Getting a pet is the next big step after moving in together for many couples, and it can also show you how things could turn out if you decide to have a baby together. Find out more about the obstacles and potential issues, so you can make this process as smooth as possible.

Check out the best tips that help you when you’re getting a pet as a couple. From the right way to split responsibilities to considering every option, here’s what you need to know before you adopt a pet together.

Make Sure You’re Both on the Same Page

Deciding on the perfect pet can be difficult when you’ve got different priorities, but some things should not be ignored. Any allergies have to be taken into consideration, because even if they can be controlled with medication, your shared home should be a safe space for both. Make sure you agree on the type and size of the pet you want before you start looking for options.

Choose Carefully

When you’re getting a pet as a couple, one of the most important things to consider is your lifestyle. If you’re both busy or prefer spending most of your time outside of the home, you might not be ready for a cat or a dog. Consider the different personalities of breeds before making a choice. A rescue pet will definitely need more time and care, at least in the first few months in a new home.

Don’t Bring in an Old Pet

It can be very tempting to decide you want your old pet, who has been living with your parents for a while. However, bringing in a pet that has a big attachment to one of you, but not the other, can create a lot of problems. Leave your old pet in their current home if they’re well cared for, and adopt a new one that you can actually share.

Split the Responsibilities

Puppies and kittens can be a handful, so when you’re getting a pet as a couple, you have to decide how you’ll share the responsibilities beforehand. Take everything into consideration, from training to regular pet visits, and make sure you’re both ready for the time and energy that a new pet will need.

Getting A Dog As A Couple

Don’t Use a Pet to Get Closer

If your relationship isn’t really stable, it’s not a good idea to get a pet together. Trying to adopt a pet or have a baby as a way to fix your relationship problems is never a good idea. Work on your issues before you make a commitment to an animal.

Share Expenses

You should also make sure that you’re on the same page when it comes to expenses before you’re getting a pet as a couple. Veterinarian bills can add up even if you have a healthy pet, but if they’re dealing with health issues, they can really get expensive.

Find a Compromise for Discipline

Whether you’re getting a dog or a cat, if your approaches to discipline are completely opposite, you’ll run into problems. You can’t try to train an animal to avoid your bed when your guy allows them free access, and that’s just one problem that might come up. Work on the details before making this serious commitment.

Consider Getting Two Pets

If you feel like you might not have enough time for a pet, one workaround is getting two, so they keep each other company when they’re left alone for more than a few hours. Getting a pet as a couple is already a serious thing, so you might not be able to handle two at a time, especially if you choose animals with a strong personality. But sometimes getting two is the right way to go, particularly if you’ve both owned pets before and know what that entails.

Don’t Use Your Pet as a Trial Run for a Baby

When you think you might be ready for a baby, don’t adopt a pet as a test run. If you don’t really want the long term commitment, don’t hurt an animal by giving it a home and letting it get attached to you, then getting rid of it when it becomes less than convenient.

More: Is Your Relationship Ready for a Pet?

Discuss the Worst Case Scenario

If you’re getting a pet as a couple, you should also be upfront about the possibility that the relationship doesn’t last as long as the pet. Come to an agreement that the primary caregiver of the pet, the person who feeds it and spends more time with it gets to keep it in case of a breakup.