There are many guidelines to being a good roommate. But, you will most likely encounter a lot of situations that require compromise when living with a roommate. You can probably look past certain things such as them finishing off the rest of your favorite cereal without asking or borrowing your shampoo and not putting it back. But when your roommate gets a new pet without talking with you first, some real trouble can arise.
A pet, no matter type, is a lot of work. Taking care of a pet alone can be extremely difficult. That is where you come in, or at least that’s what your roommate believes. Once your new addition moves into your apartment, you can expect the following:
It’s Your Pet Too
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. When your roommate was contemplating getting a pet, they thought to themselves, “When I’m not at home, my roommate can help take care of our new pet”. Though you most likely had no say in whether there should be a pet in your apartment in the first place, your roommate might expect you to help take care of it on a regular basis.
Depending on the type of pet, regular bathroom trips, feedings, walks, and play time will now be part of your daily routine. To combat this situation, we highly recommend setting some ground rules from the beginning.
Though assisting in the care of an adorable pet isn’t the worst thing in the world, the more you agree to be the new pet’s caregiver, the more you will be relied upon. Be open and honest with your roommate about your role in taking care of the new pet.
Are Pets Allowed?
If you are unsure whether or not pets are allowed on your lease, you might want to check. Since both of your names are on the lease, you don’t want to get in trouble – or worse, evicted – because of your roommates new pet.
If pets are allowed, make sure that your roommate doesn’t expect you to split the pet deposit or pet rent. Helping out with a new pet is one thing; Paying for him/her is totally unreasonable.
The Center of Attention
You know those couples that talk about their baby all the time? Well, your roommate is about to be that person, only with a pet. Everything will now be about your new furry roomie. Get ready to hear about all of the cute things they do, how adorable it is when they sleep, and how they are coming along in their potty training.
Although these are entertaining topics of conversation, they will be the only topics of conversation, especially with visitors. You can also forget about you and your roommate hitting the town like you did before. They will have to cut the night short to take care of their new buddy.
Cleaning, Constantly Cleaning
Get used to hearing, “What’s that smell?” You might smell the pet odor in the beginning, but you will soon not notice it even exists. Not until you have company, of course. Accidents are bound to happen with a new puppy or kitten.
Some pets also have a pungent odor that is distinguishable from others. Where regular cleaning kept your apartment tidy and presentable, your new pet will aid in keeping it a mess. Ridding furniture of pet odor, cleaning accidents in the apartment, and vacuuming pet hair will often be required of you.
Get Ready for Training
If your roomie is a responsible pet owner, they will follow the proper training regimen. Professional trainers and veterinarians agree that a properly trained pet will help the owner and pet have a healthy and happy relationship.
Consistency is crucial for training success. So, while the new puppy is being trained, you will be as well. Your roommate will not hesitate to tell you how you should speak to the animal, how you should correct misbehavior, and all other training actions that should be strictly followed. You will begin to notice that while your roommate is training their pet, they will be unknowingly trying to train you as well.
Certain types of training, like potty training, often require a new pet to be crated. Puppies often don’t take kindly to being in a crate, but it is an essential part of potty training. This means that you can expect a lot of barking and whining coming from the crate at all hours of the day and night. This might be an annoyance to not only you but your neighbors, as well. Make sure you take precautions.
It is not all doom and gloom when your roommate brings a new pet home. But, setting guidelines on who will be doing what, as well as how much you will be involved in caring for the pet needs to be established right away.
Chipping in is just being a good roommate. Just don’t let yourself get taken advantage of. Helping out will make the situation better for everyone, including your new four-legged resident.
Caleb McElveen is a media relations specialists representing Allied Van Lines. Allied provides full service moving and packing services for local, cross country and international moves.
Photo by Anusha Barwa on Unsplash