15 Good & Best Pets for Busy College Students

Pets bring joy, companionship, and a sense of responsibility to our lives. However, for busy college students, finding a pet that fits their hectic lifestyle can be challenging. 

According to PetTutor.com, It’s crucial to consider a pet’s suitability for a busy lifestyle before deciding. 

This article aims to provide a comprehensive list of 15 good and best pets for busy college students in 2024.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Pet as a College Student

Before diving into the list of pets, it’s essential to understand the factors that should be considered when choosing a pet for a busy college student.

Time Constraints and Responsibilities

College life is demanding, with classes, assignments, and extracurricular activities occupying a significant portion of a college student’s time. 

Therefore, it’s vital to consider the time constraints and responsibilities associated with owning a pet. 

Some pets require more attention and care than others, so finding a pet that fits into a busy schedule is crucial.

Need for Low-Maintenance Pets

For college students that are busy or with limited time, low-maintenance pets are an ideal choice. Pets that require minimal grooming, feeding, and exercise are more suitable for a busy lifestyle. 

Finding a pet that can thrive with minimal attention but still provide companionship and love is important.

Space Requirements and Financial Considerations

Another factor to consider is the available space in a college student’s living arrangements. 

Pets that require large enclosures or ample living space may not be practical in a dorm room or small apartment. 

Additionally, financial considerations such as the cost of food, supplies, and veterinary care should be considered.

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Top 15 Good and Best Pets for Busy College Students 2024

Now that we understand the factors to consider, let’s explore the top 15 good and best pets for busy college students.

1. Hamsters

Hamsters are excellent pets for busy college students. They are low-maintenance, requiring a small cage, minimal grooming, and a simple diet. 

Hamsters are independent and nocturnal, making them suitable for students with irregular schedules. These dogs can eat almost everything.

2. Fish

Fish are known for their calming presence and simplicity of care. They require minimal interaction and can thrive in small aquariums. Betta fish and goldfish are popular low-maintenance options for college students that are extremely busy.

3. Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are social pets that adapt well to apartment living. They require regular interaction and exercise, making them an excellent choice for busy college students seeking companionship.

4. Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are easy to care for and have minimal space requirements. They have a docile nature and do not require frequent handling. These reptiles are perfect for busy college students looking for a unique, low-maintenance pet.

5. Crested Geckos

Crested geckos are small and low-maintenance pets. They are nocturnal and require minimal handling. Their unique appearance adds a touch of intrigue to any living space.

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6. Corn Snakes

Corn snakes are low-maintenance and require a small enclosure. They have a docile temperament and can live for many years with proper care. College students with an interest in reptiles will find corn snakes to be fascinating companions.

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate and adaptable dogs that can thrive in an apartment setting. While they do require regular exercise, they are generally content with short walks and playtime.

This makes them one of the best pets for busy college students. 

8. Greyhounds

Greyhounds are known for their calm and gentle demeanor, making them suitable for busy college students. 

Despite their athletic appearance, Greyhounds are surprisingly low-energy dogs. They are content with a few short daily walks and enjoy lounging around the house. 

However, providing them with a secure environment is important as they have a strong prey drive.

9. Tarantulas

If you’re comfortable with spiders, tarantulas can be low-maintenance pets that require minimal attention.

10. Turtles

Turtles can be fascinating pets, and although they do require some care, they don’t need constant interaction.

11. Snakes

Some snake species, like corn snakes or ball pythons, can be low-maintenance pets that require minimal interaction.

12. Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are unique pets that are active at night and can be handled occasionally.

13. Cats

Cats are independent creatures and can be left alone for longer periods, but they still appreciate some attention and care.

14. Small birds

Budgies or finches are small birds that can be relatively low-maintenance and entertaining to watch.

15. Rabbits

While rabbits require some attention, they can be litter-trained and are generally low-maintenance.

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Why Do Students Need Pets?

Students can benefit from having pets for various reasons. Here are some of the potential benefits:

Companionship and Emotional Support

Pets can provide students with constant companionship and emotional support. They offer unconditional love and can be a source of comfort during challenging times. 

Having a pet around can help reduce feelings of loneliness, stress, and anxiety, which are common among students.

Responsibility and Time Management

Owning a pet comes with a set of responsibilities. By caring for their pets, students can learn important life skills such as time management, organization, and accountability. 

Feeding, grooming, exercising, and providing medical care for a pet require consistent attention and commitment.

Teaching Empathy and Compassion

Interacting with pets helps students develop empathy and compassion. They learn to understand the needs and feelings of another living being and develop a sense of responsibility toward their pet’s well-being. 

These qualities can extend beyond the pet-owner relationship and positively impact their interactions with other people.

Stress Relief and Relaxation

Studies have shown that interacting with pets can lower stress levels and promote relaxation. Students often face academic pressure, and having a pet can serve as a healthy outlet for stress relief. 

Petting a cat or playing with a dog can release endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, and provide a temporary escape from academic demands.

Improved Physical Health

Pets, particularly dogs, require regular exercise, encouraging students to engage in physical activity. 

Walking or playing with a pet can help students stay active, reduce sedentary behavior, and promote a healthier lifestyle. Increased physical activity can positively impact overall well-being and improve physical health.

Social Interaction and Development

Pets can facilitate social interaction and help students develop social skills. Taking a dog for a walk or bringing a pet to public spaces can create opportunities for conversations and connections with other pet owners or animal lovers. 

This can be especially beneficial for students who may find it challenging to initiate social interactions.

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Is Having Pets Healthy For Students?

Having pets can be healthy for students in various ways. Here are some of the potential health benefits:

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Mental and Emotional Health

Interacting with pets has been shown to positively affect mental and emotional well-being. Pets can provide companionship, reduce feelings of loneliness and depression, and offer unconditional love and support. 

Students may experience reduced stress and anxiety and improved overall mood due to their interactions with pets.

Physical Health

Pets, particularly dogs, can improve physical health. Owning a dog often involves regular exercise, such as walking or playing fetch, which helps students stay active and maintain a healthier lifestyle. 

Increased physical activity can have numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, and increased energy levels.

Stress Reduction

Petting or spending time with animals has been shown to lower stress levels and reduce the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. 

Students often face academic pressures and stressful situations, and interacting with pets can provide a calming and soothing effect, promoting relaxation and stress relief.

Allergy and Immune System Development

Some studies suggest that early pet exposure may help reduce the risk of developing allergies and asthma. 

Growing up with pets can expose students to various allergens and potentially strengthen their immune systems. 

However, individual reactions can vary, and it’s important to consider any known allergies or sensitivities before getting a pet.

Social Interaction

Pets can facilitate social interaction and allow students to engage with others. For example, walking a dog in public spaces or participating in pet-related activities can lead to conversations and connections with other pet owners or animal enthusiasts. 

These social interactions can contribute to a student’s sense of belonging and overall social well-being.

It’s worth noting that while pets can have numerous health benefits, owning a pet also comes with responsibilities and considerations. 

Students should ensure they have the necessary resources, time, and support to properly care for their pets. 

Additionally, factors such as living arrangements and individual circumstances should be considered before deciding to have a pet.

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What Are The Potential Challenges of Owning a Pet as a Busy College Student?

Owning a pet as a busy college student can present several challenges. Here are some potential challenges you might face:

Time commitment

Pets, especially dogs and cats, require time and attention for feeding, exercise, grooming, and socialization. 

As a busy college student, your schedule may be packed with classes, studying, and extracurricular activities, making it challenging to allocate enough time for your pet’s needs.

Financial responsibility

Pets have financial obligations such as food, vaccinations, veterinary care, grooming, and supplies. 

As a college student, you may have limited financial resources, and unexpected expenses can strain your budget.

Housing restrictions

Some college dorms or rental apartments have pet restrictions or prohibit pets altogether. 

Finding pet-friendly housing can be challenging, and you might have to spend extra time and effort searching for suitable accommodation.

Lack of flexibility

Owning a pet can limit your ability to travel or take spontaneous trips. Finding someone reliable to care for your pet while you’re away can be difficult, and pet boarding or pet-sitting services can add to your expenses.

Academic demands

College often involves demanding coursework, exams, and projects. Balancing your academic responsibilities with your pet’s needs can be challenging and may lead to added stress.

Social life and commitments

As a college student, you may want to participate in social activities, clubs, or events. Owning a pet requires you to consider their needs when planning your social engagements, which can limit your availability or require you to arrange pet care.

Emotional and mental well-being

While pets can bring joy and companionship, they also require emotional and mental investment. 

As a busy college student, you may have limited time and energy to devote to your pet’s emotional needs, which can lead to feelings of guilt or neglect.

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It’s important to carefully consider these challenges and assess your ability to provide proper care and attention to a pet before deciding to adopt one as a busy college student. 

It may be more suitable to wait until your circumstances allow for a more stable and accommodating environment for a pet.

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Do Schools Allow College Students to Have Pets?

The policies regarding pets in schools can vary depending on the educational institution and the specific rules and regulations they have in place. Most traditional schools do not allow students to bring pets to school regularly.

However, some exceptions and special cases exist where schools may allow certain types of animals in specific circumstances. Here are a few examples:

Service Animals

Schools are required to allow service animals to accompany students with disabilities to ensure equal access to education. These animals are trained to perform specific tasks that assist individuals with disabilities.

Therapy Animals

Some schools may have therapy animal programs where specially trained animals, such as dogs or cats, visit the school to support students emotionally. 

These programs are typically organized in collaboration with therapy animal organizations and are subject to specific guidelines.

Classroom Pets

In certain cases, teachers may introduce classroom pets, such as fish, reptiles, or small mammals, to enhance the learning environment. 

These pets are usually carefully selected, and their care and maintenance become part of the curriculum. 

However, this practice varies from school to school and often requires approval from the school administration.

It’s important to note that even in cases where pets are allowed in schools, strict guidelines are usually in place to ensure the safety, hygiene, and well-being of the students and the animals involved. 

Additionally, schools may have specific policies regarding allergies, animal behavior, and the responsibilities of the pet’s owner or caretaker.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I choose a pet that suits my busy college schedule?

When choosing a pet that suits your busy college schedule, consider their exercise and socialization needs and the amount of time you can realistically devote to their care. Look for low-maintenance pets that require less attention and are more independent.

How can I meet my pet’s needs despite my busy college schedule?

Establish a routine for feeding, cleaning, and playtime to ensure your pet’s needs are met despite your busy college schedule. Utilize automation devices like automatic feeders or timers for lights in aquariums. Consider enlisting the help of a friend or hiring a pet sitter if necessary.

How do I balance taking care of a pet with my college workload?

Balancing pet care with your college workload requires effective time management and prioritization. Set aside dedicated time for your pet’s needs, utilize breaks between classes, and involve your pet in your daily routine whenever possible.

Are there any pets that can provide companionship without requiring excessive care?

Pets that provide companionship without requiring excessive care include cats, certain dog breeds with low energy levels, and small mammals like rats or rabbits. These pets can offer companionship without demanding constant attention.

Are there any pets that can be left alone for long periods without causing harm or stress?

Some pets can be left alone for long periods without causing harm or stress, such as certain fish species or reptiles that require minimal interaction. However, providing them with appropriate environmental conditions, food, and water is important during your absence.


Choosing the right pet for a busy college student requires careful consideration of factors such as time constraints, space availability, and financial considerations. 

The 15 pets discussed in this article offer a range of options suitable for college students with busy schedules.

It’s important to remember that responsible pet ownership entails meeting the needs of the chosen pet, even with a busy lifestyle. 

Before deciding, college students should assess their ability to provide adequate care, attention, and resources to their chosen pet.

By choosing a pet that aligns with their lifestyle and resources, busy college students can experience the joys of pet ownership while successfully managing their academic and personal commitments.



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