College can be the most exciting time in a person’s life, and having a pet by your side can add enrichment and joy to your experience as you further your education. If you have a bird or are thinking about getting one, you may wonder are pet birds allowed in dorm rooms? In this article we will look at what colleges allow, and beyond that, if having a pet bird while away at school is healthy for them.
Are Pet Birds Allowed in Dorm Rooms?
Pet birds may be allowed in dorm room, but there is no across-the-board rule for this that applies to every school. Generally, pets are not allowed in dorm rooms, but there are some colleges that allow animals. The only way to know for sure is to ask the administrators at your school.
Why aren’t birds allowed in dorm rooms?
Pets, in general, aren’t allowed in dorm rooms for a few reasons. The most common is the fact that a dorm is typically a poor environment for most animals. Plus, the dorm is only yours for a short period. The school needs to ensure the room remains in good shape with minimal damage, wear and tear for the next round of college students. Pets can make that job difficult.
Birds, like most other pets, require a lot of attention. Plus, they can make a lot of noise, and — let’s face it — our adorable little avian friends can be pretty messy. Depending on what type of bird you own, they also could require a significant amount of time outside their cage. In a dorm environment, that can be dangerous not only for the bird but also for other students. Colleges don’t want the liability of someone getting injured, which could cause problems for them and you.
Is it healthy to have a bird in a college dorm?
It depends on the type of bird you have. Parrots, for example, should not live in dorm rooms, as they need proper interaction and attention that busy college students can’t always provide.
The best environment for most birds is a place with plenty of human attention, a spacious cage, and a set bedtime routine for some species. Parrots, for example, would not thrive in a college environment, even if you have a roommate that could look after them while you attend classes. Generally, dorm rooms are small, and you need space to house your pet bird.
Setting aside the space issue, college dorms can also be too noisy and provide too much stimulation for quieter birds. Loud music, people always coming and going, unfamiliar voices, and lack of space are big concerns for a bird in a dorm room. Plus, college kids stay up late. Birds need a quiet, dark, calm environment to sleep, and even if you can keep your dorm room that way, noise in the rest of the dorm certainly won’t. As mentioned, birds are sensitive, and dorm life would likely stress them out.
What is the best bird for college students?
Let’s say you find a pet-friendly college and decide to bring a bird to your dorm. Not every bird is going to fit the bill. Because college students are some of the busiest people alive, it’s best to have an easygoing feathered friend that fits a life revolving around a tight schedule. Choose one that doesn’t require a lot of handling. If you decide to go that route, a good option is to pick a finch or two.
Finches are a nice option because they generally don’t care too much for human interaction and do well when they have a few other feathered friends to keep them company when their owners aren’t around. Finches get on fine so long as they have a roomy cage for plenty of exercise and a few toys to keep them mentally stimulated and entertained.
That said, dorms are still highly-trafficked places, and not everyone will be sensitive to your pet’s need for quiet time — even those that can usually thrive just fine in a well-stocked cage. The finch is also one of the more timid birds, so if you want to have lots of friends visiting your dorm room, bringing a bird into the situation might not be the best idea.
What colleges allow pets?
Not all colleges have a no pets policy, but that doesn’t mean birds are on the approved list. Here are some schools that reportedly allow different kinds of animals in on-campus housing.
- Clarion University
- Eckerd College
- Stephens College
- Pfeiffer University
- Reed College
Of these pet-friendly schools, only Clarion University and Stephens College mention birds specifically. However who allows which pets changes year to year. The best way to know your university’s policy is to call them directly.
Birds need attention, love, and plenty of space to thrive, which makes them far from ideal as pets for college students. If you’re searching for an animal companion to accompany you through your college experience, it may be wiser to lean toward lower-maintenance animals. I advise skipping the pets altogether while in the dorm — at least pets in the avian family.
If you already have a pet bird, it may be best to live off-campus while you attend classes to provide a proper environment or find a trusted family member to care for your bird during your college years.
“Should You Bring Your Pet To College?” Genevieve Carlton, Best Colleges, June 9, 2022, bestcolleges.com.
“20 Pet Friendly Colleges,” Olivia Pittman, College Raptor, revised December 22, 2022, collegeraptor.com