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Unique Pets in College: My Personal Take and Experience

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Having a pet in college is already something many have strong opinions about. I know for a long time my parents were standoffish to the idea of me having my own pet to take care of in a college town. Worried about if it will be too much for me to take care of, that the people I go to school with might hurt my pet, or even let it outside. Then I went to the pet store, I am not one to just make a rushed split decision- so I didn’t. I fell in love with a rabbit that I later named Fig. I asked my landlord for the upcoming year and was approved to have a bunny; because a rabbit is not a cat or dog, I was invited to have my rabbit in off-campus living free of charge. That was my deciding factor as it should be for everyone, making sure that you and your pet will have a place to live no matter the species.

There has never been a more loved bunny, unfortunately, Fig passed away from unforeseen health problems earlier this year. Fig taught me many lessons, mostly about love, and as heartbreaking as losing a pet is Fig taught me and my roommates the kind of joy a rabbit can provide. After some time I fell in love with another sweet bunny, Keeto, she is my pride, joy, and job. But, I have some advice for unique pet owners.

Here are my top five things to do when adopting a unique pet:

Find a vet

No matter the animal you fall in love with, from a fish to a frog, you need to make sure you are finding a vet who is willing and able to provide knowledgeable medical treatment to your pet. If you can not find a vet, reach out to a rescue that houses your type of animal and ask them what vets they use. I contacted Columbus house rabbit society to find a vet for my bunny and they found an amazing group of veterinary staff who are knowledgeable about rabbits and close to my area.

This post is by Norton Road Veterinary hospital, this is Keeto’s vet

Understand your Pets Needs

As much as you might think you know about whatever animal you are getting, unique pets have hidden secrets, for example, did you know rabbits can’t puke? This means if they eat something they aren’t supposed to it could easily kill them. Needs covers housing too, make sure your pet’s housing is adequate for them, for example, check your cage size requirements. Rabbits need a cage that is at least seven feet long, which is something many cannot provide, look into free-roaming and see if this is something that your pet can do.

Find Housing

A place to live, as I mentioned before, is one of the most important things on this list. Without a place to stay, that you can afford, you will not be able to provide a happy life for your pet. It is important to remember that although at the moment your new pet might be the perfect fit you need to think about the future too. Something that many don’t consider when getting any pet is making sure they can take care of their own needs first.

Check prices

Food for unique pets can be expensive, at least more expensive than regular cat and dog food. Make sure to check and see that you can afford a healthy diet for your pet. There are always ways to make your pet’s food more affordable, just do lots of looking around. I always check the discounted produce aisle at Kroger for food for Keeto, still healthy, still fresh, just cheaper.

Do lots of googling

This! This is the most important thing, research and lots of it. Everything on this list you can learn yourself through just googling. It isn’t always easy being a unique pet mom/dad/person but you can always provide a loving home for an animal no matter what as long as you do your research.

Nothing is more rewarding than having a happy and healthy unique pet. Go find your soul connection!

Love, Carly, and Keeto.

Carly Getter is a Junior in the Communications Sciences and Disorders major at Ohio University with plans to become an audiologist. She loves to read, drink coffee, and love on her bunny Keeto!
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