Best Pets For College

By Dr. Doug Pernikoff, DVM

Many kids are off to college right about now, and for those newbies entering freshman dorms, or elder classmen or women planning life in an apartment or even a rental home, pets are always a consideration. Why not? We all love our family pets, and they provide us a genuine sense of security and companionship. Nonetheless, there are real considerations for selecting one type of pet over another, depending on a number of factors discussed herein.

I believe one of the first and most important issues is understanding time commitments. College time has to include classes and studying, social activities, and maybe even a part-time job. So, fitting a dog or cat into the mix could prove very difficult and even untimely for this particular life stage, regardless of the housing scenario. Another principal issue would regard expenses associated with keeping a pet. Food, veterinary care, housing, toys, grooming and training can create an unexpected collection of costs that make certain pets unreasonable. Of course, another cost is a security payment for pets that most rentals require. And, be sure to verify that you can keep animals in your living space. Too often people impulsively assume they can have a pet, or worse, may just figure they can get away with it. The obvious problem here is that should you be found out, it will prove difficult finding a new home for your pet, and in too too many cases, this situation often encourages people to simply release animals to fend for themselves. Yes indeed! These actions happen all too often.

There are other interesting pets that may work better in a dorm room, apartment or house. Smaller animal types can prove just as interesting and fun, but should cost less to house, feed and care for overall. Further, in many shared housing settings, at least one person has problems with allergies to dogs or cats. The solution may be to find yourself small pocket pets, like a gerbil, guinea pig, or maybe a hedgehog. Reptiles and birds also make very reasonable pets, although certain bird species can prove very noisy. Bearded dragons, young iguanas, or even small tortoises, can be exciting cost and time effective pet charges. Even fish tanks can prove very entertaining due to the great variety of species you can house together, and the interesting lighted environments you can construct with either living or artificial plantings.

Good planning, and a realistic approach to pet keeping in college, is both essential and likely to help guarantee a successful pet experience for you.

Have a great school season and have fun!
Fondly, Dr. Doug Pernikoff