This is a question that has some variables related to it and which can also be answered differently depending on the college that you attend.
Pets can be a big benefit to mental health while you are in college, and if you are an animal lover, you might be worried about not being able to stay focused and happy if you are away from your pet.
Pets are allowed in some dorm rooms and there are also exemptions for service animals, which are not technically thought of as pets. You might have to shop for a college that will allow pets in the dorm rooms that are on campus if this is a critical item for your happiness while you are in school.
You will find that most campuses do not allow pets in the dorms other than animals that are used as service animals, but there are some exceptions to this rule.
If you want to learn more about pets in dorm rooms, keep reading!
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What is a Service Animal?
If you have been considering whether or not your pet might count as a service animal, you need to know that there is an actual definition by the law of what this kind of animal is and does.
Service animals are dogs that are trained to work or to perform tasks for people with disabilities. These animals have to be trained and certified to count as service animals.
For college students who require this kind of support, a service animal will always be allowed in the dorm. This does not mean that you can have your personal pet certified as a service animal, however.
Trying to certify your pet as a service animal will not work if they are not a working service support animal.
Are Pets Allowed in Dorm Rooms?
The answer to this question was outlined above, but there are some items that we need to talk about in relation to the approval for pets that some campuses give.
Most people think of dogs or cats when they think of pets. This is not usually the case when dorms allow pets to be kept in dorm rooms, however.
When you are considering whether or not pets are allowed in dorm rooms, you might be thinking of bringing your puppy or cat with you to school. Most dorm policies that allow pets are talking about small, caged animals that are not rodents.
Most pet policies allow small lizards in tanks or small fish tanks to be brought into the dorm room, but do not allow other pets.
The reasons for this limitation are obvious if you think about it. Cats require litter boxes that must be cleaned regularly and could create a health hazard for other students.
Dogs need regular exercise and can be quite destructive as well as noisy if they are left alone for too long. On top of that, dorm rooms are very small and are not usually a good home for a cat or a dog.
Dorms must also consider that some people are allergic to cats and dogs and this could cause issues with student health if there were lots of furry pets running around the dorms on campus.
College students are also very busy all day in class and with activities, so pets who need to be walked or let outside to go to the bathroom would be hard to care for in the dorm environment.
The pet that you do bring into the dorms with you must be registered with the dorm and you usually have to sign some paperwork that states that you do not expect the college to take responsibility for your pet.
These are definitely exceptions to the rules on most campuses and you will need to be sure to do all the right paperwork for the privilege. Make sure that you think about the amount of space that you have to work with before you get a large cage or fish tank that will not fit in your dorm.
Lastly, if you are attending a school that will allow a small caged pet in your dorm room, you do have to get written permission from your roommate to approve this in most cases.
This is only fair because if you want to bring in your fish tank and your roommate doesn’t like fish or doesn’t want to have to help care for them at times, you should not be able to force them to accept this animal presence in their room.
What if I Have a Single Room?
If you are in a single dorm room, you will not have to get permission from your roommate to move a pet into the dorm, but that does not mean that you will not have to sign all the right forms.
You will also not be given permission to bring in a dog or cat, just because you live alone. There are rarely any exceptions to these kinds of rules and sneaking pets that are not allowed into the dorms can lead to being suspended from school or removed from the dorms.
If you Want to Bring a Pet Into Your Dorm You Must Follow the Rules
The biggest takeaway from the discussion of whether or not pets are allowed in the dorms is that you must follow the rules related to this privilege. If you are allowed to have a pet in your dorm room, make sure to follow all of the rules and get permission from your roommate.
If you have a service animal that is allowed in the dorms, you will still need to fulfill the rules that surround this arrangement.
If you are going to a college that does not allow pets in the dorms, never sneak one in just because you want to have a pet.
Having a pet in the dorms is a privilege when it is allowed and there are good reasons why it is often not allowed.