The Crestiad

Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923

Should Chinchillas Be Allowed in Dorms?

By Regan Mitchell

My friends and I were sitting around talking about living on campus, the pros and cons. One con that came up was why can’t we have pets other than fish? Particularly small ones. No one questioned not allowing dogs and cats. But what’s wrong with a hamster, gerbil or a chinchilla? We focused in on the chinchillas, partially due to their adorableness.

Potential Negatives of Chinchillas (Or Lack Thereof)

The Student Handbook says pets are not allowed for health and sanitation reasons, but chinchillas pose little to no health and sanitation risk.

Chinchillas are not usually an allergy problem. They don’t have dander, which is the common cause of pet allergies. They don’t even shed often; the fur won’t get everywhere.

Any allergy problems due to their hay can be controlled through an air purifier so the rest of the floor wouldn’t suffer from a chinchilla being there.

Their dust bathing is barely a problem as long as the owner purchases an enclosed dust bath, made for owners that don’t want dust getting everywhere. I don’t think asking that from the owners is unreasonable.

Some people say that they could cause fleas and such to come into the dorms. If someone found fleas, a chinchilla would not be the culprit.  Their fur is so dense that they are not susceptible to fleas.

Potential Benefit of Chinchillas

A chinchilla could even benefit the mental health of the owner. It’s common knowledge that school can get stressful and overwhelming at times. Why not allow therapy animals in the dorm?

That’s right. Not only are chinchillas adorable, they’re therapy animals used across the U.S. Animal therapy is used to help people with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Animal therapy is also used to develop and improve social skills and self-esteem.


An experienced owner could easily care for their chinchilla and still go to class. So, if someone has been taking care of a chinchilla for years and wants to bring it to Cedar Crest, why not allow it?

I can’t find a valid reason against it.


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This entry was posted on October 3, 2013 by in 2013, Opinion and tagged .
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