Many college students miss the companionship of their family pets or want a pet they never were able to have at home. But most college dorms do not allow pets. Students explain that pets help when stressed or lonely or missing home but we also know that pets are a huge responsibility and not something to be purchased lightly. On top of that, pets can be used for protection, like protection dogs. It is import to take these aspects into account before deciding whether colleges should allow students to get a pet while at their campus.
Health and Safety Benefits
Allowing pets for mental health is a huge argument for college students. Many new students are at higher risk of stress, loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Pets have been known to increase the hormone oxytocin which reduces anxiety and lowers blood pressure. The unconditional love and support pets give can make a depressed person relieve negative thoughts. A survey from 2016 found that 62 percent of student age individuals have experienced mental health improvements from having pets.
Dogs in particular need to be walked often, encouraging students to get out of the house and exercise. Daily walks with dogs can also keep cholesterol levels in check. And studies have found that people who walk with their dogs get more exercise than walking with friends. This can be an excellent motivator for students to keep up their health and get out of their dorms.
Dogs could make walking around a college campus safer for students. Dogs are known to be extremely loyal and will not hesitate to protect their owners if something is wrong. Walking around at night can be scary for students, but a dogs bark could be enough to warn off any potential threats.
Barking could also deter burglars from students houses, as theft is much less likely to occur in a house with a dog.
Although pets have been proven to increase health and safety, there are other factors to consider when bringing pets onto college campuses. Space, roommates, size, and travel are a few things to look into.
College dorms are often small spaces that can not comfortably accommodate animals. Even small animals need room for supplies, food, a cage or terrarium, and other things that can be too much for a small dorm room. Dorms also mean you will most likely have roommates and they may be allergic to certain animals or not want animals in their living space. This would make the already hectic time of finding roommate even more difficult and could affect how dorms handle entry.
Size of pets and dorms is also something to consider. A large dog would not be able to be held in a small community dorm, while smaller rodents and reptiles may be more at home in these small spaces. While apartment style dorms may be suitable for a small dog or cat, most of these animals require more space to be healthy and happy.
Travel is also something to consider. A lot of dorms close during the summer and students often return to their families, but taking the pet with them may prove difficult. Pets would need to be able to travel with the students if they were to leave during the summer or winter breaks.
Pets are a huge responsibility, but also a huge part of many peoples lives. While screening for who gets pets and where they stay would be difficult for some campuses there are benefits to allowing them on college grounds. Student health and safety is important, as well as student happiness so it is something colleges should seriously consider allowing.
Note: This article was not written by Campusbiz Journal, its a sponsored article