Roommates 101: How to Deal with Your Roommate’s Pets

Picture this: you are living with your roommate, and their pet(s), and things aren’t going well. From pet messes, to bad smells and home destruction – how do you talk to your roommate? What do you do? We’re here to help. At MCLife, we have an open pet policy and love your four legged friends. But we understand that pets aren’t for everyone and living with your roommate’s pets can be difficult. That’s why we are guiding you through the do’s and dont’s to help you deal with your roommate’s pets.

Do: Define what you are responsible for

Are you willing to take the dog for walks or picking up dog poop? Will you feed the dog if your roommate gets caught up at work? Define who is responsible for what. While you might naturally assume that your roommate takes over all of the pet’s responsibilities (since it is their pet, after all)  they might have different expectations. Talk it through and clearly show what you will and will not do for the pet.

Do: Meet a pet before moving in

Before signing a lease and jumping into a housing situation with somebody else’s pet – make sure you are comfortable with the animal. Do a few house visits, watch the dogs behavior. Is the dog constantly barking or jumping on you and the furniture? If you are not comfortable with the dog (or cat), you should look into alternative housing options before locking yourself into a lease.

Don’t: Take on doggie discipline or training yourself

So the dog eats your shoe? While you might want to discipline the dog – you shouldn’t. Talk through it with your roommate. What might seem like typical discipline to you, might be the opposite of how the pet owner sees it. The last thing you should do is punish a dog or try to train a dog that is not yours. People are very protective of their animals and do not react favorably to other people telling them how to raise their pets.

Do: Have an open conversation about pet problems

If you are having reoccurring issues with your roommate’s pet like barking or chewing up your shoes, have a conversation about it. Letting your roommate know about the behaviors that are bothering you are a great starting place. If you don’t communicate, they may not know. Living with pets, even as a couple or family, can be challenging enough. Standards you set for cleanliness or acceptable pet behavior might not match up with your roommate. So be honest, talk about your expectations and see how you can compromise.

There you have it! These are some of our the do’s and don’ts for dealing with your roommate’s pets. Living with animals can be a challenge, so communicating with your roommate, and setting expectations is a great place to start. We have plenty of other resources for folks living with animals that need a little help:

As always, stay tuned to our blog for all things apartment living. If you’re looking for pet friendly apartment communities, you can find us in Phoenix, Tucson, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Tulsa.

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