Tuesday, December 7, 2021

11 of the Best Pets for Busy College Students

If you’re a college student who has a rigorous schedule and a not-so-spacious apartment, owning a pet may be the last thing that will come into your mind. 

But, luckily enough, there are friendly little creatures that might just be a perfect companion while you live away from your parents and get your degree.

Here are 11 of the best pets for college students!

1. Birds

If you want to own a pet that’s interesting to watch and be around but is still low maintenance, birds are the perfect first choice!

To get started with your new avian bestie, canaries, parakeets, cockatiels, and finches are some of the best species to have. These animals are super intelligent, making them easy to be trained and cared for. 

Bird
Owning a bird can be a rewarding experience, particularly for students who aren’t really interested in larger pets. Photo: Huỳnh Đạt/Pexels

Plus, owning a bird won’t hurt your budget because they only need a cage large enough for them to fly around in, some toys to keep them occupied, food, and water. Simple!

2. Hamsters

Probably one of the top pet picks for college students, a hamster could be your perfect furry companion and stress-reliever. 

pet-hamster-sitting-and-eating
Hamsters are a great addition to your life. They are ideal for students who have busy academic schedules. Photo: Sharon Snider/Pexels

A hamster doesn’t require a lot of attention, so it’s ideal if you’re a student who always has plenty of school work to do. While you should still interact with them to build trust, these cute, cuddly, animals are often content spending their time exercising on their wheels and chewing their toys while you’re studying.

3. Fish

Imagine entering your dorm room after a long day and seeing bright-colored fish swarming inside an aquarium. How relaxing! Whether you choose to own a goldfish, guppy, neon tetra, or betta fish, there is a stack of reasons why a fishy friend could be the best college pet for you, like:

  • They don’t take up much space
  • They require fairly low maintenance. A daily feed and a clean tank is all they need to survive and thrive
  • They’re great listeners that are happy to listen to you reel off data and formulas you’re trying to memorize 😉
female-college-student-looking-at-fish-in-aquarium
Isn’t it relaxing to stare at bright-colored fish after getting home from school? Photo: Khoa Vo/Pexels

4. Mice

A busy college student will likely want to have a cute companion that makes very few demands on their owners — that’s where mice take the spotlight!

pet-mouse-sitting-on-ground
Mice are small and easy to care for, making them great pets for students. Photo: Alexas Fotos/Pexels

Known for being nocturnal animals, mice are perfect for students who go to school during the day. Additionally, these wonderful pets are really entertaining to watch and easy to care for. Owning them is also inexpensive and convenient because they don’t eat much and they don’t take up much space (did someone say dorm-room pet?) ✅

5. Small Breed Dogs

Here comes everyone’s best friend — dogs!

These cuddly and furry pets can be great companions for students, especially after having a rough day at school. Using cuteness and charm as their primary weapons, dogs have a superpower to lighten up your mood and give you a sense of emotional well-being.

three-small-pet-dogs-sitting-in-basket
Probably one of the sweetest pets, dogs are a great companion for students. They can lighten up your mood and make you feel loved. Photo: Helena Lopes/Pexels

Of course, if you’re a busy college student you need to make sure you have the time, energy, and commitment that’s necessary for a dog. Plus, you’ll likely need a good amount of space — so consider carefully if this pet suits your lifestyle.

6. Cats

Some students may think that cats are not ideal for a pet because they need large spaces to walk around and are pretty costly to maintain. Well, think again!

These sweet, likeable creatures often don’t mind if your dorm room or apartment is large or small. In fact, cats can live in as little as 18 square feet as long as you give them food, a clean litter box, and preferably a way to get out and stretch their legs. 

small-pet-cat-lays-on-students-lap
Fall in love with the cuteness and sweetness of a friendly creature called the cat. Photo: Tomas Ryant/Pexels

Best of all, cats are independent. They will be there for you when you need them but they also have the ability to entertain themselves — perfect when you need to focus on studying for exams.

7. Guinea Pigs

Want to own an adorable companion without giving lots of specialized care?

Introducing the sweet but unobtrusive creatures called guinea pigs! This rodent species belongs to a family of Caviidae, have huge personalities, and can live in a range of environments. They can also survive in enclosed spaces, which makes them ideal for students who have small dorm rooms. Keep in mind that guinea pigs are herd animals, so it’s best to have two in case you won’t be around enough to give them the attention they need.

two-pet-guinea-pigs-on-red-background-with-leaves
Even if you have a not-so-spacious apartment, you can still own guinea pigs because they can survive in enclosed spaces. Photo: Scott Webb/Pexels

Tip: When owning guinea pigs, make sure that you let them out of their cage at least once a day and that your apartment is escape-proof.

8. Turtles

Just like fish, turtles are an ideal pet for college students. They’re easy to care for and only require an area in your room where a small-to-medium-sized aquarium can be placed. 

pet-turtle-swimming-in-sand
Turtles are a perfect pet for college students who have small apartments. Photo: Lachlan Ross/Pexels

You also won’t need to worry about them disturbing you when you’re studying because these pets are quiet. Plus, feeding them is easy since they don’t require much food, and they’re omnivores — so they can eat almost anything!

9. Hermit Crabs

In case you want to try something different for a pet, hermit crabs are certainly a worthy choice!

tiny-pet-hermit-crab-on-ledge
Try something unusual for a pet! Hermit crabs are fascinating to watch, perfect for someone who had a rough day at school. Photo: Ahmed Sobah/Unsplash

These creatures only live inside aquariums, which makes them ideal for college students who don’t have much space. They’re also fascinating to watch. You will often see them climbing and exploring their surroundings, a great way to give your brain a break after using it all day.

Tip: Hermit crabs love company, so it’s best to have multiple crabs living together. 🦀 🦀 🦀

10. Tarantulas

Want an extraordinary pet-owning experience? Why not try a tarantula?

As intimidating and scary as they may look, these large hairy spiders can be fascinating to take care of. Once you start feeding them and learn about their behavior, watching tarantulas crawl in their terrariums will leave you in awe.

Tarantulas-held-in-hand-of-college-student
Tarantulas are low maintenance. Photo: Damon On Road/Unsplash

Tarantulas also have a budget-friendly diet perfect for students who have other things to pay for. They can even survive for weeks with no food — but it’s best to feed them once a week or so.

11. Lizards

For college students who love reptiles, a cute little lizard could be the perfect pet.

pet-lizard-on-wood-looking-at-camera
By just staring at them, lizards can make you smile and momentarily forget whatever problems you have at school. Photo: Verdian Chua/Unsplash

Lizards are ideal for busy students because they are low maintenance. Just set up a tank with some gravel, sand, and shells and you’re good to go. They’re also convenient for tight-on-budget college students because they don’t have special diets. Some bugs from the pet store or leafy greens from the supermarket are enough to fill their tiny stomachs. 🐛


Owning a pet amid your busy student schedules might be a daunting task. Feel prepared and ready for the commitment of a little friend? Go ahead and pick a pet that’s worthy of your tender love and care!

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