Are pets allowed in college?

Typically, most colleges and universities will not allow a pet/ animal in the dorms/ campus. This is because of rules with health and safety for their students. We would all love to bring our family dog with us, but the dorms may not be the best environment for your canine. 

You may be incredibly responsible, but someone else may not care for their animal properly, resulting in health concerns. If they were to allow it for everyone, there could be dogs that aren’t as friendly to other students or dogs that aren’t happy being in the dorms. There are exceptions to the pet rules in some colleges. Of course, service animals are permitted with their handler and some smaller low-maintenance pets.

If you do want to bring your larger pet to college, you can find off-campus apartments, condos, or homes that allow this. Some require a refundable pet deposit fee to bring your animal. Make sure to investigate local options.

10 Pets you can bring to college (check your local campus information booklet):

Easiest Pets to have:

  1. Hermit Crabs – require a smaller space and are low maintenance
  2. Fish- Buy a bowl and research what fish need in their habitat. Make sure to keep their water clean.

More intensive pets to have:

  1. Turtles
  2. Lizard
  3. Snake

Require more attention and work:

  1. Chinchilla
  2. Hamsters
  3. Birds
  4. Hedgehogs
  5. Gerbils

Remember to research your pet and know how it needs to be taken care of. Many of these pets stay in a container for their size. Some of these pets require constant changing of their space to keep it clean, and they can start to smell if this is not done. 

Your easiest choice is a fish or hermit crab, but even those need to be taken care of. Don’t forget to take them with you when you go home for breaks or long vacations. Also, make sure your roommate is ok with having these small animals in their space. 

Life gets busy, but if you do decide to have a small pet with you, be responsible. There are also colleges that partner with shelters for fostering a pet. You can look into this option as well.