Pets in Dorms? It’s a Thing!
For those about to enter the world of higher education, it can be difficult to choose between schools. One would want to consider geographic location, proximity to family and friends, and academic specialties, among others. For some, however, making this decision is easy when considering a campus that not only allows, but welcomes, pets in dorms.
Complicate or Simplify
Few could argue that packing up for college is an easy undertaking. In fact, there are endless items that students think they’ll need between Labor Day and, say, Thanksgiving. Perhaps packing up the family pet (and all their own necessities) sounds a bit much, but that’s not to say it can’t be done successfully.
But Why, Exactly?
Research promotes the idea that pet owners are generally happier, more relaxed, friendly, and less stressed. During one of the most stressful times in a young adult’s life, why shouldn’t a dedicated pet owner be able to bring their best friend along for the experience?
Making the move from home to campus can be excruciating for some students. Permitting pets in dorms is a way for them to stay connected to home, all while reducing anxiety and even facilitating exciting social opportunities.
Pets in Dorms
There are currently dozens of American colleges and universities that have accommodated the requests made by students and families. Cats and dogs are the most common allowances, but some campuses allow birds, fish, rodents, and reptiles. A leader of this wonderful trend, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched its pet-friendly housing endeavor over 18 years ago.
Now students can keep pets in dorms at Pfeiffer University in North Carolina, University of Idaho, Caltech, University of Illinois, and University of Washington, among many others.
Of course, there will be other students who are allergic to pets in dorms or are uncomfortable sharing a space with one. Knowing this, colleges make every attempt to smooth any potential wrinkles so that all students feel safe. For instance, the University of Northern Colorado has laundry machines specifically reserved for pet owners to wash/dry animal bedding and toys.
Pets in dorms must also have every accomodation for their own health and happiness. Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been a pioneer in welcoming pets in dorms since the early 1970’s. Of the nearly 2,000 students on campus, there are over 200 pets, including ferrets, hedgehogs, turtles, and snakes.
Graduate With Honors
Pets in dorms provide student owners with various emotional and physical support, and students must pledge to remain responsible pet owners. Pets in dorms still require daily enrichment and exercise, complete nutrition, disease prevention, and overall wellness care.
Keeping pets in dorms has many benefits, but to truly enjoy them, a college-bound animal must continue to receive the best possible veterinary care. Please let us know if you have any questions about your pet’s living arrangements. Good luck!
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