Dorm rules are strict enough as it is (no candles, no loud music after a certain time, specific move-in/out days, etc…), but can you believe that some of the world’s top schools actually allow (and encourage) their students to keep animals in their rooms? While it may seem like a cute idea at first, there are plenty of reasons why a college dorm room is possibly the worst place for an animal. And, yes, I know you’re missing Fluffy right now, but bear with me.
1. Dorm rooms don’t come with your own personal yard.
You can barely fit all of your junk into your little 10×10 room and still have room to breathe. What makes you think adding a dog (or some other medium/large animal) to that equation will make life any easier? Not to mention, dogs need a place to go out and run in order to stay healthy. Yes, some people keep poor dogs locked up in their tiny city apartments all day, but does that make it right? No.
2. You can’t afford that much Febreeze.
Hopefully you keep your room somewhat clean, but isn’t it just the worst when your roommate leaves an old pizza box somewhere? Or maybe your room smells the worst after you come back from a workout. Multiply both of those smells (and any other horrendous scents you can think of) by 100 and THAT’S what some old, dried up cat/dog/lizard/whatever waste will smell like.
3. Tank cleaning is boring, gross, and time consuming.
Fish and other aquatic pets are no exception to the “no pets” argument. While fish are relatively easy to take care of and contain, the tank is bound to get dirty at least a few times over the course of the year. Yes, in order to keep your fish tank from becoming a moldy, murky, and dangerous (to your fish, at least) environment, you’ll have to dedicate at least an hour every 2 weeks (although most pet sites suggest cleaning more often) to fish housekeeping. Oh, also, you’ll have to be super careful about avoiding any type of water damage.
4. Not everyone thinks gerbils and hamsters are cute.
How would you feel if you saw a rat run across your floor right now? You’d probably jump a little and immediately Google “exterminator.” Now, imagine that happening in your dorm building, but with someone who doesn’t know about your collection of hamsters. They’re probably going to run to the store to buy mouse traps and attempt to get rid of your pet without even knowing it’s of sentimental value to you. You might love them and think they’re adorable, but they’re still rodents and they’re bound to freak someone out.
5. You’ll just become even more antisocial.
Hey, if you want to sit in your room and rant mindlessly to your cat all day, that’s your decision, but do you really want to waste all your time and miss all those opportunities you’ll only get during your college years? Yes, pets are great companions, but maybe you should take advantage of your situation and try to make some new human companions. The great thing about pets is that they’ll still love you when you come home for Christmas- even if you haven’t seen them since the summer.
6. You’re really going to piss off that one girl with allergies.
Animal allergies are pretty common, and some people are really serious about them. If there’s someone on your floor with a severe pet allergy, you should probably do them a favor and NOT hoard a cat in your room. At some point, those furs and fibers are going to find her and she’s going to get sick way more than she needs to all because you just had to have a pet.
7. (Most) meal plans don’t cover dog food.
Pet food might seem cheap (59 cents per can on average), but your pet is going to have to eat every day- at least once, but sometimes twice. Sure, you can cheat once in a blue moon and give your puppy some leftover chicken or something, but too much of that will make him sick. Aside from pet food expenses, you’ll also have to choke up some cash for kitty litter. And trash bags. And flea collars/treatments.
8. Animals are really good at escaping.
Ever heard of the Bronx Zoo cobra that escaped a few months ago and wasn’t found for weeks? That’s just one of thousands of stories about animals who escape from their exhibits, cages or yards. Truth is, animals don’t like to be locked up- they want to explore! Keeping them cooped up in a little room all day is only going to make them want to escape more. Still not scared? Two words: pet snakes.
Truth is, animals are great and we’re lucky to have them, but why not wait until you’re out of school and can provide to give them the happy, healthy lives they deserve?
What do you think about schools allowing pets? Would you ever bring a fluffy (or finny) companion to college with you? Let us know!