Social Question

AdventureElephants's avatar

If my dog does it, is it always my responsibility?

Asked by AdventureElephants (1397points) December 21st, 2015 from iPhone

If my dog gets into the bathroom trash and drags my roommates tampons all over the place, who is ultimately responsible for cleaning up that bloody mess? Who is responsible for making sure the trash is kept out of reach from the dog that week?

I’m not disgusting… I ultimately clean it up. I’m just seeking opinions. Thank you!

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48 Answers

msh's avatar

Your dog, your prob.
Close the bathroom door.

JLeslie's avatar

Your responsibility. It would be nice if the other people in the house made it difficult for the dog to do such things, but in the end it’s your problem. Maybe buy a trash can that has a tight lid. The kind you step on to lift the lid, and then automatically closed shut.

AdventureElephants's avatar

I do close the door, but I can’t be home all the time. It’s the roomie that doesn’t close the door, nor does she clean the mess up. I come home to it several times that week, and she’s home! Argh!

She also refuses to vacuum because it’s my dog that sheds. I guess people without dogs don’t vacuum their homes.

jca's avatar

Your dog, you clean it up.

canidmajor's avatar

Your dog, your responsibility. It’s up to you to make sure that the dog can’t/doesn’t make a mess or cause damage.
If you’re not home, find an alternative for your dog, whether kept. In your room, or at doggy day care or something.
People without dogs don’t need to vacuum nearly as often as those with shedding pets.

Suck it up, be responsible, or get another place/roommate.

tinyfaery's avatar

Take your dog and find another place to live. Maybe find a more responsible, considerate roommate.

JLeslie's avatar

Is your roommate not a dog person? It might be a good idea to think about moving if your roommate isn’t into working around, and with, the dog.

You didn’t say how often stuff like this happens. If it just once in a blue moon then no big deal I would guess.

chyna's avatar

I have to agree. Your dog, you clean it up. I had a roommate that had cats years ago, and when the cats pooped in the floor on occasion, she cleaned it up.
Obviously your roomie is not helping by not covering the trash or closing the door. Get a covered trashcan or a new roomie. Or better yet, live alone if you can afford it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You are. I like @chyna ‘s idea about the covered trash can – the kind where you step on a pedal and the heavy top opens. The dog can’t get into it and the roommate is responsible for her own mess.

CWOTUS's avatar

Yes, you are “generally responsible” for what your dog does. There are exceptions, but those probably don’t apply.

For example, if you leave your dog enclosed in a room (with water, air, room to move, etc.) but then your roommate lets the dog out and later fails to re-enclose after he/she leaves, then that’s not entirely on you. If your roommate encourages and promotes misbehavior, then that’s not entirely on you. (In both cases you share some responsibility, because, after all, it’s your dog… and your roommate.)

Best would be for you to train the dog to behave in certain ways, and to actively discourage it from acting in antithetical ways. I leave my dorg alone all day – for up to ten hours at a time – and she never digs through the trash. Not once. She also won’t climb up on furniture without a specific invitation. Needless to say, she can have the run of the house every day.

AdventureElephants's avatar

@CWOTUS That’s generally why I’m feeling frustrated. I’ve had the dog for 2 years and the roommate for 6 months. The dog didn’t get into the trash before the roommate. He also did not get on the furniture. He does not ever do those things while I am home. He gets into the trash while she is there, yet she leaves it for me to pick up. (And yes, I have closed the bathroom door when I leave for the day).
I own the house, and I feel like a jerk for giving her 30 days notice because she won’t help with housework or pick up messes I feel are ultimately caused by her negligence. I don’t disagree that my dog is my responsibility.

jca's avatar

Easy fix: get the covered trashcan like @LuckyGuy suggests.

Maybe he is attracted by whatever the roomie puts in the garbage, which would explain why it wasn’t an issue before the roomie came along.

Did you talk to her about how you close the bathroom door and you’d like her to do the same?

Are you both possibly being hard-headed and stubborn and not working together on a solution?

AdventureElephants's avatar

@jca I suppose, but it’s my house and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask anyone to do housechores, dog or no dog.

Everyone is right, of course, and a lid would solve everything. I just think it’s rude to leave your bloody tampons all over the house for me to pick up when you are home when the dog does it and home when I get home. Etiquitte. Decorum. No?

jca's avatar

House chores are certainly not unreasonable, @AdventureElephants. This is not a typical chore, however, like mopping the floor or doing the dishes. This is something that is caused by the dog.

it’s my house” Yes, but if you’re going to have a roommate, you have to work together on issues such as this. If you’re not having a discussion about it, then in my opinion (only my opinion) it seems as if you’re both being passive aggressive or hardheaded or something.

Did you talk to the roomie about keeping the door closed? Is the special garbage pail something that is possible? You didn’t address those two things in your most recent response.

AdventureElephants's avatar

@jca We have had a couple of discussions about the dog and leaving doors closed, or opening the door to let him out when she wakes up. She works from home and is therefore home all day 5 days of the week or more. She insists that she is willing to “help” with the dog, yet actions speak louder than words so I don’t expect anything from her as far as the dog is concerned. The one time she offered to keep the dog overnight I came home to an empty waterbowl and she told me “he drank from the toilet” (another trick he had never done in front of me or before her).

So responsibility aside… If you put tampons in a trash can, and a dog strew them all over the place, and they were yours… Would you leave them there for the dog owner? I’m seriously asking. It’s very intimate trash. It’s not kitchen trash.

AdventureElephants's avatar

And, @jca, I reiterate that she is home when it happens.

jca's avatar

@AdventureElephants: You still didn’t address whether or not the easiest fix is do-able, which is the garbage pail that @LuckyGuy suggests.

tinyfaery's avatar

Kick that bitch roommate to the curb.

AdventureElephants's avatar

@jca sure I did. I said “a lid would solve everything…”

JLeslie's avatar

I had something similar happen. I was staying with a friend and their dog got into “my” bathroom and my tampon trash was all over the bathroom floor. Not very bloody, because it was just the plastic and I had wrapped each in tissue, because there was no bag in the trash can.

I was annoyed. It’s annoying the dog does this, and I wasn’t told that I need to keep the door closed, and annoying when people don’t assume women between 12 and 55 need a trash can in the bathroom, and best if it’s lined with some sort of trash bag. If there is a curious dog maybe a trash can with a lid. My sister had cats so she had a trash can with a lid.

My gay BIL’s don’t provide a trash can in their secondary bathroom for guests at all, and I just roll my eyes. There were 4 of us girls using that one bathroom last time we were there visiting. I made a trash bag from a plastic bag. It filled up fast.

Anyway, the house I was staying at was a couple, and the girlfriend you would think would think about it more. I cleaned up my tampons from the floor. I did get a supermarket plastic shopping bag to line it, and I kept the door closed. I kept it closed except when I left to go home. I remembered I didn’t close up the trash bag and put in their garbage can outside for pickup. That’s what I intended to do. I forgot. I doubt my husband or I left the door closed. I do wonder if they went upstairs to clean after us and found tampons all over the floor. I felt bad and embarrassed for a second, and then my annoyance kicked in.

That’s one reason I don’t like staying with people who have dogs.

AdventureElephants's avatar

@JLeslie I feel the exact same way about houses with children in them. Pure annoyance when they act naturally. Why should I have to safeguard anything from their curious natures? Or clean up after them when they make messes? I’ll just leave it for the parents, it’s their responsibility, right?

I’m only half kidding. I always clean up any mess I encounter, regardless of responsibility. But that’s me.

Haleth's avatar

Pet-made messes are absolutely the owner’s responsibility!

JLeslie's avatar

@AdventureElephants I did clean up. I did intend to throw out my trash completely, I screwed that up. I was their guest, and I didn’t want to leave any sort of mess, but the circumstance of this Q is the person lives in the house. Someone just needs to buy a proper trash can as I suggested way up in my first answer.

I’m not a dog person. I know dogs try to smell crotches, but it didn’t occur to me it would go after the tampons. It makes perfect sense that they do.

Kids don’t bother me at all.

jca's avatar

@AdventureElephants: When you go to someone’s house and they have a child, you are a guest. If you don’t like the situation, you have the option of leaving and not returning, or conversely, the host has the option of kicking you out and asking you not to return. Presumably with your roommate, they are paying and it’s a longer term situation.

ibstubro's avatar

So we all agree.
Just go buy the lidded trashcan @JLeslie suggest in post #2 on this question.
If you can’t afford that, put a spring on the door so that the bathroom door stays closed, 24/7. All you need is two eyelets and a spring.

jca's avatar

Back to the kid issue, if a kid messes up someone’s stuff, the parent should be responsible for rectifying the mess, but the guest always does have the option of not returning.

AdventureElephants's avatar

So get rid of the roommate and get a guy that doesn’t have periods. Got it. You guys have been a big help.

jca's avatar

You’re welcome!

JLeslie's avatar


No, the roommate needs to care about the fact that you do have a dog and work with the situation so there isn’t tension in the house. If she won’t then it’s not ok. I’d be a terrible roommate for you, but for @jca I’d be happy to help her daughter with homework, hear her stories, and play crazy rights with her.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Yes indeed absolutely without question, you are 100% responsible for your animal’s behavior and actions. If you have a problem with that….....................................

ibstubro's avatar

But a guy will always leave the lid up on the toilet, encouraging the dog to drink there, @AdventureElephants. Just so you know.

flutherother's avatar

If you have a pet you have the responsibility. You can’t assume someone will share the responsibility just because they live with you.

lugerruger's avatar

That sounds like quite a horrible situation… I would clean it up, and maybe suggest to your roomate to move the bin somewhere else or get a more secure one. I think you really just need to talk to her about your dog, and ask her to be mprw involved with the dog, rather than just letting the dog behave badly and having nothing to do with it.

Pachy's avatar

You REALLY need to ask??!! Unless your dog is capable of cleaning up his own mess, it’s YOUR responsibility. Get crackin’.

longgone's avatar

This is an interesting question. I have an eight-months-old Labrador at the moment, so I clean up after (and preemptively apologize for) a dog on a daily basis. He’s a good dog, but he’s young, and he has lots of creative ideas.

I believe all dog owners share the responsibility of making sure no-one is bothered by a dog which does not belong to them. This includes keeping your dog from barking excessively, as well as making sure he does not scare people, chase animals, damage property, or frighten other dogs.

However, there is only so much an owner can do. Jumping up is my go-to example. Yes, it is very possible to train dogs to not jump on people. They can even learn not to jump up when guests come, and when children bounce around in excitement. They can, theoretically, also learn not to jump up when there are treats being waved just out of reach, and taunting people spur them on. Why do they have to, though? Can’t we try to make things just a tiny bit easier, by not actively encouraging bad behavior?

This is relevant to your issue. Of course cleaning up after your dog is your responsibility – but your roommate should make it her responsibility to not create extra work for you.

ibstubro's avatar

There’s only one bathroom in your house, @AdventureElephants?
Seems dumb to ask this late, but…?

AdventureElephants's avatar

@ibstubro There are 2 bathrooms.

I agree with @longgone on why I am frustrated. The dog did not drink from the toilet, get into the trash, or get on the furniture before the roommate. He does not get into the kitchen trash. I close the bathroom door when I leave daily. She works from home. He gets into the trash while she is there because the door is left open. These are not my sanitary products. This issue was not caused by my negligence, but hers. She leaves the mess for me because the dog is mine.

YES I NEED A NEW TRASHCAN. That is not my question. Yes I would replace anything damaged by my dog. Yes I spend countless hours training him and cleaning up after him. I think my roommate is rude. I would not think of leaving the trash for me to clean up. I know everyone disagrees with me.

chyna's avatar

Not true @AdventureElephants . I agree with you that your roommate is rude and thoughtless. I am female and would never leave my tampons where a dog could get them. She isn’t the roommate for you. You need to give her notice. She doesn’t even like your dog. Why would you want her in your home?

ibstubro's avatar

Not at all, @AdventureElephants.

If you require her rent income, buy a new can or put a spring on the door.
If I were you, and didn’t require the income, I would just tell her she needs to make other arrangements. I wouldn’t reason or argue with her about it…if the house is your responsibility, you can’t have her flushing the tampons out of spite.

I had a renter in my commercial building. An older (retired) guy who likes old buildings. He stirred shit with the neighbor and I called him on it. He wasn’t reporting problems as quickly as I liked, but we were keeping things going.
Then there is a note in with the rent that the carpet was wet around the toilet. I go down immediately and the nut has worked loose at the bottom of the tank. No problem…just finger tighten. The problem? Out of orneriness, he had let it go so long the under-layment was buckled. He was out by the end of the week.

No, do what you have to do to keep peace or just be rid of her. But I wouldn’t have any big hassle over it.

Seek's avatar

Um, I’m not cleaning up anyone’s bloody tampons. She knows there’s a dog in the house. If she can’t dispose of her sanitary products without attracting the dog’s nose, that’s on her.

JLeslie's avatar

How long has the roommate lived with you?

AdventureElephants's avatar

Almost 6 months.

msh's avatar

Funniest thing. She leaves them all over the house? How odd. I genuinely have never heard of that happening. What, does she stand up in the middle of a Netflicks movie and say- Well, time to change that old tampon! And proceed to do so- Or perhaps she’s in the restroom, and for balanced aesthetics, daintily carries it around the house for the perfect empty trash basket?
You have a dog. You train your dog, shut the door to the bathroom, get a wastecan from Fort Knox that also has sides 5’ up, or wake up and realize that things aren’t always 50/50.
Kicking someone out because of bodily function materials get- (gasp!) Put In The -Trash????
You don’t clean the sink after shaving, or miss the toilet bowl when you’ve been imbibing too much. The car leaks oil on the driveway or garage floor. Old forgotten batteries corrode in the kitchen drawer. That’s life. Welcome!

JLeslie's avatar

I was going to say she might not be in the habit of closing the door, but 6 months is long enough to get used to it. My husband and I don’t close any doors and when I stay with people I need to remember to close doors, put down seats, etcetera.

msh's avatar

@JLeslie -ditto that!

AdventureElephants's avatar

@msh If I understood @JLeslie correctly, she was taking ownership for needing to remember to close doors herself. So I don’t think you “ditto that”
And I wouldn’t kick her out for throwing her tampons in the trash. I would find another roommate over her failing to close the doors or assimilate into a dog friendly household. The dog isn’t going anywhere, and if she is encouraging bad behaviors (intentionally or not) while she is home and I am not, then all of my training is pointless and she is counterproductive. There are dog aware people out there, she just isn’t one of them. The dog getting into the trash is one of several behaviors that came along when she did. If it were a child and a babysitter I would most certainly replace her.

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