Dorm rooms and apartments can feel so lonely without pets. But how can you get a pet when you live in such a small space? Check out these tips for finding pets to fit your small room or apartment.
Double Check Your Housing Rules
Being a responsible pet owner is all about making sure that you can provide for your pet throughout its life. So, first things first: What type of pets are you allowed to have in your space? If you're in a dorm room, you may be restricted to only fish, and there may be a maximum cage size listed in your rules and regulations. Check with the school to find out.
If you're in an apartment, your landlord doesn't really have control over caged animals. But, check your lease document to be sure on the language. You can also check with the apartment manager.
Fish For Small Spaces
One of the easiest, most space/cost effective creatures that you get is a Betta fish. Bettas are brightly colored fish perfect for small spaces. They do best alone, and the minimum tank size should be 2.5 gallons for a happy, thriving fish.
Even with a small tank, there's a lot you can do to make the space visually interesting for you, and entertaining for your new fish friend. There are artificial plants, rocks, and more to gussy up the environment. You'll also need water conditioner and other Betta supplies.
Mammals For Small Spaces
If you want something that you can pet, you're in luck. Hamsters are great pets for tight spaces. An average sized hamster cage will fit in a corner or on an end table, with their supplies just above or below. Hamsters only live 2-3 years, so there's not a long time-commitment if you tend to move around a lot.
Hamsters are small, they will let you handle them, and the only smell is from your choice of bedding. However, hamsters do tend to be nocturnal, so they may not be the best choice if you're a light sleeper or have grumpy roommates.
Creepy-Crawlies For Small Spaces
Other small animals that you could consider include invertebrates like millipedes and tarantulas that don't need a lot of space. Most creatures like these will require additional lighting or heating, so be sure that you can put their cages near an outlet.
As with Betta fish, outfitting small spaces for millipedes, beetles, or tarantulas is downright fun. You can decorate with artificial wood, bone, or rocks that your new pet can climb on or hide under. You have a variety of choices for substrates like sand, moss, or even newspaper, and many invertebrates can be surprisingly friendly to humans if they're handled often.
If you travel a lot for work, or vacation a lot, you'll need to be sure that you have a roommate or friend that can care for your small pet while you're away. You may want to look into vets in your area that will treat small pets in case a problem arises. And be sure to do your research before bringing your pet home to avoid common first-time mistakes.