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So you want to get a dog! You have visions of playing fetch with the puppy and having a new best friend.
But, so far, your parents say “no.” How do you get a green light and get the pup?
This article will explore some ways to convince your parents to get a dog.
And it will help you answer your parents’ objections to getting him.
I got my first dog when I was six years old. He was a poodle that we named Pierre. Of course, we romped around the yard together and went on many adventures.
But I also helped feed him and, when I was older, to walk him.
It helped me learn how to be reliable and to care for another living creature.
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How to Demonstrate to Your Parents You Should Have a Dog
There are many ways you can show that you’re ready to have a dog.
Show that you’re responsible
- Do your chores without being asked. Go above and beyond.
- Maintain and improve your grades.
- Empty the trash. Clean up your room. Help clean up after dinner. You get the idea.
Research about dog breeds
- Show that you know the various characteristics of dog breeds and mixes.
- Reliable books and websites will provide detailed information.
QUICK RECOMMENDATION: One of our favorite books for new puppy owners is The Puppy Primer. It was required reading before we raised service dog puppies.
Research what’s required to own a dog
Dogs take up a lot of our time and energy. (Of course, they’re more than worth it!)
They need to be trained, exercised, played with, groomed, and socialized. They need vet care. All this costs money too.
Tell your parents how you’ll accomplish these things. Tell them that you’ll take a basic training class (research them in your area and show your parents what’s available).
Learn how to groom the dog. If you can’t, such as for dogs like poodles that need extensive grooming and hair cutting, find out what local groomers charge and note how you’ll pay for it.
Show you can help with the expenses of having a dog
Do you have a part-time job?
- Mowing lawns, walking dogs, and babysitting can be lucrative options (with parental approval, of course).
- If you get an allowance, save some for your dog to show how fiscally responsible you are.
Show that you know about dogs in real life.
Volunteer at an animal shelter or walk or pet sit dogs if your parents approve.
Make a contract with your parents
Show that you’re serious and have thought out what’s required.
Have a written contract to present to them describing specifically what you’ll do to successfully have a dog.
Inform your parents what you’ll do when you leave home
Dogs can live to 15 years old or more. Let your parents know what will happen to the dog if you leave their home to attend college or get a job.
If you’re 12 years old now, you may be leaving your family home in six years. Have a plan for what will happen to Fido.
Your parents may want to keep him but, in case that doesn’t happen, have a back-up plan who will be his next home.
Make sure if a friend says he’ll take the dog that he’ll be able to do so in the future.
Point out the pros of having a dog
There are so many pluses of having a dog that range from health benefits to improving as a person.
1. Dogs can increase our immune system and mood
Petting a dog and being comforted by him have been shown to help us not get sick as often by helping our immune system fight off diseases.
Dogs often comfort us too. Many sense if we’re sad and try to comfort us. Some want to hug or be petted and will even kiss our hands.
And who can resist the playful antics of a dog? Tossing a toy in the air or doing zoomies around the room makes us laugh.
2. Dogs make us feel safer
Even non-protective breeds like a shih tzu will often bark when the doorbell rings. This can alert us to someone at the door.
And it may make a potential burglar think twice before entering your house.
3. Dogs can help our social lives
When you’re walking the dog, people often come up to pet him and ask about him.
You’ll get to know your neighbors. Make new friends at the pet store.
I’ve made many friends by walking my dogs at outside malls. Walking my golden retriever Spencer and Lhasa apso Mikey, people would come up and pet them.
They’d tell me about their dogs. Eventually we’d get together for lunch and we became long-time friends.
4. Having a dog teaches responsibility
Tell your parents that you understand what’s involved in taking care of a dog.
After doing your research noted above, you can tell your parents how you’ll walk, feed, groom, train, and socialize the dog.
You can tell them about the breeds of dogs and why a certain breed or mix would work out great for your family.
If you’re an active family, a herding, terrier, or working group dog may meet your needs–and the dog’s.
5. Dogs teach children to be gentle with animals and be empathetic to respect living creatures
Having a dog can help a child who’s old enough to appreciate how to treat living beings gently.
You can also learn to respect that the furry friend has feelings.
6. Having a dog can help us have a fit, healthy lifestyle
So we’re going outside more and exercise. Daily walks mean that we’ll be more fit–not just the dog.
7. A dog can make us be more involved in the world
In addition to exercising and socializing the dog, we’ll be on our phones and watch TV less.
So we’ll see the real world more: we’ll actually “smell the roses” and see the fall leaves change vibrant hues.
8. Show how you value lives and saving a dog
If you decide you want to rescue a dog, you can tell your parents how much saving a pup’s life means to you.
Adopting a dog means that the rescue or shelter can take in another.
9. Tell your parents why the dog won’t create more work for them
Let them know what chores you’ll do with the dog: walking, training, feeding, grooming, socializing, and playing with him.
You can even present a tentative schedule of when you’ll do this work.
10. Dogs help relieve our stress
Let your parents know if you’re stressed about schoolwork or extracurricular activities.
Show them how taking care of and bonding with a pup can help decrease this stress.
Find Out Why Your Parents Don’t Want You To Have a Dog
There are many reasons why parents don’t want us to have dogs. Really listen when you speak with them.
Be prepared to answer them and assuage their concerns. What are some of the possible reasons?
Having a dog is too expensive?
They may point out that the initial cost can be very high. Good breeders often charge well over one-thousand dollars.
They’ll probably note that dogs need training, grooming, veterinary care, and many items like a crate, collar and leash, food and treats, and chew items so that they don’t destroy the house.
Parents may tell you that dogs will cost money by destroying your house by having potty accidents and chewing things like the rug or TV remote.
How to respond
As noted above, show them that you’ve figured out the costs and how you’ll help pay for them.
Let them know that you’ll exercise, train, and watch the dog–redirecting him to appropriate toys and chews so that he doesn’t think that the house is his chew toy.
You can let them know that you’ve researched the cost of rescued dogs, which are usually less expensive than dogs from breeders.
Rescued dogs often come neutered, ,microchipped, and vaccinated. Some even have had training and socialization.
There’s not enough time for a dog!
Most families are pretty active. Parents may already feel overwhelmed with working, chores, and taking care of a family.
How to respond
Let them know that you will take responsibility for much of the dog’s care.
That you will be very responsible. And that you’ll use your time very efficiently and also help around the house.
You’ll lose interest and stop taking care of the dog
It often happens that the dog’s a novelty. It’s fun and exciting in the beginning.
But the reality of taking responsibility for a dog may become tiresome, your parents may say.
How to respond
Tell them that won’t happen. Give examples of how you follow through with your commitments.
You do your chores on time, make good grades, and participate in your extracurricular activities.
Tell them how responsible you’ve been in taking care of other living beings, like your hamster. Or even your baby sister.
And show them how much you love dogs by your interactions with other dogs–like a friend’s dog, or a dog that you’ve walked or watched to “puppy sit.”
The dog will trigger allergies.
This is a tough one. If someone is really highly allergic, a dog may not be feasible. No dog is truly hypoallergenic.
Usually this doesn’t happen though.
How to respond
If your parents are afraid that this might happen, tell them that there are some breeds that generally don’t trigger allergies, such as a poodle or bichon frise.
You can tell your parents that you’ll keep up with grooming the dog–including brushing and bathing him–so that there won’t be an excessive amount of dog dandruff.
You can note that the dog breed or mix you’ll choose won’t be an excessive drooler like a Newfouindland.
Commit to cleaning the areas where the dog stays so that there won’t be dog hair everywhere.
The dog will destroy the house…
…by chewing, digging, and getting into things like the loaf of bread on the counter.
These things can happen. But they won’t if you keep up your end of the bargain
How to respond
Note how you’ve been responsible in keeping your word on your other chores.
Specifically tell them how you’ll exercise the dog–that you’ll walk him before and after school, for example.
Let your parents know that you’ll be there to stop any potential destruction by redirecting the pup to a bone or toy.
And, importantly, that you’ll train the dog to leave things on command.
A dog is messy and will disrupt their clean home
Parents often have visions of the dog having accidents all over. The house will become an indoor potty yard! Hair will fly in the air and cover their new sofa!
How to respond
Again, explain how great you’ve been handling your chores. That you cleaned out the garage. You kept your room tidy. You dusted the family room.
Let your parents know that you’ll clean up after the dog. And that you’ll housetrain him.
By showing that you’ve studied how to housetrain a dog, your parents will have some confidence regarding your ability to do so.
Your responsibility in the past can help predict what you’ll do in the future.
What Shouldn’t You Do
By showing how reliable and knowledgeable you are, you’re more likely to succeed in convincing your parents to get a dog.
You don’t want to be nagged to do your chores. No one likes someone on their back to accomplish something.
Well, your parents don’t want to be reminded all the time that you want a dog.
If you tell them calmly why you want a dog and describe how you’re prepared for the responsibility you’re more likely to get a pup.
Don’t slack off after you get the dog!
We all have well-meaning intentions before getting the pup. But how you handle it after you have the dog matters.
You want your parents to still have confidence in you. Also, you want to make sure that you get to keep the dog.
Keep up the great work you did to get the dog. Your parents–and the new puppy–are relying on you!
So you want to get a dog?
Show that you’re responsible and knowledgeable. Answer any concerns your parents have.
Then, they’ll be more likely to agree that a canine companion will be in your future!
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Top Picks For Our Dogs
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Snuggle Puppy w/ Heart Beat & Heat Pack – Perfect for new puppies. We get all of our Service Dog pups a Snuggle Puppy.
- BEST CHEW TOY
We Like: KONG Extreme – Great toy for heavy chewers like our Labrador Retrievers.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites – One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
- BEST FRESH DOG FOOD
We Like: The Farmer’s Dog – A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer’s Dog.
For a list of all the supplies we get for our new service dog puppies check out our New Puppy Checklist on the PuppyInTraining.com blog.
How Do I Convince My Parents to Get a Dog? was last modified: January 3rd, 2021 by