Monday, October 12, 2009

Pets Improve Student's Emotional Health

For many, college is an emotional roller coaster filled with projects, exams and other stressful academic assignments. Students are more likely to fight with their significant others, roommates, parents, and professors than any other time in school. Depression is all too common in college. In times of high stress and loneliness, sometimes all we need is something that we can't have living on campus: a pet.

According to WebMD, students that had a pet reported that they would feel lonely without one. Their top three reasons to having a pet were: 1. Companionship 2. To keep them active and 3. To "get them through the hard times." There's something about having a pet that is similar to having a best friend around all the time. Many students living off campus choose to adopt from rescue shelters near the college. From personal experience, my four roommates and I just got two bunnies (Mufasa and to come!) this past weekend and it has really allowed us to bond over buying the cages, picking up the bunnies, and getting them settled in our new home!

If you don't have the time or money to care for a dog, cat or bunny, there are other pets that are easier to maintain. Fish, hamsters, gerbils, lizards and guinea pigs are all fun and inexpensive alternatives. For those who live in a dorm room on campus, I'm sorry to say there's not much you can do about sneaking a pet behind your RA's back. I do not recommend trying to keep a boa constrictor in a common room, a fish as a pet in a Poland Spring water bottle, or a kitten in a shopping bag (All true college pet horror stories according to

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*Do you feel that a pet would help ease your stress in college?*


  1. Alyssa,i totally agree with you. I have a 1 and a half year old puppy. I love coming home from school every day, she is always there at the door ready to great me. Whenever I am upset she can tell and will come snuggle with me and give me kisses, whenever i am really stressed, she will bring me her leash and go for a run with me. She is a great distraction, she is always up for a game of tug-o-war or fetch I have no idea what i would do without my puppy.

  2. Pets are good but don't you think dealing with the costs of taking care of a pet will add to the stress of college life? Many pets need shots and then you must pay for food as well. Also pets can be a large time commitment when you think about taking the time to walk and play with them daily.