Woman holding dog

Going to university means freedom, parties, and enriching education. When your high school guidance counsellors and parents encourage your university goals, they rarely ever mention one of the enormous downsides to university life: no pets allowed in student accommodation. 

Many universities require students to live on campus for at least one semester. Even if you’re lucky enough to score off-campus housing, it likely includes roommates. Getting everyone to agree on a pet and sharing responsibility for the animal is a burden few university students undertake. 

If you grew up in a pet-friendly home, it can be difficult to adjust to four or more long years without the companionship of a pet. Once you graduate, however, you will have a degree in your chosen field and as many pets as you want. 

Best Low-Maintenance Pets

Pets are a lot of responsibility, which is one reason universities may not allow them in student accommodation. If you’re in class for hours every day and spending time focusing on your studies, there isn’t much time to devote to pet caretaking. 

Once you’re out of the student accommodation and have more control over your roommate choices, there are many different types of animals who make great pals. Like people, some pets are more high-maintenance than others. Here are 5 of the most affordable pets for recent grads. 


Dogs are the ultimate companion. Furry, friendly and financially feasible for any recent graduate. Unlike most other pets that are one-size-fits-all, dogs come in various shapes and sizes. Small, medium or large dog breeds can readily fit into any size apartment or home. Dogs are some of the most adaptable animals around. With proper exercise, dogs are amenable to city living just as easily as they are to acres of land in the country. 

Aside from exercise, the other essential need for dogs is food. If you want to find an affordable dog breed, Labrador Retrievers is a great idea. It has been the most popular dog breed in the United Kingdom for over twenty years. The best dog food for Labradors is both healthy and affordable. 


Fish are often bestowed upon children as their first pet simply because fish are possibly the pet with the lowest-maintenance of all. Watching fish swim around a tank is relaxing and somehow extremely riveting, no matter what your age. 

Shaking a container of fish food into the top of the tank doesn’t take a lot of time or energy. You do have to clean their aquatic home every now and again. Whether you’re interested in owning goldfish or Betta fish, you’ll need a starter tank for new fish owners.


Despite what the internet tells you, cats make great pets. Yes, they are bossy and aloof. But if you’re a person who doesn’t like clingy pets, a kitty companion to rule your home is just the ticket. Cats have ruled the world ever since they were considered sacred in ancient Egyptian cultures. 

Everyone knows that dogs feel safer in den-like environments. Surprisingly, cats share the same trait with their dog nemesis. Choosing the right carrier can help your kitty feel safe when travelling or just relaxing at home. 


Many children dream of owning the furry rodent who enjoys being held and runs in circles in a hamster wheel. As a recent graduate, you can still fulfil your childhood dream! Hamsters make excellent pets for any age. However, it’s important to note that hamsters are nocturnal and will be awake through the night. 

Hamsters are independent animals who are happy to spend a great chunk of their time in their cages with toys to entertain themselves. Still, they do enjoy at least some interaction with their owners and require some training not to bite when held. Hamsters don’t get along well with other hamsters and should have their own accommodations. 


Ferrets make surprisingly great companions. Curious and friendly, they can happily spend most of their day lounging in a hammock in their cages. After the start-up costs of a cage and food, ferrets are very affordable. They do, however, require the occasional bath because they can get quite stinky. 

Master escape artists that can fit in the smallest nook and cranny, ferrets are notoriously mischievous. They should be supervised when they are outside of their cages. Ferrets love to burrow into tiny places, so owners need to cover or block any potential means of escape. As the movie All About Polly shows, ferrets can be taken outdoors for exercise with a harness and leash.

Affordable Doesn’t Mean Free 

When you take a pet into your care, there can be unforeseen costs at any time. An affordable pet doesn’t necessarily mean never having to shell out your hard-earned money for pet care. Accidents and illnesses can strike at any time. Even the smallest pets need routine veterinary care to keep them healthy. 

You can keep your pet affordable by creating an emergency fund dedicated to their care and well-being. Include pet essentials, such as food and toys into your monthly budget. Pets are great companions, but they come with great responsibility. 


Leo Wilson graduated from a university major in animal health and behaviour. He had over a decade of experience working in the pet industry and has contributed many dogs and pet-related articles to several websites before he decided to start sharing his knowledge on his own blog. And when he is not busy working, he and his wonderful wife love spending time at home with their 3 dogs and 2 cats.

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