Before you get either a roommate or a dog, you have to make sure they’ll be able to cohabitate peacefully. This doesn’t mean your roommate has to be a full-blown crazy dog lady/man (although that definitely helps), but you want to find someone who is going to be accepting of your furry friend and vice versa.
With this in mind, here are some things to consider to ensure your roommates and your pup enjoy a pawsitive living experience together!
1. Make sure your roommates are okay with a dog.
Living with animal lovers will always make the situation more exciting for all parties involved. However, you don’t have to find someone who is obsessed with your pup (although that’s their loss, right?!). Even someone who tolerates and is kind to animals can work out.
If you have your pup first, choose your roommate according to that, and if you have your roommate first, make sure they are aware of your plans to eventually bring a dog into your life. If everything is laid out on the table at the beginning, it should be a fun experience!
2. Set some safety guidelines.
Without being bossy, make sure to share some guidelines with your roommates to make sure your pup is safe in the apartment. If your roommate has never had a dog before, they might not know to keep their chocolate on a high shelf (we’re looking at you, half-eaten Valentine’s Day candy) or to be aware of your pup near the door when they open it for their Seamless delivery.
I like to leave the number of my pup’s vet along with the number of the closest emergency 24-hour animal hospital on the fridge just in case!
3. Don’t expect them to help — it’s your dog, not theirs!
Never anticipate that your roommate is going to be able to watch your dog when you go out of town. If your roommate offers to hang with your pup when you have to work late, or has no problem taking them for a quick stroll, then you can (happily) accept the help. Just don’t assume they can always lend a paw!
4. At the same time, don’t be a dog-hog.
While Fido is your responsibility, it’s always great to share in the pawesomeness of having a dog in the house. When your roomie had a bad day, pour her a glass of wine and hand over the pup for some snuggles.
Not only will this build a great relationship between the humans in the house, it will also establish a great bond between your roommate and your pup.
5. Make sure you always pay for the consequences of your pup’s actions.
For example, my sassy Pom once decided that my roommate’s EOS chapstick seemed like a cool toy to play with and totally gnawed at it while we were distracted. While my roommate was really nice about it, I made sure there was a brand new chapstick waiting for her when she got home the next day.
6. Keep an eye on your roommate and your pet’s relationship.
We can only hope that your roommate and your dog will get along swimmingly, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Keep an eye out to make sure your pup isn’t getting on your roommate’s nerves — and vice versa. If you notice things aren’t looking so hot, it might be time to find a new living situation.
7. Clean up after your dog.
If you have a yard (lucky!) make sure to clean up your pup’s poo. If you have a high-shed dog, you may want to get in the habit of sweeping and mopping every few days. Keep your pet’s things tidy so that you are both great tenants to live with.
8. Make sure your pup will get along with your roommate’s pets.
If the person you live with decides to get a pet after you’re already living together, ask them kindly if you can have a meet-and-greet between that animal and your dog so that everything stays friendly in the apartment.
9. Be extremely appreciative when your roommie helps you out.
10. Have great bonding nights!