Generally, you wouldn’t think you could have pets on campus. But that’s changing, especially for students in family housing or undergrads who opt for animal-friendly dorms. If you’re returning to college for a graduate degree or just have a young family that you want to live on campus with, you may be able to bring your current pet.
Here’s what you need to know about bringing a pet to live with you on campus.
Fido May Limit Your Options
You may find that bringing your best friend limits your lodging options. There may be special sections of dorms that are pet-friendly, and other sections that aren’t. If you don’t have a pet yet, find out about availability of the pet-friendly options first.
You may decide to wait to purchase your pet once you are on campus and know exactly where you’ll be living. You can always pick your pet after you know you can get the housing you want.
Always ask if bringing your pet means you’ll have to choose a single occupancy dorm room. Shared dorm rooms may not allow pets, which means you may have to spend more to upgrade to a pet-friendly room.
Pet policies vary quite a bit when it comes to the size and weight of the pet involved. Some schools stick more to the caged pet variety such as gerbils, hamsters and white rats. That can vary; some rodents may be allowed but not others.
Other schools may allow cats while not allowing dogs. Other schools avoid cats because they generally leave behind more allergens than dogs. Some schools only allow small dogs under 25 pounds.
Be careful to make sure you ask about the policies for the place where you’ll live. On-campus apartments and family housing may have vastly different policies, and required deposits, than traditional dorm rooms.
Be Realistic About Your Schedule and Your Money
Even if you get the go-ahead from school administration, you still need to consider your time and financial commitment. Basic food and medical care can easily run up to $400 per year per cat or dog. Dogs require at least an hour per day of walking, and cats need to time to play and cuddle with you as well.
If you don’t have your pet yet, it may be a better idea to wait until you are in off-campus housing or after you graduate. This way you know where you’re going to live long-term. Some apartments limit pets as well, often using the same criteria: size, weight, and type of animal.
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