Over the weekend my roommate made a new best friend.
A furry best friend...
A furry best friend that now lives with us...
Smash-faced and adorable, a new french bulldog named Kujo is now calling my house, home.
Now, to be fair, this new addition was not totally out of the blue. Kujo is my roommate’s parents’ dog and the idea of letting him live with us had been discussed over the past couple of months. My roommate desperately wants a dog of her own, but she knew the demands of getting a new puppy would not work with her schedule, so her parents suggested she take Kujo. Kujo is a couple years old and doesn’t require constant supervision or need to go to puppy training classes. So, over the weekend, my roommate finally pulled the trigger, adding a new member to our little family.
With this sudden change in pet status, I am constantly running through an internal checklist of things we need to do to make sure we cover our bases with this new development.
Although I don’t consider Kujo “my dog”, since he is now living with me, there are a few things that I need to do right away to make sure I make a smooth a transition into owning a pet. These are things everyone should consider when bringing home a new pet.
#1 - Call my landlord
If you rent your home, like I do, this is the most important step in bringing a new pet into your home. Even if your lease allows you to have pets, letting your landlord know about your plans to get a pet, and then again once you actually get one, is very important. Open communication with your landlord or property manager will prevent them from feeling caught off guard if they discover you have a pet on their own and they will feel valued that you were keeping them in the loop about changes in your living situation. Lucky for me, our landlord knows we have been thinking about getting a dog and all we need to do is let him know we now have one.
If your lease does not allow pets, you can try talking to your landlord to see if they will make an exception if you pay an additional deposit to cover any damages from the pet. If they still stay no, DO NOT try and sneak one onto the property. Chances are your landlord will find out and you could face penalty fees and even eviction for breaking the terms of your lease.
#2 - Talk to my neighbors
Letting your neighbors know about a new pet will help build a positive relationship to communicate any issues your neighbors might experience with your new pet. One of the biggest complaints from neighbors stems from disruptive pets - like constant barking, digging or destroying property, or leaving a “mess” in common areas.
If you introduce your new pet to your neighbors, they will (hopefully) come to you directly if they feel like your pet is misbehaving or disturbing them. Also if your dog gets out of your yard, your neighbors will be able to return him to your yard or give you a call.
#3 - Give my landscaping crew a heads up
We plan on keeping the dog in the yard on days when the weather permits. Exceptions to this plan are days the landscapers come to visit. Although Kujo is usually a friendly dog, we fear he might act territorial and aggressive towards strangers if no one is home. So we have an alternative plan to keep him inside on yard maintenance days. Although Kujo won't be outside, I still feel it is important to communicate with our landscapers about our new dog, so they know what to expect when visiting our house. We also asked our landlord to give us a heads up on days he might show up for outside maintenance so we can make sure Kujo is inside during the visit.
#4 - Inform visitors about our new dog
Having a plan for how to handle houseguests will help you, your guests, and your pet feel comfortable in your home. If your dog acts aggressive towards strangers, consider putting him in another room when guests come over. I have a friend that keeps dog treats by the front door so new guests can make fast friends with her timid dog.
Do you have any advice for bringing home a new pet? Do you require your tenants to do anything special if they decide to get a pet?
My roommate Sarah, with our newest family member, Kujo the frenchie.