Perfect Pets for the College Lifestyle

kittyI grew up on a farm, so my family always had a lot of animals running around. My favorites were a dog named Barney the Barn Dog and a horse named Amigo. Both of these animals had a soft-spot in my heart and I considered them to be a part of the family.

Fast forward about 10 years to when I started college. Freshman year was so exciting: so many new people, new experiences, new things to do, etc. However, I was always glad to go home and see Barney and Amigo. My dorm room didn’t allow pets of any kind, so I got very homesick for my furry family members. (In fact, my parents teased me that I only came home to see the animals and not because I missed them at all.)

Today, animals are becoming more of a part of the college experience. Some colleges are completely dedicated to animals. Other colleges have created dorms that allow students to have pets in their rooms, while many older students who do not live in the dorms are able to have pets in their apartments or houses.

Personally, I think it is a fantastic idea to have a pet while you are in college. But what do you do if you are a busy college student who has never had a pet before? Never fear! You can still have a college-lifestyle pet!

Here are my top recommendations for college students who want to have a pet:

1. Fish. This is a great option for someone who has never had a pet before. Fish are usually very hardy pets and can survive if you forget to feed them for a day or two. They are very low maintenance, which can be a major benefit for college students. Another benefit is that they are pretty low in cost. Once you have your tank set up, all you have to do is give them a little food each day. There aren’t vet bills for sick fishies and most fish do not cost more than $5.00 each.

You have to admit it: this is one cute guinea pig!

You have to admit it: this is one cute guinea pig!

2. Guinea Pigs. These little fur-balls are really fun to watch, hold, and bond with while you are sitting on your couch, doing homework. They are relatively low maintenance, except that you will need to feed them daily and clean their cage pretty often. Also, remember Guinea pigs – and most rodents – do not mind making you their personal restroom, so you will probably be cleaning up messes quite often. However, with their cute, beady eyes and adorable chirping noises, I doubt anyone wouldn’t fall in love with a baby guinea pig.

3. Birds. Birds are about as low maintenance as guinea pigs, or maybe even more-so, depending on the type of bird you get. You could settle for a small bird, like a finch orĀ  canary, or you could go all out and get a parrot. Just remember, the general rule of thumb is the bigger the bird, the longer and more intense the commitment. If you are a new pet-owner, stick with the smaller birds for now.

Me and my dog, Tobey

Me and my dog, Tobey

4. Cats. Cats are usually pretty independent creatures and do not always need a ton of attention. Plus, they all have very distinct personalities and can provide a lot of enjoyment to their owners. If you are a cat person (and chances are, you probably already know if you are or not), then college can be a great time to get your first cat.

5. Dogs. I was so excited when I moved out of the dorms because I could get a dog. In my opinion, dogs are the best pets in the world because you can establish a very complex relationship with a well-trained dog. If you live in an apartment, a smaller dog is probably your best bet because they will not need as large of a space to play in. Small dogs also eat less and usually do not have as complex of health problems as big dogs do, making them easier on a college student’s pocket book.

Do you have a pet in college? Has your roommate been the proud owner of the Pet from Hell? Tell us your pet stories below!








3 Responses to “Perfect Pets for the College Lifestyle”

  1. Margaret says:

    I think a hermit crab would also make a great dorm room pet!


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