Score! You and your roommate finally found the perfect pet-friendly rental. While you’re more than ready to add a four-legged family member, your roommate isn’t entirely convinced. Here are a few things you can do to help change their mind.
Find a Breed that Works for Them
If your roommate has pet allergies, ask them if they could manage living with an allergy-friendly breed such as a Bichon, a Schnauzer or a Poodle. Most allergy-friendly dogs don’t shed, but do require grooming to keep their fur at a manageable length.
If you’re interested in adopting a mixed breed, check with a vet or your local animal shelter for more information on a dog’s barking habits or potential allergens. A mix of similar breeds may yield similar benefits to a purebred.
Make a Plan
Work together on a plan for how your dog will live in your shared space. Will you let Fido on the couch, rinse off in the tub or eat from the table? While this may be okay with you, it may not be okay with your roomie. Remember, solutions don’t always have to be black and white. Compromise by only allowing your dog on the couch if it’s covered, or use a dedicated dog bath instead of the tub.
It’s not uncommon for dogs, especially puppies, to damage personal belongings or your home – remind your roommate to keep their bedroom door shut if they’re worried about their sneakers becoming a chew toy. To go the extra mile, you can also formalize an agreement with your landlord stating that you will take responsibility for any pet-related damages to the apartment so your roommate doesn’t have to worry about it.
Pets can get expensive. In addition to paying any pet deposits or pet rent on your own, figure out ahead of time how you will continue paying your share of living expenses in the event of a pricy vet bill. Pet insurance can help mitigate the upfront cost of emergency care by allowing you to pay a little bit each month, but it’s also smart to set aside a portion of your savings for veterinary expenses. If your roommate is still worried about how having a dog could affect your ability to split living costs, some vets will allow you to make monthly payments toward a large bill. Check with your vet in advance to see if this is an option for you.
Set Care Expectations
Make a detailed plan for how you’ll take care of your new dog, and leave your roommate out of it. As time goes on and your roomie falls in love with your furry friend, they may want to start helping out. But when you first get your dog, don’t ask them to lift a finger.
In your plan, include a list of procedures for when you’re away from home. Note who will take the dog for a walk if you get stuck in the office and who will dog-sit if you go on vacation. Planning for these events in advance will relieve your roommate of any responsibility or last-minute scrambling.
After all this, your roommate may still be on the fence. If that’s the case, offer a “free trial” of the dog-owning experience. Plenty of animal shelters need foster families to take dogs in temporarily – offer to house a pet in need for a few days. This gives your roommate time to adjust to having a dog in the house and gives you both a chance to work out any issues that arise along the way.
Having a dog can be extremely fulfilling. By getting your roommate on board, you’re one step closer to finding your new furry friend!