Most campuses don’t allow pets. Opinions are divided on whether they’re good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, safe or unsafe. People have petitioned schools to be allowed to keep them for medical reasons.
No, we’re not talking about bongs. Pets on campus are a controversial topic, one that some modern students are taking a stand on. This article explores the pros and cons of owning a pet in college.
Pro: Stress Relief
Studies show that owning a pet reduces stress levels, enough that older people who own pets have been shown to live longer. Colleges have already taken advantage of this great pet benefit – some colleges have brought therapy dogs on campus during exam week to help students relax.
College students are known for experiencing high levels of stress. In high pressure schools, it has even reached the point of suicide. Could this be a solution?
Con: Property Damage
Pets cause wear and tear on even the most responsible pet owner’s home, and college students are experts at wrecking a dorm room. Some colleges protest to pets on the basis that they will damage the college’s property.
Perhaps this could be addressed through an extra fee to pet owners to cover any potential damages.
Pro: Learning Responsibility
College is a time when students are expected to take responsibility for their own studies and learn to manage their schedules. While high school organizes things for students, college is a time to take on adult responsibilities.
Owning a pet can teach a person a lot about responsibility. On the flip side, if a student is not mature enough to save money for pet food or take care of the animal, it could end up being neglected.
If another student on the dorm floor is allergic to animal dander, someone owning an animal could be dangerous to them. Getting fur and dander out of the room could incur expensive cleaning fees, and even more expensive medical fees if it’s done incorrectly.
Choose The Right Time
If you are a student who loves animals and misses your pet at home, you may be tempted to sneak an animal on campus. This could result in serious consequences if your college doesn’t allow animals, so wait for the right time. If you are living in a dorm, you don’t have to wait until you’re done with college to get an animal – just wait until you’re living off campus, where the landlord, not the college, will be in charge.
College students often have a busy and social lifestyle, so pick an animal with a temperament to match. For example, a midsize or “pocket” dog is probably best if you don’t have a large yard for it to run around in. Choose a dog that will be comfortable with strangers and won’t mind being walked between classes.
Having a pet is a very rewarding experience, one that everyone should have. Just be prepared for the added responsibility (and the poop!)