Whether you need your pet for comfort or it needs you, the idea of having to leave your furry friend behind might make or break your college decision. Thankfully, some colleges and universities allow them to bring their pets with them! We’re not just talking service dogs; these schools allow you to bring your favorite companion with you to live in the dorms and residence halls.
Some residence halls are pet friendly, while others have pet wings or specific pet housing. We’ve compiled a list of 10 schools that allow you to bring your pet with you on your educational journey!
The 10 Colleges That Allow Pets
Let’s take a look at some of the schools that let you bring your favorite furry friend with you to school.
1. Eckerd College
If you attend Eckerd College, you can apply to have a small animal live with you during your first semester. So, cat lovers and owners of smaller dogs or animals rejoice. However, if you want to have your lab live with you, you’ll have to wait until your second semester to house a larger pet. Eckerd has multiple pet-friendly housing options on campus, allowing its students to bring dogs, cats, or even ducks!
Apart from the fully pet-friendly housing options, small animals in cages or tanks like Geckos are allowed in any of the halls. Animal Planet has even featured Eckerd College as one of the best and most pet-friendly colleges! The overall number of pet-friendly residence halls, the availability of a local veterinarian, the large number of animals, and the animal-friendly services make this college the absolute leader in pet-friendly campuses.
2. Stephen’s College
With a president’s office that keeps treats on hand to pass out to any furry friends venturing into the building, Stephens college is impossible not to include on our list. Pets are allowed on campus anywhere, and the college also offers a specific fostering program with local shelters where students can spend time with shelter pets and take care of them. The program allows the pets to be fostered in the student dorms. Even better, Stephens College has a special doggy daycare that is free for all students!
3. Stetson University
Not only does Stetson University allow any pet to be brought into a dorm, but they also have a dog park on campus. While pets are not allowed in classrooms and must remain leashed while on campus, three on-campus apartments (in addition to the dorms) allow pets as long as they aren’t over 50 pounds or deemed aggressive. However, Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Chows, Akitas, and wolf-dog mixes are not permitted on campus.
4. University of Washington
With four apartment buildings dedicated as a space for students who want to bring their pets or become pet owners, the University of Washington has to make an appearance as one of our pet-friendly colleges. Some buildings on campus only have aquatic pets as part of their policy, but other housing options exist for those of us who wish to bring our other animals to school.
5. Lees-McRae College
Lees-McRae is well known for hosting pet-friendly events throughout the school year, especially the Homecoming Dog Court. In order to live with your pet in your dorm, you have to apply to the student development office, but most pets are accepted without complaint. The campus has a pet council that regulates pet ownership on school grounds, but the existence of the pet council alone should tell you just how much they care about having pets on campus.
Some rules apply to pets in dorm housing: snakes and rats aren’t allowed, aquariums shouldn’t be more than 20 gallons, terrariums shouldn’t be more than 40 gallons, and dogs should not exceed more than 40 pounds or be a Pitbull, Akita, Husky, Chow, Doberman, German Shepard or any other breed otherwise deemed aggressive. Despite these restrictions, the ability to live in campus housing as long as you have the president’s approval is unbeatable.
6. Reed College
Reed College is one of the most inclusive pet-friendly campuses on this list. Their pet allowance rules are nowhere near as strict as other campuses. They don’t have specific breed and weight restrictions for dogs. Reed College simply does not want any aggressive pets on campus—regardless of their breed.
Pets are also required to be on a leash on campus unless they are in a specific off-leash area. In addition, Reed College has strict rules regarding neighboring wildlife and the campus pets. Any student found abusing wildlife or pets on campus will be dealt with immediately by the administration.
7. California Institute of Technology
We felt the need to include Caltech because of their previous pet-friendly inclusions. Multiple residence halls once allowed up to two cats in each dorm room. Caltech now primarily encourages fully registered service animals in the campus housing. You have to notify the school, but Caltech even allows mini horses as long as they “perform tasks directly assisting with a person’s disability.”
You can also keep an emotional support animal in Caltech housing if the school approves it. So, while Caltech used to offer cat-friendly and other full pet-friendly accommodation, they’ve shifted more to service and emotional support animals.
8. The University of Idaho
While the University of Idaho has restrictions on which pets are allowed on campus, any of their accepted pets are allowed in the on-campus apartments anywhere on campus. Birds, aquatic pets, and cats are allowed no matter what, but dogs are not on that list. The campus also forbids rabbits, snakes, or lizards. You can have up to two cats in the dorms, but you must ensure they are spayed or neutered with written proof of the procedure. There are a few other rules regarding pets being on campus, such as birds remaining in their cage, all pets having their current shots, and students being required to carry liability insurance.
9. Johnson and Wales University
Johnson and Wales University is another example of a campus that allows pets but has some strict allowance rules. Students can only have one pet, and there are plenty of restrictions controlling what type of pet students are allowed to have.
For example, dogs can’t be more than 40 pounds, cats must be at least one year old, a cage cannot be more than 16 square feet, and certain dog breeds considered aggressive by the city ordinance will not be allowed. Since both cats and dogs are included, despite the strict age and breed restrictions, we wanted to include Johnson and Wales for allowing these pets into the residence halls.
10. The University of Northern Colorado
Although the overall number of pets allowed on campus is limited, there are a grand total of 11 dog parks surrounding the campus. At the University of Colorado, students can bring their dogs and cats onto campus and live in campus housing if they live on the second, third, or fourth floor of Lawrenson Hall. While the overall number of pets allowed on campus is not all-encompassing, the number of dog parks and lack of age, weight, or breed restrictions make this a winner on our list.
Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act are laws that require public and private colleges to allow service or emotional support animals in campus housing. Your service dog or emotional support animal must be licensed, and you will likely need a doctor’s note. Make sure to check your chosen school’s requirements as they pertain to you or your situation.
Most colleges in the United States do not allow dogs or cats in their residence halls, academic buildings, or common areas. Service animals and emotional support animals are always welcome, even if the school has a no-pet policy. If you choose a restrictive school and still want to bring your companion, you can always live off campus. Remember that your local landlord will have their own pet policies that may be more restrictive than a college’s regulations.
Featured Image Credit: 8777334, Pixabay