Think well before getting a pet while you’re still a student. Getting a pet in college comes with many responsibilities. For starters, you cannot leave your pet alone for too long while you’re out hanging out with your friends. Your pet will feel sad and lonely and might become ill for no apparent reason. Second, you must carefully feed your pet, walk it, and take care of it like it’s your baby. You are your pet’s whole life, so make sure that you act accordingly, even when you’ve got to study.
Now that we’ve talked about the most important issues and assuming you’re taking complete responsibility for your pet, let’s see what are some ways in which you can bring it to campus. Moreover, let’s check if there are any house arrangements that your university could make if you’re bringing a pet with you. And last, let’s check out what the best pet-friendly universities are.
How Can I Bring My Dog on Campus?
For pet-friendly universities, you will have no problem bringing your dog on campus. Yes, there will be some papers you need to fill out and some requirements to meet, but besides that, pet-friendly colleges will be more than open to receiving your dog on campus.
However, if you’re opting for a non-pet-friendly college and want to bring your pet along, chances are you’ll run into some trouble. The only way in which you’re able to do it is if you can demonstrate the need for an Emotional Support Animal or ESA.
An ESA is a service animal that is prescribed to a student who has a disabling mental illness. An ESA provides companionship and does not have to be trained to perform its duties (compared to service dogs, for example). Make sure that you get the necessary education and understand the difference. In order to have an ESA and bring it to campus with you (your university cannot deny you this right), you’ve got to have a prescription from your doctor stating your current mental health and the need for an ESA. You might have to have other documents as well, so check out this page.
Do I Get Special Arrangements for Having a Pet?
While many students who have service animals or ESAs end up living in a private room, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the college you’re applying to won’t have enough room for this arrangement, so you might end up having a roommate. However, chances that you’ll get a private room are higher if you’re registering and bringing your ESA to campus.
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Tips for Keeping a Dog in Your Dorm
- Be fun. Play with your pet, have fun together, go for long walks, or go hammocking together.
- Keep the dorm clean. Try to keep everything tidy and in its place if you want to study there. Your pet can make a mess, so make sure you train your dog to be good and clean.
- Map out a schedule. Know when it’s time to play, when it’s time for class, and when it’s food time. Having a well-designed schedule on your smartphone will help you stay on top of your tasks. You could set alarms to know when each time slot comes. If you’re too caught up with school and have little to no time for your assignments, don’t let your pet take the blame for this. Either organize better or, if you’re running out of time, buy assignment online and have someone do your essays for you. It’s better to get help when you need it than have your pet suffer the consequences of your behavior. Online writing assignments are easy to access, and they can be a relief when due dates are approaching. If you don’t know the best website to buy assignment, check the link that I included above and make assignments online a normal activity. I’m not sure why people stigmatize this when it should be totally normal and accepted.
- Make your dog exercise. Run as much as you can. If you drive, take time to go hiking for at least 3-4 hours every week. Besides that, walk throughout campus or nearby. Have your dog meet other dogs by visiting the dog park.
- Make sure your roomie is okay with it. Don’t forget to ask your roomie for approval.
- Love your dog as much as you can. There’s nothing I could add to this, really. Just do it.
Best Pet-Friendly Colleges to Check Out
- Stetson University
- Eckerd College
- Lees-McRae College
- Stephens College
- Washington & Jefferson College
- Johnson & Wales University Providence
- Lyon College
Your pet is a huge responsibility, so make sure you are responsible enough if you decide to bring it to campus. Be there for them, love them, cuddle with them, watch Netflix together. Whatever you do, spend enough time with your pet if you decide to make it part of your college life.
TomTom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!
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