Ask Kari: I’m allergic to my roommate’s emotional support dog. How can we work this out?

Dear Kari,

My roommate has just brought home a dog as her emotional support animal. I am very upset because she did not ask me if I was okay with her bringing a dog into our apartment even though I am allergic to pet hair. At this point, I have avoided talking to her because I am afraid that I will lose it on her. What do you suggest I do?

--Furious Roommate

Dear Furious Roommate,

I understand your feelings, as being left out of this important decision would be upsetting for most people. It would have been reasonable to expect your roommate consult with you prior to bringing a dog into your home. I suggest that you and your roommate set up a time to meet and talk about what you will do now that the dog is already in your home. Share your strong feelings about being left out; state that moving forward you are not open to this happening again and make agreements on how the dog will be cared for and managed in the home (e.g. how to handle the dog barking, needing to be walked/feed, etc. when your roommate is not home). Good luck!


As published in the December 2019 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you are in crisis and in need of support please contact the Crisis Clinic at 866-427-4747.