How Can a Student Get a Pet: What Do You Need?

By Alberto Roy

Updated on:

Entering the world of academia is filled with its fair share of responsibilities and challenges. Yet, as students navigate this world, many yearn for companionship, comfort, and a break from the usual study grind. Enter the idea of getting a pet. But how can a student get a pet, and what essentials are needed to ensure the well-being of the new furry, feathery, or scaly companion? Here’s your definitive guide.

The Benefits Of Pet Ownership

Pet ownership offers a myriad of benefits that extend beyond just companionship. For many individuals, pets provide emotional support, helping to alleviate feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Their unwavering loyalty and affection can elevate one’s mood, making even the gloomiest days a tad brighter. The simple act of petting an animal has been shown to release feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which can reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness.

Additionally, owning a pet, especially an active one like a dog, can promote physical health. Regular walks or play sessions become a part of the daily routine, encouraging owners to engage in consistent physical activity. This keeps the pet healthy and boosts the owner’s cardiovascular health, aids in weight management, and promotes overall well-being. Furthermore, caring for another living being can instill discipline, structure, and a sense of purpose in an individual’s life. This is important for students, but they sometimes get stuck on their academic duties and have little time for anything else. Learners can save some time by looking for unique argumentative essay topics online. Various academic resources exist online to make student life easier.

Beyond the emotional and physical advantages, pet ownership also nurtures essential life skills, particularly in younger individuals. Caring for a pet instills responsibility, requiring consistent feeding, grooming, and medical check-ups. This routine care helps teach time management, prioritization, and commitment. Moreover, pets often unite people, serving as conversation starters and helping forge community connections. Whether bonding over shared pet stories or meeting new faces at a dog park, these furry friends often pave the way for enriched social interactions and long-lasting friendships.

Understanding the Why

Before diving into the ‘how’, it’s crucial to understand the ‘why’. Why do you, as a student, want a pet? Companionship is the most common reason. Pets offer unconditional love and emotional support and can help students cope with the stress of exams and assignments. However, owning a pet is a responsibility that lasts many years and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Financial Considerations

Budgeting is essential. On top of tuition, books, and personal expenses, adding a pet to the mix can strain a student’s finances. Initial expenses include the cost of the pet itself, vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and essential supplies. Recurring costs cover food, regular vet check-ups, and possible health emergencies. It’s essential to prepare for these unexpected events financially.

Time and Commitment

Pets require time. Students must ensure sufficient time to give their pets between feeding, cleaning, playtime, and other care activities. For instance, dogs, in particular, require regular walks, play sessions, and training. Cats, while more independent, still need social interaction. Even small pets like fish or hamsters have specific care requirements.

Housing Considerations

Not all student accommodations are pet-friendly. Reviewing lease agreements or talking to landlords before bringing a pet home is essential. Even if pets are allowed, students must ensure ample space for the pets to move around. For those living in dorms, pets might not be an option unless they’re small and contained, like fish.

Choosing the Right Pet

While dogs and cats are the most popular choices, they might not always be suitable for student life. Here are a few pet options:

  • Dogs: Ideal for those with more free time and access to open spaces. They require regular exercise and social interaction.
  • Cats: Suitable for apartment living but still need attention and care.
  • Fish: Low maintenance but require a proper tank environment.
  • Hamsters/Guinea Pigs: Small and relatively easy to care for. They need a spacious cage, fresh food, and regular cleaning.
  • Reptiles: Low maintenance but have specific habitat requirements.

Essentials Checklist

For those ready to embark on the pet ownership journey, here’s a basic checklist of essentials:

  • Food and Water Bowls: Stainless steel or ceramic are best as they are sturdy and non-porous.
  • Food: Specific to the pet’s dietary needs.
  • Shelter: A comfortable bed for dogs and cats, a spacious cage for small mammals, or a well-equipped tank for fish.
  • Toys: Vital for mental stimulation and physical exercise.
  • Cleaning Supplies: For maintaining a clean living environment.
  • ID Tag: Essential for dogs and cats in case they wander off.


Pets bring joy, comfort, and a unique bonding experience. However, as students consider adding a pet to their lives, being well-prepared and informed is essential.

A pet isn’t just for the college or university years but a long-term commitment beyond graduation. By understanding the responsibilities and requirements, students can ensure they provide the best life for their new companions while also enjoying the myriad benefits pets bring.

Author: Torie Eslinger

Torie Eslinger combines her passion for writing with her love for animals. As a dedicated article writer, she crafts insightful pieces that resonate with readers. Beyond her writing desk, Torie dedicates her time to a local pet shelter, aiding in caring for and rehabilitating animals in need. Her firsthand experiences with pets enrich her articles, making them both informative and heartfelt.

"Passionate dog trainer with years of experience. Transforming pups into well-behaved companions through positive reinforcement and love. 🐾🐶"