Whether it is a pet from home, or one that you would like to get, having a pet at university seems like a great idea. After all, pets can bring joy, excitement and companionship.
But, being legitimately able to have a pet at university can be a difficult task. There are a number of factors that must be considered beforehand and regulations will be strict for some accommodation types. Yet, it can be possible in certain instances for other accommodation types.
So lets break it down.
Halls of Residence and Private Student Accommodation Buildings
Unfortunately, the vast majority of universities do not allow pets to be brought onto campus, let alone kept in halls of residence.
If you live in halls, check the terms and conditions of your specific university. Though it is highly likely to state that pets are not allowed.
Private student accommodation buildings have similar policies to halls of residence. Always check your tenancy agreements and letting handbooks to see what the policy is before even considering having a pet.
The situation becomes slightly different when it comes to a flat-share however. It can be possible have a pet, it just depends on your landlord.
ALWAYS check with your landlord beforehand if this is possible. Your tenancy agreement will most likely stipulate the landlord’s stance on this, but get any correspondence with your landlord on this matter in writing.
There are a number of important factors to keep in mind though before you even consider having a pet at university.
Contrary to what some people think about university, it can be pretty demanding. Sure, you will have your dedicated hours on campus for classes and lectures. But, this is not to say that outside of those hours you will be completely free to look after a pet. Work requirements will slowly build up, and not keeping on top of them could have an impact on your degree.
Simultaneously looking after a pet and getting through university could prove to be a very big commitment. Pets require time and attention (how much will vary from animal to animal) so would you be able to commit the hours needed to sufficiently look after him/her?
University is expensive.
Your living costs alone will take up a huge chunk of your budget, and then you have to factor in other costs such as food, textbooks and general lifestyle expenses. It can be easy to budget with these factors in mind considering that students are the masters of budgeting.
But can you realistically say that you can afford to keep a pet on top of all the other costs involved with university? These can include food, insurance and vet fees which all can really add up. It isn’t fair to you nor is it fair to your pet.
Lets face it, student flats and general student lifestyles can be quite hectic.
University is a great place to meet lots of new people and make some unforgettable memories. But as a consequence of this, (or a positive depending on how you see it) life will go x10 faster.
You will have events that you will want to attend and events that you’d like to host. There’ll be meet-ups, nights out, lunches and dinners, and a host of other experiences that university brings you. While this faster lifestyle has its positives, it isn’t necessarily a good situation for a pet to be in.
Your free time could be quite sporadic, which can be fairly disorientating for your pet. Ascertaining whether a pet is suitable for your university environment and lifestyle is an absolutely crucial factor that must be considered.
Accidents can happen.
Whether it be small pets to larger pets, damages can occur in your student accommodation as a result of pet ownership. This is referring to flat-share accommodation, given that halls of residence and PBSA’s have very strict no pets policies.
Your landlord may have given you the ok to have a pet in their property, but their stance on damages could be a lot firmer. Their responsibilities in resolving repair and damage issues could be separate from the damages brought about from your pet ownership.
Dealing with the costs of university and a pet simultaneously is a massive task in itself; adding damage costs onto that could put you in a precarious financial position.
Do you have any advice for students considering getting a pet at university? Let us know in the comments below!