Dogs in the Dorms: What You Need to Know
College dorm life has changed – in fact, it has gone to the dogs – literally. Forget the days of simply hoping your new roommate would be cool, because nowadays you have the option of having your dog as your dorm-mate.
College’s across the country are changing their policies and allowing students who live in their dorms to bring their dogs to school with them. But before you starting packing up your dog’s toys, food and bed, there are some very important guidelines that you should know about.
Some schools have age and ownership requirements
At Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Penn., your dog “must have been in your family for at least one year and must be 1 ½ years old” in order to be permitted to live on campus. And don’t even think about taking in a stray. Any violation to this rule will result in harsh penalties, including losing the privilege of having your dog with you at school. However, some schools will allow you to foster a dog, but again, don’t run out and get a foster dog without first checking with your school.
Your dog may need to be registered
In some cases you must not only notify your school, but the city and state as well. At Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., dog parents must register their pooches with the city of Columbia. Luckily, this can be done in person when you arrive. At Eckard College in St. Petersburg, Fla., students have to register their dogs with the Pet Council, which is a group of students, both dog parents and non-dog parents, who are in charge of enforcing the school’s pet policy.
You must comply with breed and weight restrictions
Sadly, most colleges will not allow breeds such as the Pit Bull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Chow or Akita. Most of these schools also have weight restrictions. Both Eckard College and Washington & Jefferson College do not allow dogs bigger than 40 pounds to live on campus. However, Stephens College does not have any weight restrictions.
Your dog’s vaccinations and shots must be current
This is a no brainer. If your dog is not up-to-date on his vaccinations and shots, he will not be joining you – period.
Your dog must be well-behaved and housebroken
Another given, considering how small your dorm room is and that you’ll have to navigate the halls and campus with your dog. It is best that your dog knows how to act. No school will put up with a bad dog, and any complaints the school receives about your dog could result in him being sent home with his tail between his legs.
You can only bring one dog
This will only be a problem if you have more than one dog, but it is understandable. You’re living in a room the size of small bedroom with another person and your 40 pound dog – you get the picture.
You will most likely have to pay a registration fee
Get used to this as any place you live in the future with your dog will require a pet deposit. Accidents happen, and the school just wants to make sure it can repair any damage that your dog may have caused before the next dog parent moves in.