10 Best Pets For College Students

You’re about to go to college and looking forward to a great adventure. For many people, college is when they start spending a lot of time away for home and family. It may also be the time you're away from your beloved pet.

Once you have settled in your new home, set your priorities right, and established your finances, you may begin to feel homesick; perhaps your roommate doesn't give you the friendship you need. Did you know that getting a pet could help you improve your situation?

Many students invest in getting a pet while away from home. So which pets should you consider? Here is a list of the most suitable pets for college students:

1. Fish

Fish are the most obvious choice for college students looking for pets for a couple of reasons. They don't need to be fed often and also don't need a lot of attention. Furthermore, they are beautiful and fun to look at. You can also decorate your fish tank and get other items to put in. Fish can live from a few months to years, depending on the species and how you take care of them.

Most schools have a limit of ten gallons per aquarium, so it is essential to go for the smaller ones. You can think of a handful of small fish, a few plants, and other decorations for decoration. If you are going to have multiple fish, make sure they are not going to rip each other apart.

An important tip you should remember is that adding filters can make some noise. The sound may be relaxing at first but may become troublesome when you try to study for your exams. This will cause you and your roommate to have to use the library.

Perhaps the best aquarium for a dorm is the small, all-in-one aquariums. They can hold one to five gallons of water and have an in-built filter, heater, and any other necessary equipment. 

The disadvantage of such a setup, however, is that things can easily be thrown off-balance. A small change in the environment can disrupt pH, nitrate, and ammonia levels. You should check these levels regularly, and also check the water and levels of alkaline to ensure that your pet will survive such settings. Remember to change the water frequently, because even when you have a filter, debris and waste material can build up quickly.

2. Small Breed Dogs

Many factors come into play when considering owning a pet like a dog in a dorm. Many people love playing and snuggling with a dog, but not everyone can take it out for an evening walk or clean up its mess. With a small breed dog, sometimes you might have to change your plans to cater to its needs. 

Residents on a dorm floor could often own a communal dog as everyone is pet friendly. However, the problem with this kind of arrangement is that sometimes everyone thinks someone is taking care of the dog, this leads to neglect. Having a dog isn’t enough as you need to take care of its needs. One way to fully take care of your dog’s needs is to ensure it is properly fed. You can get your dog food from Pet Honesty.

Dogs don't love being left alone for long and dorm rooms can be very confining. Even the most peaceful animals could lash out and have behavioral issues. If there is any damages caused by your pet in your dorm room, you are liable for it and have to pay for repairs.

Also, remember all dogs have unique temperaments and personalities. These traits may make some dogs not suitable dorm rooms. A dog may start howling, barking, being anxious, and fearful once you've brought it home or when you leave it alone. Your fellow students won't appreciate the noise when they are trying to study or sleep.

On a lighter note, a dog can be an excuse for almost everything. Don't want to go out for that party with fellow students? Just mention you have a dog to take care of. You can also make new friends who have dogs as well.

3. Cats

Best Pets For College Students

Girl student freelancer working with laptop at home by the window, education and remote work, programmer, online business

These purry animals are also favorites for people looking for pets. To own cats in the dorm room, you have to consider the same factors as dogs. However, cats fare better than dogs when left alone as they don't need to be walked, and they sleep for the better part of the day. They also get bored and also need a certain level of maintenance, though.

If your cat becomes frustrated, she will likely find a way to escape. Ensure that your cat is always indoors and has no access to open windows. Once they got out, they might have injuries, eat random stuff in the streets, or even get fleas. They might also acquire urine marking habits.

The most significant advantage of owning a cat in college is purring. There is a lot of evidence showing that it helps calm and heal people. Make sure you know the ways to share some love with a cat.

4. Hamsters

Hamsters are another preferred pet by college students. This is because they are comfortable in a cage, it means you won't have to do much. They are cheap to buy and maintain, so you won't have to worry about the pet leaving a dent in your pocket.

Hamsters are nocturnal animals. They are mostly active during the day, they wouldn't be awake when you are up studying late in the night. You won't have a lot of trouble worrying about your pet when you are in the library or out of town.

However, a squeaky exercise wheel for your hamster might be troublesome when you and your roommate are trying to get ready for your finals. You can simply remove the wheel until you are done studying. 

5. Lizards

Everyone has various opinions about lizards, but they make great pets for college students. They don't need much space, so you can just find an unused corner in your dorm room. They are fun to watch and handle; they are also quiet and don't make a lot of a mess. Also, lizards are easy to feed.

Another great advantage of owning a lizard is that they are self-sufficient. You won't have to worry much about them when you are away all day. If you have a roommate, make sure that they are okay with you having a lizard as not everyone is comfortable seeing one.

Best Pets For College Students

Teenage boy playing with pet while working on laptop. Young owner taking care of his kitten while sitting by desk in room.

6. Turtles

Turtles are some of the least scary reptiles and relatively most comfortable to take care of. They occupy a small space and will fit well in your dorm room. They only need small to medium size aquariums. Turtles don't need to be walked like dogs and can survive with not much attention as long as they have food every day and clean aquariums. 

7. Snakes

When it comes to snakes, schools that allow them to have a length limit of about five feet. For those who love snakes, dorm-friendly snakes are King-snake, Milk Snake, Garter Snake, and Corn Snake. These species come with various beautiful patterns and are easy to take care of.

These snakes can also live in relatively small tanks of about 20-30 gallons when they become adults. Snakes are carnivores and may sometimes require live food such as rats, mice, and crickets. If they take food that had been killed before, you will need small storage for future food. You can have a small fridge with a freezer for this purpose. Remember, this also depends on how your roommate feels having a snake or dead prey in your dorm room.

8. Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are unusual pets, but they can make an excellent option for college students. They are cool creatures and easy to maintain as well. To top it all up, they eat a lot of usual human food.

They have distinct personalities as well like cats, that make them great companions. You only need a small aquarium with enough space for them to roam around. You should also get them a new shell every few weeks so they can grow and be comfortable.

9. Rabbits

An indoor rabbit is also suitable for students. Rabbits adapt well to living with humans as they are sociable and friendly. They are clean animals, and their cages are odorless if kept well clean. You can have one for throughout your college years as a rabbit's life span can last between 7 and 20 years. 

You should litter train your indoor rabbit to avoid having a  mess all over your room. Also, indoor rabbits need to socialize as well. You can let it out of its cage for at least one hour each day. Do remember, though, that their diet is composed of fresh vegetables and plenty of water.

10. Birds

Some birds, such as lovebirds, cockatiels, and budgies have been a household pet for many people. Birds only require a small cage in one area, and this makes them one of the most excellent options for a college student to have in a dorm room.

You should ensure that the cage is big enough for the birds to jump or fly over short distances. You can have them in pairs as many birds prefer living together. They can also be noisy and destructive if they are unhappy. Make sure you take good care of them.

Final Words

A pet can help you cope with the stress and other concerns that come with college life. It is also a responsibility that you should not take lightly. You need to ensure that you have thoroughly thought through your decision to avoid neglecting your chosen pet. 

Some of the most suitable pets for college students include fish, birds, lizards, small breed dogs, cats, and hermit crabs. You can also keep indoor rabbits. Always remember that before you have a pet, make sure your roommate is comfortable with your decision to have a pet around.

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