How to Handle Your London Flatmate’s Pet

If you love animals but aren’t quite ready for the responsibilities that come with owning one, having a flatmate in London who is a pet owner can seem like half the responsibility.  However this isn’t always the case.  Your belongings are also in the proximity of the pet’s urination, scratches and stains.  Sometimes your flatmate isn’t home to walk the dog or feed the cat; this becomes your responsibility too!  How can you draw the line of responsibility with your London flatmate?

Most people believe that the pet owner is solely responsible for keeping up with their pooch or feline.  However, if you have been helping your flatmate with taking care of your pet, consider it like you are part owner.  Now you may not mind walking the dog or feeding it, however what happens when your dog becomes sick? Who pays for the vet bills? Who pays for the food? It is important to draw a fine line with your flatmate on who takes the majority of the responsibilities.  You do not want to end up getting stuck with all the bills!

In order to make the responsibilities define and clear, sit down with your flatmate and discuss different scenarios and instances where you would rather not take responsibility.  For example, if your dog bites someone, make it clear that you do not want to front the bill.  It is important to understand that sometimes the more willing you are to help, quite often your flatmate might take advantage and assume that you are willing to take any responsibility that comes your way, communication is key.

Let’s flip it on the other side.  What if you are a pet owner yourself?  Make sure that your flatmate feels comfortable with your pet.  In this case, common courtesy is key. For example, if your pet tears your flatmate’s new sweater offer to pay for it, even if your flatmate insists on it.  This will not only show respect, but you can ensure the sake of your relationship, it will pay off in the end!