From cats to dogs to hamsters, any pet can help make a house a home. However, when moving in with a new roommate, pets can sometimes cause trouble and unnecessary friction in a roommate relationship. To make any pet move-in as smooth as possible, follow these tips:
Tip #1: If Possible, Get to Know the Animal Before Moving In
The best thing to do before moving in with someone who has a pet is to get to know the animal beforehand. Feed the pet, play with it, take it on a walk – anything! Show the animal and its owner that you care. This way, when you move in, the animal already knows who you are, and you already have an established relationship with it.
Tip #2: Discuss Who is Responsible for the Pet
Who will feed the pet? Walk the pet? Clean their cage? Clean up after the pet? Will the pet’s owner be responsible, or will you split it up? Which rooms are off-limits to the pet? Discuss these things soon after you move in so that there is no confusion over who is responsible for the pet.
Tip #3: Don’t Wait Too Long to Bring Up Problems
If the pet is really bothering you, don’t wait too long to let your roommate know about the issue at hand. Try to tell him or her in person or over the phone so that you can truly express to them how you feel. The earlier you catch the problem, the better. If your roommate listens, he or she can do their best to avoid future problems.
Tip #4: Have Allergies? Reduce Allergens as Much as Possible
If you have minor allergies to pets, you can still live with them in harmony if you put in a little extra work. Try to keep the pet out of your bedroom, and vacuum, sweep, and dust your home or apartment regularly. Use HEPA air cleaners to help filter allergens in the air, and try to bathe the pet once a week. Once a month, rent a Rug Doctor® to deep clean any accidental stains or allergens from your carpet.
Tip #5: Don’t Treat the Animal Poorly
No matter what you do, be sure to never hurt or abuse the pet. This will only make it (and its owner) angry, which can put your roommate-relationship on the rocks. If you really don’t like the pet, just let it be and respect its space. Ask the owner if you can have a part of the house or apartment that is “pet-free,” such as your room so that you can have your own space.
Have you recently moved in with someone who has a pet? Have any tips to add to the list? Share them with us in the comments below!