Pet Ownership for USF Students

Pet Ownership for USF Students

College is the first taste of freedom for many young people. You’ve got your own apartment near USF, your own schedule, and the ability to make decisions independently. You are likely beginning to realize you can decide how you grocery shop and where you spend time with friends, to the freedom to make larger decisions like where and when to travel and if pet-ownership is right for you – to name just a few. Speaking of pets, college is often the first time many young people choose to take on this responsibility.

Think carefully about this decision. Pets are for life. It’s important that you really take some time to consider your lifestyle including schedule, travel, roommates, location, and budget when deciding if adopting a dog (or a cat) is right for you. Perhaps you grew up as a “dog-person” and had a family golden retriever, or maybe you always dreamed of having your own pet. Either way, college is the chance to pick your pet! But you must always keep in mind the responsibilities you take on when adopting fluffy or fido. 

Carefully Consider Breeds

When choosing a pet for your USF apartment, you can easily default to a calm cat that will keep to themselves and are fairly low maintenance. However, if dogs are more your speed, carefully consider breeds and their characteristics when planning to co-exist in an apartment.

  1. Breed and Weight Restrictions - Some apartments have weight and breed restrictions, so you’ll want to check with management before making any decisions. Breed restrictions exist to protect people from what some consider “dangerous breeds”. In regard to weight, many apartments are smaller than single family homes so sometimes this restriction is in place to prevent very large breeds from residing in a small community.
  2. Temperament - Dog breeds that are generally more friendly and outgoing may be easier to manage with roommates or community spaces around other people and dogs common in apartments. You may also want to consider avoiding breeds that are notoriously difficult to house-train. You’ll only be in for years of frustration and messes to clean up. Additionally, some dog breeds are considered more “low energy”- but not without fun! Let’s face it. You’re a busy college student who may be away from your apartment frequently. Dogs that require significant amounts of exercise and stimulation because of their breed may not be a good fit. They’ll just end up under-exercised, unhealthy, and deprived of physical needs.
  3. Get Help Choosing – We always recommend adopting over shopping for your furry companion. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is a great place to find a pet and they can help you understand the temperament and breed of dog you may be interested in bringing into your home.

Find a Pet-Friendly Apartment

Of course, finding a pet-friendly apartment near USF is a necessity when choosing to adopt a dog (or a cat). Don’t set yourself up for failure, or worse, eviction, by trying to bring a pet into an apartment home that doesn’t permit them. There are plenty of dog and cat friendly USF apartments near campus. Many of these apartments offer dog-parks or proximity to neighborhood parks and walking trails so your pet can get plenty of exercise. Remember, when searching for a pet friendly apartment, you’ll need to budget for a pet deposit and “pet-rent”. A deposit and an additional monthly fee for your pet will help the community repair any damages your pet may cause and help the upkeep of community amenities for pets.

Benefits of Pet Ownership for College Students

Having a dog or cat in your apartment can be very rewarding. The increased sense of responsibility can actually build your confidence and independence. Additionally, study after study has shown that pets can help individuals manage stress levels, which may be especially important for college students. The companionship and activity that a pet provides can encourage students to become more social, take walks, and explore their communities. Studies have even shown that the act of petting a dog or cat can lower blood pressure!

Want more information on finding a pet, living in a pet-friendly apartment, or the benefits of pet-ownership? Check out our list of resources here:

Humane Society of Tampa Bay LogoFor more than 100 years, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay has been dedicated to ending animal homelessness and providing care and comfort for companion animals in need. Named a Four-Star Charity by Charity Navigator, designated a Platinum Participator with GuideStar, recognized as a Service Enterprise by Points of Light, and accredited by AAHA, the standard in veterinary excellence, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is dedicated to the highest standards in animal sheltering and veterinary care. Our adoption programs, affordable veterinary services, community outreach efforts and volunteer opportunities are essential to the health and wellbeing of animals across Tampa Bay.


Pet-Friendly Apartments Near USF
Apartments with Dog Parks
6 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health
Best Dog Breeds for College Students


<  Back: USF Student Guide