College can create a series of emotions for young adults. Students are poor, away from family, and might be struggling to make friends. When looking to fill a gap, many people turn to a pet. However, when on a budget and looking for a new therapeutic friend, options are limited. Here is a list to help any student looking to pick out a pet suited for them from costs to company.
Fish are the cheapest pets in most cases, depending on what fish you want. Fish are relaxing to watch, great listeners, and the most low-key pet to ask for. These are the most suitable pet for those living in a dorm. However, with all pets come responsibility, even fish! Certain fish require aquariums that need filters and heaters. Water needs to be cleaned otherwise it’ll get extremely stinky. As a fish owner, you’ll need to check the pH ammonia and the nitrite/nitrate levels, the water hardness, and the alkalinity regularly. Lastly, some fish last just a few months to several years so make sure to keep your commitment in mind when choosing a fish. My recommendation? Guppies!
From snakes to small lizards, frogs, and turtles! A reptile is an interesting and unique pet choice. Before you chose a reptile, it is important to note that most reptiles are carnivores and might require live food, such as mice and rats! Due to being cold blooded, reptiles also require sufficient heating and lighting. This can get a bit pricey for required living environment for your new friend. On the flip side, reptiles are fun to interact with and can be held. Again, be cautious of how long your reptile choice will live for.
If you’re looking for a cheap therapy pet, a rodent is the perfect pet! Options include hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, rats, rabbits, chinchillas, and even sugar gliders! Benefits of these pets include small enclosures, they can be left alone, great little cuddlers, and some can even be trained! Rats are extremely smart if you put aside their scary stereotypes. Rabbits and chinchillas, if trained properly, don’t even need an enclosure. They can be potty-trained and run around your home like a cat or dog. However, with all pets come downsides. If you’re not interested in a vocal pet, avoid guinea pigs. Guinea pigs like to communicate through multiple noises. Rodents are typically quiet, but tend to be more active at night. If a squeaky wheel bugs you, don’t get a rodent. Lastly, rodents tend to be smelly so be sure to do weekly cleaning!
Cats! Must I say more? Cats are a step up from rodents in the snuggling department but a step down in financing. Cats are beneficial for therapeutic reasoning. They’re great for snuggling, can be left alone for a while, don’t require walks, and will sleep a lot. However, they still need attention and play time. Be extra conscious when choosing a cat though, they do live for many years!
And the most expensive pet for a college student but the most therapeutic – a dog! If you’re capable of taking on the responsibility of a dog in college, I think you may have found yourself your new best friend. Dogs are the best companionship for a stressed and lonely college student and they come in all sizes! Dogs live for a long time, but can get loose, require daily walks, and need to be taken outside for potty breaks multiple times a day. Everyday decisions will have to be made with your new dog in mind. Can you go out all night and not come back until the next day? Will someone be able to take your dog outside and give them dinner? Can you keep up with the visits to the vets and the possible bills? Make sure to really think about the decision before getting a dog in college.
Most college students don’t live alone. Before deciding to get a pet, make sure it is a mutual decision you ran by with your roommate. Discuss fears and responsibility with your roommate. Cats tend to be vocal in the morning for breakfast; perhaps your roommate doesn’t want to be woken up at early hours. Dogs barking can annoy a lot of people and a smelly cage could cause a dispute. It is mature to ask your roommate first before you bring a pet home! Lastly, don’t expect your roommates to take on the responsibility of your pet. Your roommate might be okay with you bringing home your new friend, but that doesn’t mean they have to take on the burdens of having a pet in college.
In conclusion, there are many places and ways you can find and bring your new friend home. A local pet shop, craigslist, or even a mutual friend whose cat just had kittens. However, there are many pets waiting at humane societies, shelters, and rescue centers for someone to bring them into a loving home. Kittens and puppies will always be easily picked, but a senior pet waits a long time for their new home. Adoption centers are not just for cats and dogs, rodents and reptiles await there too!