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Buying a pet with a roommate can be a tempting thing to do. A pet can liven up any situation and can provide hours of entertainment for the both of you. However, a pet is not something that can easily be split apart when you decide to move out. This is why it is so crucial to discuss every element of pet ownership, from finances to feeding with your roommate before you bring home any type of animal.

Problems with Joint Pet Ownership

Whether you have known your roommate for 10 months or 10 years, most people do not stay roommates with someone forever. Eventually you may want to buy your own house or settle down with a spouse. Eventually you may decide it’s time to live on your own for a while. It is important to keep this thought in mind when buying a pet with a roommate.

Consider what type of pet is most appropriate for your situation and possibly the best floor plan for keeping an animal. There is a big difference in buying a fish and a dog. While a dog may be more exciting to have around, you will need to not only share the responsibilities while you are living together but also decide what will happen if one of you decides to move out? Who gets to keep the pet?

If you are sharing a smaller pet, such as a fish or a frog, for example, the question of who gets ownership is usually not such a hard decision. However, when it comes to a dog or a cat, the connection you may have to your furry friend can be an impossible thing to break. Many roommates can easily say “you can have the dog if we move out” before you own the dog; however, once you become attached to it, it might be hard to give away. In contrast, many pet owners will argue about who is stuck with the animal once the roommate situation dissolves.

Tips to Buying a Pet with a Roommate

There are many instances where buying a pet with a roommate can work out wonderfully. However, you will need to discuss all aspects of pet ownership thoroughly before you head over to the pound. If both of you are set on purchasing a pet, then consider buying two of a kind. That way, when it does come time to move on, you will both be able to leave with your own pet. Two kittens or two puppies will often play together and keep one another entertained. Furthermore, they feel a lot more secure with a sibling nearby.

Consider the various duties that come with owning a pet. You will need to pay for the vaccinations, flea treatment, food, etc. Will you share these financial duties or will one person be responsible for all animal expenses? What about taking care of the animal? Who will feed her, give her a bath and take her for a walk. Who will clean out the litter box, brush her fur and take her to the vet if something happens? All of these things need to be discussed before you buy a pet with a roommate.

At the end of the day, it is the animal that loses if roommates do not discuss pet ownership before purchase. One of the most common reasons that pets end up in the SPCA is because their owners have not discussed all aspects of owning an animal. So before you dive into buying a pet with a roommate, consider how this investment will not only impact your living situation right now, but also for the next ten years.

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