola227

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forget it, cats all the way

ideal med student/resident friend, especially if you do aways
 

NontradCA

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Get an alligator
 
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I'm out of the house at least 10-12 hours every weekday. As a result, my dog costs $300/month for daycare/walking. He gets about an hour of attention from me daily. I set aside an additional $100/month for emergency medical costs and will continue to do this for the next few years. If he exceeds the medical budget, he won't get treatment or will be euthanized if he experiences a diminished quality of life. Food and tick/flea/etc. preventative is $40/month. He gets anxious when he doesn't have a regular schedule, so my activities are especially constrained between him and school. Vacation and travel is very expensive and/or complicated, especially around holidays. Due to his size and breed, renting is also very complicated and requires sacrifices on my part. Basically he's a large money and time commitment, especially due to the daycare/walking costs, which I'm sure could be even more in a more expensive city. I obviously think he's worth it. But in your position I would think long and hard before committing to a puppy and definitely consider fostering for a bit before adopting to get a sense of what your commitment will have to be and if it's really compatible with your lifestyle at the end of the day.
 
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NontradCA

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Getting a puppy takes a lot of patience and time. If you dont have any other obligations besides med school, it’d be super doable. You’d need a sitter/walker during 3rd year (like rover) and some backup for 4th year.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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Don't. Just don't.
 

Robin-jay

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I hear people talk about how time consuming medical school is all the time, but I certainly didn't have time to have a dog during chemistry graduate school. I was gone 12-16 hours a day, and 8-12 on weekends at the science department.

Seems strange to me.I guess I will be able to tell the difference once I start next month.
 
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I looked into getting one, but couldn’t justify leaving a dog at home for so many hours. I guess there’s not an ideal time to get one during medical training unless you have a partner who can be attentive for longer during the day.
 
Sep 23, 2017
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It's very selfish to get a dog in med school or residency.

When you're gone for the 16-30 hour shift and get a dog walker to keep the dog company for 1 hour is frickin mean to the dog. They get lonely, frustrated, and depressed when left alone for so long.

Unless you significant other is there and only has a 8hr/day type of job, you shouldn't get a dog.
 

Bobcat18

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Got one 4th year of medical school once I decided to go into radiology. Best decision of my life. I would recommend it once you have a better idea of your future plans because if you're planning on going into a field that required a ton of time in the hospital (e.g. any surgical field) I'd recommend against it. It's cruel and inhumane to leave a dog repeatedly at home alone for 12+ hours. Reiterating above- dogs are a ton of work and require a ton of time to train them especially in the first 6 months. However, if you choose a more relaxed field it's definitely doable.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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Got one 4th year of medical school once I decided to go into radiology. Best decision of my life. I would recommend it once you have a better idea of your future plans because if you're planning on going into a field that required a ton of time in the hospital (e.g. any surgical field) I'd recommend against it. It's cruel and inhumane to leave a dog repeatedly at home alone for 12+ hours. Reiterating above- dogs are a ton of work and require a ton of time to train them especially in the first 6 months. However, if you choose a more relaxed field it's definitely doable.
Yep. I got one my 3rd year of residency. But I'm FM so my schedule was pretty predictable. My wife was also a resident but in IM. We were able to make it work, but mainly because I was 8-5 all but 3 months that year. And even then we had family to help out the first month we had the puppy.
 
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