Are you desperate for a canine companion? In this article we are going to take a look at how to persuade your parents to get a dog.
Your mind is full of images of you playing with your new puppy, watching him grow up, feeding him, petting him, walking him, sleeping side by side at night, your best friend for life.
But your parents don’t seem so charmed by the idea. Begging works well for dogs, but no matter how much YOU beg, Mom and Dad just keep saying “no!”
If this is your life right now, you probably feel really mad. And frustrated. And confused.
So many of your friends have pet dogs, so why can’t you have one too?
If you want a pet dog, don’t give up – read this blog post to get more ideas for how to change your parents’ minds!
I want a dog but my parents say no
Ah yes….the big N.O., aka your parents’ favorite word. They say it a lot.
In fact, they said it when you begged for a bicycle (you now have one).
They said it when you asked to get your ears pierced (they are pierced now).
And that cool little cell phone in your pocket? That was a solid “no” when you first presented your idea, too.
From these (or similar) experiences, you have learned that patience and persistence pay off.
And while they might never admit it, your parents likely admire you and feel proud of you for showing both qualities!
But this time, your parents really seem to be digging in their heels with this “no” business. So let’s take a minute here to try to figure out why!
Why don’t your parents want you to get a dog?
It’s not that your parents don’t want you to have a pet dog. Actually, they probably DO want to give you something that you say will make you so happy.So why would they say no?
For a minute, think about what your mom and dad do all day. They work, right?
You see them going to work and coming home. They run lots of errands. They drive you places you want and need to go. Fix dinner and do the family laundry. They remind you to do your homework and your chores. And are even out of bed before you and they go to bed after you do.
Those are two busy people!
Maybe when your mom and dad think about adding a pet dog to your family, they don’t see even cute, wriggling puppy cuteness – they just see more work for them to do!
So maybe the best strategy here is not to convince parents to get a dog, but to convince them that getting a dog won’t create more work for them to do.
Find out why your parents don’t want a dog
Sometimes a straight-up question will get you farther than all the begging, whining, shouting, crying or silent treatment in the world.
Pick your moment, though – don’t ask your question when you can see your mom and dad are super-busy.
Watch for a quiet moment, and then ask your parents, “Why don’t you want me to get a dog?”
Then listen quietly and carefully to their answers. This is KEY, because once you know exactly WHY your mother doesn’t want a dog, for instance, you can come up with really good counter-arguments to convince her she DOES want a dog.
(A “counter-argument,” by the way, is a great strategy to use any time you don’t get what you want right away. You see it a lot on those lawyer shoes on television. You can just listen to the other person’s reasons and then use those reasons to convince them that they are wrong and you are right!)
My parents say a dog is too expensive
Here is an example. There you are, trying so hard to figure out how to convince your parents to get a dog, and your Dad says, “I’m sorry – a dog is just too expensive.”
He isn’t wrong, by the way. Dogs CAN be expensive. In fact, if your dog gets sick and needs to go to the vet, this can be very expensive indeed.
Plus, your Dad is probably a pretty busy guy already, and he probably doesn’t have time to sit down and figure out how to get a dog in a way that won’t be so expensive.
But you have time, right?
So when you hear your Dad say, “A dog is too expensive,” you can think to yourself (“aha, time for a counter-argument!”) and then say to him, “But what if I find a way to get a dog that isn’t so expensive?”
Speaking of which, did you know that buying a pet puppy or dog from a dog breeder could cost $500 to $1,000 JUST for the dog?
This cost doesn’t include shots, spaying or neutering, a microchip, food and water, bowls, a dog bed, blankets, toys, leashes, pet insurance, grooming, a crate or anything else your new pet dog will need.
But in nearly all cases, adopting a dog from a shelter is much cheaper AND you can get more for your money, too.
Adopting is cheaper than buying
So start out by looking at adoption fees at your local dog shelters. There are so many great pet dogs at shelters right now waiting to be adopted and to have a great family to live with!
While adopting a dog from a local rescue shelter is not usually free, it definitely won’t cost you $500 or more. The typical cost range, which is often called a “rehoming fee,” is typically anywhere from $25 to $300.
Plus, if you adopt an adult dog rather than a puppy, they may have already had their spaying/neutering, which can really keep new pet costs down.
They might also have had dog obedience training, which would mean you may not have to pay for an obedience class to train your new pet dog.
Don’t forget that the cost of your dog is not just how much it is to buy him. He will need insurance, a collar and leash, a bed, a crate, a puppy playpen, bowls. Not to mention the weekly bills for a good quality food.
Many shelters also have lower cost pet items for sale to help the shelter raise some money (shelters that do this are selling pet items donated from people who have lost or turned in their pet dog).
So you might be able to get some great supplies for your new pet dog for less than you would pay by shopping at a regular pet store.
Also, in your efforts to learn how to persuade parents to get a dog, have you considered what you can contribute to the cost of a pet dog? Maybe you have allowance money saved up. Perhaps you have (or could get) a part-time job.
If you are willing to invest your own money to get a pet dog, your parents may start to warm up to the idea much more because that will show them you are really serious.
*Special “adoption days” are also common at dog shelters, and on these days you may be able to pay no fee or a very low fee to adopt a pet dog. You can ask the shelters or look on their websites to see when the next adoption day is scheduled.
My parents say we don’t have enough time
Much as you might not like to hear it, this is a valid reason to not get a pet dog.
DO you have enough time? Truly?
Here, think about YOU specifically – not your parents. Do you have enough time every single day to take care of most of your pet dog’s daily needs?
Are you willing to get up early to take your dog for a walk before school?
Do you have sports or after-school activities that would prevent you from walking your dog regularly after school? Would you be wiling to give some or all of those activities up to take care of a pet dog?
Are you home to feed your dog in the morning and the evening? What if your dog gets sick? Will you clean up after her without complaining and stay up with her at night if she needs you?
If the idea of getting up earlier, taking at least two walks each day, picking up dog poop, training your new pet dog to obey commands, brushing and grooming her, giving her food and water and being there when she needs you doesn’t sound just wonderful, you may not actually have time right now to get a pet dog.
This is something you should think through very carefully. A dog is not a person, but it is an animal with daily, regular needs that someone in your family will have to take care of.
They also need to be looked after during the day. You can’t go off to school and leave them all day either. If you don’t have a parent who stays home some of the day, they will need to pay for a dog walker or puppy daycare!
But if it is to be your pet dog, that person should be you as much as possible.
So what you need to do now is not figure out how to convince parents to get a dog, but figure out how to convince your parents that YOU will take care of your dog, not them.
My parents say I won’t help enough
Here again, your parents may be making a good point. Will you help enough? What is “enough?”
You probably wouldn’t like it if your mom got a pet and then asked you to take care of it for her, right?
So it makes sense that she may not be as excited about the idea of a pet dog as you are.
You have to convince her that you are going to help a lot – so much, in fact, that she won’t even have to remind you to feed or walk or clean up after your new pet dog.
My parents say we can get a dog but not a puppy
Hmmmm. This is interesting! Why would your parents be willing to allow you to get a pet dog, but NOT a pet puppy?
After all, puppies are so CUTE! They are cuddly and warm and soft! All your friends will oooh and aaah and be so jealous of you! How can your parents say “no” to a cute puppy?
Quite easily, actually.
Even as you are trying to learn how to convince your parents to get a puppy, your parents are probably imagining your new puppy teething on the living room couch, piddling on the carpets, pooing all over the house, crying and squealing while getting his (expensive) shots, refusing to walk on a leash or learn to obey and worse.
Puppies are a LOT of work! They are definitely a lot more work than an adult dog (aged 18 months or older).
But if you get an adult dog, someone else has done a lot of that work (and paid for some of those puppy-only costs) for you. Maybe it IS better to get an adult dog instead!
It is worth thinking about.
How to persuade your parents to get a dog
If you have read all the way to this point and you still want a pet dog like you want air to breathe, AND you are willing to share some of the costs and the lion’s share of the responsibility to take care of your new pet, there is only one thing left to do:
TELL your parents this. Then PROVE it.
First, pony up some cash. Break your personal bank and hand over those dollars and dimes you’ve been saving.
Start mowing the neighbors’ grass or get a summer job to save for your pet dog.
Write out your daily schedule and block out the times reserved just for you taking care of your dog.
Show your parents your schedule and prove you have thought this through carefully and you DO have (some) cash and the time to make a new pet dog your first priority.
How to convince your parents to get a dog – summary
If you have tried everything you can think of and your parents are still saying “no,” there is one more thing you can do to try to win them over.
Try writing a letter to them.
Maybe, in all their worry about costs and time and responsibility, your parents have just forgotten all the GREAT things a pet dog can add to your lives.
So if at first you don’t succeed, keep on trying, and good luck!
For more information about finding, caring for, raising and training your Labrador, don’t forget to order your copy of The Labrador Handbook!
It’s by Labrador Site founder and best selling author, Pippa Mattinson