Challenges, considerations of bringing a pet to school


Sadie Teper

Wrigley, the Acacia house dog, sits with members of the Fraternity during lunch. People should weigh the pros and cons before getting a pet in college.

By Masaki Sugimoto, Editor-in-chief

For those who grew up with pets, being away from them can be rough. Playing with a pet after coming home from school is one of the many joys that can make you homesick in college.

Some people end up bringing their pets to school to try to make Champaign-Urbana feel more and more like home. Here are a few things you should consider when bringing a pet to campus.

The first big thing is housing options. If you make the decision to bring a pet to school, your housing options diminish significantly. Dorms and many apartments will either not allow pets or have limitations on what kind of pet you can have. Some dog breeds like pitbulls may not be allowed, and other places may require that the pet be in a cage during night hours.

There is also the extra consideration of what kind of pet are you bringing. A goldfish can be fairly easy to take care of, but a dog will require more work to look after. Each pet will bring its own joys and unique challenges when it comes to living with them in college, so establish what pet you would want to bring through that decision process.

You also have to consider that you may not get to live in the most ideal place if you want your pet to stay at school with you. Make sure to check with the landlord to see if pets are OK and what limitations they may have. Some places have extra security deposits and extra guidelines to go with pets. Typically, places that have more space are better about having pets.

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Some people choose to have pets in places where they are prohibited. That might not be advised, as a violation of something in the lease could lead to penalties against you or something even worse: getting evicted.

The second thing you have to consider is if your roommates are OK with it. You may love your pet no matter how messy or loud they can be, but your roommate might think otherwise. Make sure that they are willing to take on some of the responsibility of raising the pet, because if these aren’t ironed out beforehand it can create rough and awkward situations with your roommate.

An advantage to this could be that they are extra willing to help raise the pet. Roommates can help walk the dog, change a cat’s litterbox, or anything else. More people to take care of a pet would make having a pet around be a lot easier and is another reason to bring one to college.

The third thing to consider is whether you can adequately take care of the pet or not. This is something you should take a lot of time thinking about if you cleared out the first two. Pets can be a big responsibility, especially for a busy college student. They need food, attention, grooming, potty-training and much more. If your lifestyle consists of  going to your part-time job, helping out with your RSO and taking 18 credit hours a semester, maybe you won’t have time to take care of the pet. If you are someone who typically stays in and gets a lot of work done in your own room, it may be a little easier looking after the pet.

Ultimately, don’t bring a pet to campus if you can’t adequately care for it. It can be something that brings joy to your life, but pets deserve a good caretaker. If you feel that you are up for the task, a good pet can make your, your friends’ and your roommates’ lives brighter each and every day.

Masaki is a senior in Media

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