Can Dogs Live in College Dorms?

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Introduction

College students often live in dorm rooms, which are small, apartment-like quarters that they share with at least one other person. In some cases, these dorms are just a small room, and the bathrooms are shared spaces for an entire floor of people to use, while others are suites where students have a bathroom and kitchen included in space they share only with their roommates. Regardless, dorm rooms are very small.

Students may consider bringing a dog to live with them while they enjoy their college experience, but can dogs live in dorm rooms? The answer may seem like an easy one, but it really depends on a few factors.

SIgns Dogs Shouldn't Live in College Dorms

The question of whether dogs can live in college dorms comes down to dorm policy more than whether or not a dog can survive in the confined space of a college dorm. Dogs are known for being very flexible and able to live in almost any condition, so it should come as no surprise that dogs can survive living in a small dorm room.

Unsurprisingly, many colleges don’t allow dogs in the dorms—unless they are service animals. The reasons that dogs aren’t allowed in dorms are numerous. First, students are gone for hours at a time, and that means that dogs might have accidents in the apartment. Dogs can also be really loud, and the close living quarters can make it hard for many people to deal with. Also, many people are allergic to pet dandruff and fur, which could cause problems for the school and other students.

While many colleges don’t allow dogs, there are some that do. If you want to bring a dog with you to college, consider one of the many schools that okay them, such as the University of Washington, Seattle. Dogs are some of the most commonly prohibited animals in dorms, and some colleges will only allow fish or fish and small caged animals. Others will allow cats in certain dorms. It is really all dependent on the college’s rules.

Body Language

Body language says a lot. Dogs will be happy in almost all environments, even small dorm rooms. You may notice that your dog exhibits the following body language signs that show they are happy in your dorm room:
  • Alert
  • Head tilting
  • Wag tail
  • Ears up

Other Signs

Other signs that dogs are happy in dorm rooms include:
  • Claiming their own small area
  • Acting calm when you leave
  • Maintaining quality of health

History of Dogs Living in College Dorms

Historically, dogs haven’t been allowed in college dorms. While some colleges allow small pets like fish or hamsters in dorms, dogs are much more difficult to care for and can cause much larger problems. Unfortunately for dog lovers in college, this means that colleges are often not willing to risk allowing students to bring dogs into their dorm rooms.

If you are concerned about being able to bring your dog to college with you, it is best that you either live at home or find a dog-friendly apartment complex near your desired college. Otherwise, you will need to do some research about whether or not dogs are allowed in dorms at the college you wish to attend. In most cases, dogs will not be allowed unless it can be proven that they are service dogs.

Check with your college before you attempt to bring a dog with you for school. If you do, the school may require you to get rid of the dog within a certain time frame, and if you can’t get the dog back home, you may be forced to surrender it to an animal shelter. Also, it is important that college students remember the financial responsibility that owning a dog requires.

Science Behind Dogs Living in College Dorm Rooms

Scientifically speaking, there isn’t much data on dogs living in college dorms, because most colleges don’t allow dogs in the dorms. Students who want to bring their dogs to college often live in an apartment off of campus without any problems. Keep in mind that not all apartments allow dogs either.

Since dogs are typically fine living almost anywhere, it won’t be a problem to have a dog living in a dorm room for the dog. However, other students may have allergies that are caused by dogs, and you could really be making them sick by having a dog in the dorm room. Additionally, your dog may make noise that is distracting and causes other students’ grades to slip, which can cause problems for your pet as a resident in the dorms.

Training Dogs to Live in College Dorms

If you go to a college that allows dogs in the dorm rooms, you will want to make sure that your dog behaves properly to make everyone more comfortable. Since your pet will be confined to a small space, it is important that you devote plenty of time for exercise. In the case of dogs that live in dorm rooms, you will either need to take your dog on a walk or to the dog park almost every day to prevent the build-up of energy that can lead to destructive behaviors that will get your pooch in trouble with your college.

Basic training will make your life with your pet in a dorm room much easier. If you have roommates, it is important that they also know your dog’s commands. Basic training won’t be enough for all dogs, however.

For dogs that are prone to barking or aggression, you will need to take additional measures. Aggressive dogs that live in confined spaces are more likely to lash out, which puts all the other students in the dorms in danger of being injured by your pet. Barking is loud and can be a distraction for other students during the times when they sleep or study. If your dog is a barker, you will need to take them in for training that teaches them not to bark.

If your dog ever starts to become unhappy in your dorm room, it might be time to make new arrangements. For those who can move out into an apartment that allows dogs, that could prevent you from having to get your dog into a new home or surrendering them to a local animal shelter.

Safety Tips for Dogs Living in College Dorms:

  • Make sure your dog is friendly to keep other students safe.
  • Keep your dorm clean and free of harmful substances.
  • Give your pet an area of its own.