By Caleb McElveen

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 look past certain things such as them finishing off the rest of your favorite cereal without asking, borrowing your shampoo and not putting it back, or worse, they delete your favorite show on the DVR before you are able to watch it.

Most annoyances are solved with a simple explanation ending in mutual understanding. But, in my experience there is one situation that will almost always initiate trouble within the roomie relationship, a new pet.

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

Your Roommate Just Got A Pet, Now What? - It's Your Pet Too

I am 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, you will now be taking 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, I would 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.

The Center of Attention

Your Roommate Just Got A Pet, Now What? - 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 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

Your Roommate Just Got A Pet, Now What? - 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. Whre 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

Your Roommate Just Got A Pet, Now What? - 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.

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 your roommate take advantage of you. Helping out will make the situation better for everyone, including your new four legged roommate.

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Your Roommate Just Got A Pet... Now What-

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.