What Colleges are Dog Friendly and How Can You Find Them?

Tips for dog owners who are going to college

Whether you’re going back to school or starting from scratch right out of high school, college life can drastically change the world you live in. For most individuals, this means that they will be living on campus and will likely be faced with an entirely new set of rules.

Unfortunately for our four-legged companions, these rules often ban them from joining in on the new lifestyle. Few colleges allow pets, and for many people this can be a major issue, especially if it means they will be losing such an important part of their life. Nothing is more upsetting to a loving pet owner than seeing the “no dogs allowed” sign posted.


So how can you find colleges that are going to be dog friendly? With the growing popularity regarding the importance of having a companion to keep us company, locating colleges that promote a “pet friendly” attitude is getting easier. Google results bring up a wide selection of colleges that endorse this friendly atmosphere, but be sure you read into what they are really offering before making any decision.

There is a big difference between pet friendly and dog friendly. There are a lot of pet friendly college environments, and many colleges will advertise that they are open to pets- as long as they fall in the small reptile, bird, or rodent categories. Basically, they allow pets as long as they aren’t dogs or cats. Be sure to look for the words, “Companion animal” on their rule sheets.

One important thing to do is to tour before you sign up. See what the environment is like. Are they truly pet friendly or is it just a claim? Does the campus actually want you to keep your dog confined at all times? Remember that what they say and what is done can be two very different things.

Meeting the requirements

• When you do find a dog-friendly college, it’s important to check all the rules and regulations regarding their experience on the grounds.
• Make sure you meet the requirements, such as weight and size. Pound limitations are commonly a maximum of 40 pounds (medium sized dogs). Breed is sometimes discriminated as well (such as pit bulls) so be sure you read everything and ask questions.
• Some colleges allow multiple pets while others have a limit to only one. Some even limit one per dorm area, so you may not even be able to bring your pooch even if they do claim to be dog friendly.
• Most campuses will have specific dorms or areas on campus where pets are allowed. Be sure to pay attention when going for walks or playing outdoors.
• There are some that have rules about keeping your pets caged (crated) as well, even when you are present.
• Also consider that there will likely be potty-appropriate areas, so it’s important to know where it’s okay for your pup to wander when it’s that time of day.
• Medical records and registration are always needed and many college offices will require you to register your dog with them as well. Some may even require that the dog be neutered or spayed as well (just in case you haven’t done so or don’t want to).

Dog friendly confirmed

For those interested, here is a list of dog-friendly colleges to check out and see if your pup will find a good home on campus.

• Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida- With four pet-friendly dorms available, it is possibly one of the most dog friendly campuses around. 40lb size limitations apply though.
• Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, Pennsylvania- this companion-pet friendly college has a designated “pet friendly” dorm. However, there are size and breed limitations as well as required neutering.
• Principa College, Elsah, Illinois- Limitations depend on the dorm you stay in. In general, the entire campus is dog and pet friendly, but restrictions apply to certain areas.
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign- They have their own “apartment” area designated for pet use, and allow two companion pets per apartment (this includes rabbits).
• State University of New York at Canton- Pet friendly since 1996. The Mohawk Hall is the pet friendly area, but there is a limited capacity of only 48 pets allowed for the entire dorm.

These colleges are open to dogs but do have particular rules regarding their experience there. Be sure that you investigate for yourself before making any big decisions.

Finding quality education is important, but if you aren’t going have a great experience without your pet, it could be a deciding factor in your college choice. Be sure you research your college’s rules and regulations before you set off for school and make sure that your four-legged companion is going to find themselves right at home in your new lifestyle.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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