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How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Get a Dog

Updated on October 16, 2016
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

All puppies, like this Boxer, take a lot of work.
All puppies, like this Boxer, take a lot of work. | Source
A new puppy will grow up quickly.
A new puppy will grow up quickly. | Source

This is a common question and something that a lot of kids need to deal with. Personally I think that all kids should be allowed to have a dog; not all parents agree with me, of course. Dogs require a lot of time, a lot of work, and sometimes they even require a lot of money. This is usually why parents decide not to get a dog.

So what can you do if you want to convince your parents to let you have a dog?

1. Fulfill all of your household duties so that you can prove you are responsible enough to buy and take care of a dog. If you help around the house, do all of your work from school, and even have time for a part-time job, you will make it a lot easier for them to say yes. Don´t do things that make them likely to say no.

2. Save enough money to buy a dog and have money put away for his upkeep and medical care. (If you are not old enough to work outside the house, you need to consider alternatives like a paper route. If you are too young to even do that you need to realize you are only going to get a dog when you are older and your parents accept it. It is their house, they pay the bills, and they will have the final say in what happens.) When you have enough money in your savings account to show your parents that you can save responsibly, you can show it to them.

3. Do research on the breed of dog you want to purchase and make sure you can explain how the dog is going to fit into your family. If you like the way Border Collies look when they play Frisbee, but no one is willing to walk the dog for an hour twice a day, you need to look for another breed. If you like the way Siberian Huskies look but your dad raises geese, this is not the breed for you. If you like almost everything about Golden Retrievers but do not like the way they look, just keep searching. You can find a dog breed that you are interested in and a pet that your parents will be happy to accept.

4. Explain what you are going to do when you leave the house for college or your first apartment outside of the house. If you are twelve, for instance, you may only be home for another six years. That seems like a long time to you but it is only about half as long as your dog is going to live.

5. Make a contract with your parents. Show them your savings account balance and prove to them that you will be responsible for all of the expenses. The contract needs to specify that you will be responsible for the caretaking, the daily walk, and obedience classes.(Are you sure you know what is involved in taking care and training a dog? Check out books from the library and prove to your parents that you are willing to find out what you need to know.) You will need to let your parents know that you will clean up after the dog and exercise and train her so that she does not develop behavioral problems like excessive digging, chewing, and barking. The contract does not need to be fancy, and you do not need to have a lawyer write it for you. Just be honest and tell them what you will do.

You might find a great mixed breed puppy at your local animal shelter.
You might find a great mixed breed puppy at your local animal shelter. | Source

You can also discuss where you are going to get your new dog. If you are willing to adopt a mixed breed dog from a shelter maybe your parents will be more willing to accept your decision. They are going to be happy to see you becoming responsible.

Think about what you will do if your dog needs a new home. What if someone in your family is allergic? What is your dog bites your little brother or sister? Think about the many years your dog will be a member of the family and discuss this with your parents.

Explain how a dog will keep you busy and away from the "wrong element". If you walk your dog twice a day, take care of her health needs, and make sure you clean after her, she will take up a good deal of time.

If only one of your parents is against you having a dog, you need to find out why. You need to convince them it will be for everyone´s good. You will need to walk him every day so a dog is going to keep you from sitting in front of the TV playing video games all afternoon. A dog can protect you, serve as a watchdog to guard your house, be a friend to hang out with, and will make you grow up and assume responsibilities. A dog can even keep you healthier! Besides staying fit from walking the dog, do you know that petting him will actually lower your blood pressure?

Some dog breeds will not be a good choice. The Cane Corso is cute puppy but will become a large dog and will be hard to handle.
Some dog breeds will not be a good choice. The Cane Corso is cute puppy but will become a large dog and will be hard to handle. | Source

There are several great dog breeds that you should not get while living with your family. A few of them are listed under dog breeds for people who like to be alone, but make sure any breed you decide on is okay with everyone in the family.

Newfoundlands are nice dogs but they are large so the expenses involved in feeding and caring for him may be too much.
Newfoundlands are nice dogs but they are large so the expenses involved in feeding and caring for him may be too much. | Source

If you are going to be getting a large or giant dog you need to be sure that you can cover the expenses. Will your parents help you out if you cannot handle things?

The Labrador Retriever is a popular large dog.
The Labrador Retriever is a popular large dog. | Source

Even a dog like the Labrador Retriever can be expensive to maintain.

Chihuahuas are small and do not eat much.
Chihuahuas are small and do not eat much. | Source

The Chihuahua will cost less to take care of and you may be able to find one at your local animal shelter. Make sure everyone wants to get one of these little dogs!

The English bulldog is expensive and health care expenses can also be high.
The English bulldog is expensive and health care expenses can also be high. | Source

Although they look really nice, the English bulldog can be expensive to maintain. They also do not live as long as some dog breeds.

Pit bull puppies come in all sorts of colors but some insurance companies will not cover families with these pets.
Pit bull puppies come in all sorts of colors but some insurance companies will not cover families with these pets. | Source

You might find a great Pit Bull puppy but you need to remember that not everyone will accept your dog as he grows older. Is your choice going to be okay with your family?

Brittany Spaniel puppies.
Brittany Spaniel puppies. | Source

When you decide what breed of dog is best for your family you need to look at the space you have available and whether the breed is active or the low maintenance type.

The Labradoodle is a "designer dog" produced by crossing a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever.
The Labradoodle is a "designer dog" produced by crossing a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. | Source

If you buy a Labradoodle you have chosen a "desgner dog"; he was developed to be as friendly as a Labrador Retriever but like a Poodle he does not shed much.

The Maltese do not shed much and since they are small dogs they do not eat much.
The Maltese do not shed much and since they are small dogs they do not eat much. | Source

Maltese dont eat much, don't take up much space, rarely shed, and get along great with cats. They do like to bark! Don't get one of these dogs without thinking about the barking. Will your parents think it is okay?

A Golden Retriever
A Golden Retriever | Source

The Golden Retriever is good with families and is also good around cats and other pets. Like any large dog, however, he can be expensive to maintain.

My first dog was part of the family. If you have parents that are against having a dog in the house your task is going to be even more difficult, and maybe impossible. When I was older I paid for a dog from the money I saved from working, and that in itself is an important lesson. If you are not able to purchase a dog, pay for his food, pay for his toys, and pay for his medical care, you do not need to be asking for a dog. Think about all that is involved before you try to convince your parents to let you get a dog.

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    • profile image

      Ainai 12 days ago

      Me, both of my brothers, and my dad want a dog, but my mom says no. I've written a letter stating how a dog would be good for the family, and addressed her concerns, but still no luck. I worked hard to get good grades, clean up my mess, and fix my behavior, but so far no luck. What should I do now?

    • profile image

      AHHHHHHHHH 2 weeks ago

      HELP! My dad, sisters, brother, and me all want a dog! Then my mom had to come along and ruin it. She hates dogs as much as I love them. I dunno why, buuuuuuuuut it has something to do with a Great Dane they did not know how to take care of (they=dadandmom). We said WE know how to take care of it but she won't listen! She said we could get anything we wanted if we were responsible EXCEPT a dog! Which basically means in my mind that she would get us ANYTHING except the one thing I want! Can you help me with this?

    • profile image

      HELP 4 weeks ago

      My mom, sister, and I want a dog, but my dad says NO what do I do? I have done essays, research, and contracts, but my dad still says no.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 months ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Not hopeless, maybe it is about the money and your mom is discussing these other things so that she´ll be on your dad´s side. My best advice would be to save the money to buy and take care of the dog so that he will feel a little less burdened. When I was thinking of my first Siberian Husky, back in the 70s, I got a paper route and mowed lawns, opened a savings account, and had enough to take care of my dogs in the beginning. Hope it works out for you.

    • profile image

      Not Hopeless, but needs Advice 4 months ago

      I'm not hopeless. I convinced my mom that we only have to walk the dog twice a day but she always has excuses. Me and my sister make plans, but I always get out of that plan making mood and I just forget about the dog. I really want one. My mom says stuff like it's a lot of responsibility and she doesn't want to do everything, even though she won't. My dad says it's about the money. Any help?

    • profile image

      Anna 4 months ago

      yea. I'm an only child and I get really lonely. If I could get a dog it would be a dream come true. My parents gave me a speech about getting a dog. I understand but they both have siblings. And I have a solution for Halea. You could ask your parents to let you foster a dog. That's what I did. And they can see how much a dog means to you. Maybe they could get you a dog.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 5 months ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Sorry Halea, sometimes nothing is going to work, huh?

    • profile image

      Halea 5 months ago

      Well written, but my parents still wont let me have one :'C

    • profile image

      Mini 5 months ago

      This article is mostly realistic, but I'd like to meet the 15 year old that can pay for a 200+ dollar vet bill. It's entirely unrealistic to leave that up to a child. Vetting is THE most expensive thing about owning a pet, then food. Parents should expect the child to clean up after, feed and bathe the pet, but the cost of food, medications, vet, professional grooming should fall on the parents because they make more than enough money to pay for that. I speak as someone who is an adult and a long time dog and pet owner.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Here is a link to an article about hypoallergenic dogs that are good with kids:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/five-hypoallergenic-do...

      I hope that helps. Is there another reason they are saying no? If your parents say "no" and give a reason, try things in this article. If they say "no and that is final" it is a lot harder to deal with.

      Keep trying. Let me know how things are going for you.

    • profile image

      Ally 3 years ago

      I love this article. Except what if someone in ur family is allergic to pets. Even if someone in ur family wasn't allergic to pets and either way they wouldn't let u have one. What do I do?

    • profile image

      Cat Abel 3 years ago

      Ok and I'm free all the time besides when I have school, I got an account..I'm Cat

    • profile image

      Cat Abel 3 years ago

      We'll im always never busy so I can care for it and I can't explain any thing about dogs to my parents

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Hi Cat, French Bulldogs are pretty great but they are kind of expensive. Are your parents worried about the costs, or is it just any dog? You said they will pay, so if cost is not an issue explain how a dog will benefit your life. You will take it out for a walk twice a day so you will exercise more, and if you take time training her and doing some dog sport (Frenchies are not the best choice here) you will stay busy and keep away from the "bad element" at school. Believe me, that is every parents worst nightmare, so a dog is a great way to spend your hours.

      Don't forget to explain what will happen to the dog in a few years when you are off to college! Good luck.

    • profile image

      Cat 3 years ago

      Ima a kid and I really want a dog. I do research on breed (frenchbulldogs), where to buy them, what they need, ect. I even found out they are really easy to care for out of most dogs. They don't dig holes, bark (make pug sounds is the noise they make), don't chew furniture (what I've heard), and good lap dogs. Perfect for my family. But when I try to tell them they yell at me. And when I email them or make a slideshow they ignore it and don't read it. When I even say the word dog they don't wanna listen. They are as hard as bricks. They say I'm responsible and that they'd pay for one if we had one but they also say I JUST DON'T WANT A DOG, and I say "that's not an answer why though." So I don't know how to convince them. I try everything.

    • profile image

      bellapalomar 3 years ago

      that is a suggestion !

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      That is a great suggestion! It is probably the area most kids feel reluctant about. I would like to add that to the list of what kids can do to prove they are ready--do you mind?

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 4 years ago from Wales

      Very good article. I think it would make good sense for a child to go out with a friend's family who do have a dog and have a practice at cleaning up the poop! We have a 10 wk old lab x retriever (trainee seeing-eye/guide dog pup) and there is a lot of clearing up involved - my kids don't volunteer to help out in that department!

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      A Jack called Jack! Nice to hear from you. More parents need to be like you, and understand.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

      My daughter desperatly wanted a dog and we lived in the country so I found one that needed a home . A Jack Russell called Jack ! She loved him, fed him - took him for walks etc . In the mornings he would sit on my knee on the back veranda & I loved him as well . Having a dog is so good !

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      I realize that sometimes there are people out there with phobias that will never accept a dog in the house. I have a neighbor like that and to her size does not matter, she is afraid of them all. The only alternative to those kids is to get out of the house as soon as possible, but I feel sorry for every one of them that has to deal with such a sterile and colorless childhood.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 4 years ago from UK

      As a child I haven't been lucky and later I'm still not lucky... People are more important than a dog and when you live with somebody who isn't comfortable around dogs... There is no way to have a dog. ...

      Nevertheless, I loved to read your very interesting and charming hub. Voted up and shared.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
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      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Thanks Rachel. I think we were both lucky to have parents that realized the importance of having a dog. I tried to pass this on to my kids too and hope they will be as open with their kids.

      I guess you didn't have any little farm animals back then. Keeshounds are great dogs but have high prey drive. Not as bad as my Huskies, of course!

      Thanks for stopping by. I have my comments set up so that they do not show until I approve them. I just didn't get here last night, which is why your comment never showed up. (If someone leaves a really inappropriate comment on one of your hubs it can hurt your ranking, which is why I set it up that way.)

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I commentedo on this and the comment vanished! Anyway, I loved this hub. I think I originally had more to say than that, something about how I was lucky to have a dog-loving father so I got my first dog when I was 7. We went to the pound to get an older golden, but he was gone, so I got an 8-mo-old keeshond instead! I think all kids should have a dog if they want one. That dog was my best friend until she died. Awesome hub, hope it helps some kids out there!! :)

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Thank you both for the kind words! I probably am not the typical parent since I let my kids get any pet they wanted, but I help this helps some that are in a rough spot with their 'rents!

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      You have the most beautiful and meaningful photos I have ever seen in one place! I am sharing this one, again, what a great article and it seems to be very effective! Great job and thank you!

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

      Great article for the kids. I think some adults should read this as if they are the kid. Some people around my neck of the woods are so ----(pick a word), they really shouldn't be allowed to have pets.

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