College and Pets

I get so many questions once Gatsby went public at school, so here is a little bit about having pets in college.

So here is an FAQ about having pets in college.

PSA: having a pet in college is just like having a pet outside of college and you need to make sure that you can take care of a pet and give it just as much time and attention while you are at school

How do you afford it?

I really don’t want to get into finances very much here, but I do dedicate a significant amount of my money to my pets. I often do have to give up things every now and then, so even the financial commitment is a  huge part of it. I do work more hours at my job to be able to afford it. So I really afford it by budgeting and working hard.

How do you have the time?

I force myself to have the time. I often sit with Gatsby while I’m doing homework because he loves to cuddle. This gives him plenty of time to cuddle with me, and then when I need a break he is normally alright to just run around while I watch him for a little break. Oddly enough he has started to know the sound of me picking up a book or typing on my computer again and he has began to come back to cuddle with me.

For Lucia, though, I take her out in portions of no more than 20 minutes at a time so that she has free range time and can play with me when she’s up. I don’t like to really let her run while I’m doing homework, though, because she loves to fall off things into the oblivion.

How do you have the space?

When I first got Gatsby I allowed him to take up my entire desk as his space, which worked for me because I like to study on my bed anyway or on the floor where I have a ton of space. For Lucia’s cage Kurt and I like to stack everything so that we are building vertically instead of horizontally. For Gatsby’s current cage I do allow him to take up as much space as he needs and I’m willing to give up the top of my desk or the top of my dresser. I understand that I need to find the space for him.

What is an ESA?

So for those of you who don’t know Gatsby is labeled as my ESA (Emotional Support Animal).

An ESA is any trained animal that helps a person with mental illness. Typically these are dogs and only dogs can be registered with the government. By law if you can prove (though a doctor) that you need an ESA the housing area needs to allow you to have the ESA. (If you live in a no pets allowed area and need to have an ESA they do have to allow you to have it but I’m gonna be honest it’s about a hundred times easier to have an ESA and live in an apartment where pets are approved.

Hedgehogs aren’t real ESAs

An ESA is a pet of your choosing, so although I can’t register Gatsby with the government he is an ESA that I chose. Some housing areas might not allow you to choose or will give you an “approved list” that you can choose from. I chose Gastby because since he is asleep during the day I don’t feel bad about leaving him. He also helps me the same way as a dog, cat, or other animal. Hedgehogs were just the best pet for me at the time so I chose him as my ESA.


If you have anymore quesitons about Emotional Support Animals please comment them and they might be seen in another post!

See you soon,

Amanda Patch


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