Getting along with a roommate can be challenging at times, even when your personalities do complement each other. Add pets with roommates into the mix and diplomacy can break down fast. Especially in NYC, where owning a pet is harder than usual due to a high cost of living and limited accessibility to things like parks. Part of the problem is that we tend to think of our pets as just that. Ours. Our pet is our responsibility, our love and joy, our source of occasional stress. But if your current roommate or prospective roommate has a pet, then you can work together to own pets with less stress despite the challenges NYC presents.

Consider The Benefits Of Sharing Pets With Roommates

Happier, healthier pets: Even cats want a play pal sometimes. If your pet and your roommate’s pet get along, they won’t be bored when both of you are working. And a decrease in pet boredom correlates to an increase in furniture longevity. That’s just science.

Balance work life with pet care: If you live in NYC, chances are you work some crazy hours just to make rent. That can leave your pet home alone for longer than you’d like. If you and your roommate have offset schedules, you can split up pet duties. Then you don’t have to worry while you’re at work that your puppy is developing abandonment issues and tearing up your favorite pajamas in an act of wholesale retribution.

Save time and money: Pets are totally worth it, but they’re a lot of work, and they’re not cheap. Especially in NYC. You can get more chores done in less time if you split the workload between the two of you and coordinate. You save money by buying common items in bulk whenever possible.

Pet Care Action Items For You And Your Roommate In NYC

Balance work schedule with pet workload: Put both of your work schedules down on paper. For each day, mark who leaves and who gets home first and second. Assign pet care tasks, like putting food in bowls and refilling water. Keep the workload even and make sure your pets are getting maximum social time with you and your roommate.

Buy bulk: You and your roommate should take a moment and write down every single expense your pet incurs. Then sit down together and circle the commonalities. You can buy those in bulk and split the price. If you both have the same kind of pet, you might be able to get them to agree on the same kind of food. This is easier with less finicky eaters. Like Labrador Retrievers, Mother Nature’s adorable cross between a furry canine and an insatiable vacuum cleaner. If your pets just aren’t having it, there are plenty of other expenses you can split. Wipes. Bags. Brushes. Shampoos. Litter box necessities. Biscuits. Bacon. pH balance chemicals for saltwater fish. Toys. The list goes on.

Tired pets are well-behaved pets: Alternate walk days and double the frequency your pets get to go outside and stretch their legs. Walking two pets at once is a good solution for smaller animals or well-trained ones. It’s not advisable for larger pets who might confuse being paired up with another animal as some kind of competition. A Husky might think, “oh hey, we’re racing now?” and next thing you know, you’re going for an unscheduled ride.

Merge pet cleanup with room cleanup: Pets deposit hair, splash water, and some occasionally throw up for no reason whatsoever. Instead of treating pet cleanup like a separate chore, let your powers combine and fuse pet cleanup with regular apartment cleaning.

Have a pet cleaning station at the door: Despite NYC being a concrete jungle, pets have this uncanny ability to find every speck of dirt, every murky puddle, and track it back to the apartment. Put a pet clean up station with shared supplies right at the door to keep your apartment from being zoned by NYC as a landfill.

Do you have pets in NYC? How do you and your roommate handle things? Post your comments below.