Ferris State University Pilots Pet-Friendly Residence Hall Program to Support Student Mental Health

Ferris State University Pilots Pet-Friendly Residence Hall Program to Support Student Mental Health

To help students cope with homesickness and anxiety this fall, Ferris State University is opening up a pet-friendly floor in one of its fourteen dorms at the school’s Big Rapids Campus, CBS News reports. According to Lisa Ortiz, the director of housing and residence life at Ferris State, consultation with students gave the university copious reason to launch the program, as many students had vocalized a desire to bring their pets to campus given the opportunity to do so.

Thirty pets will be accommodated on the second floor of Ferris State’s Cramer Hall, chosen for its carpet-free floors. The hall is instead floored with luxury vinyl tile, which makes it easy to clean. Program participants must pay a fee of USD 250 and provide proof of spaying, neutering, and all necessary vaccinations. Students must also have had a relationship with the pet in question for at least six months prior to the start of the semester. Each student is allowed to bring in only one pet.

The program’s goal is to alleviate the feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety that students might feel while away from home during the school year. Its success and progress will be measured primarily through monitoring the building’s living situation and collecting student feedback. Ortiz asserts that positive outcomes could lead the school to expand the program with more pet-friendly amenities, such as a dog park.

How to Make Your Pet Feel at Home Away from Home

If you’ll be living away from home for an extended period, the chance to bring your beloved pet with you may seem like a dream come true. However, do bear in mind that sudden changes in environment tend to be stressful for pets, and that you’ll need to take some steps to make sure that they feel comfortable and at home in an unfamiliar place.

Start by setting aside a dedicated part of your living space for them, whether it’s a quiet corner or even a full room, where your pet can retreat when they need to rest and recharge. Filling this space with items you’ve brought from home, such as custom dog beds, personalized dog blankets, and your dog’s favorite toys, can also go a long way toward making it more comfortable.

Want to know more about pet-related initiatives and events around the US, or read the latest stories on animal welfare and the human-animal bond? Bookmark the Barking Post Blog today for timely updates!