LIFESTYLE

How to Convince Your Parents to Get A Dog: Tips And Tricks for When They Are Resisting

Child lovingly embrace his new dog
John Walton
Written by John Walton

So you’ve been waiting a long time to get a dog, but your parents have always said no. They may say that they don’t want to get stuck taking care of the dog because you’ll get bored of it, or that it will simply cause a mess in the house. You may believe that it’s become a hopeless cause and that you’re never going to get a dog.

However, that isn’t the case. If you take the time and effort to do your research and gather all of the information you need, you can develop a successful cause in how to convince your parents to get a dog.

Consider the benefits

When it comes to getting a new dog, there can be a new world of benefits that can be added to your life, and you should make them known to your parents. Make a list of all the things that you can think of that will improve your life. One important note to consider is that a new dog will encourage you and your parents to spend more time together as a family.

Parents are always looking for new ways to spend time with their children, outside of eating meals together and watching television. By introducing a dog into your life, you can spend time playing with the dog, going on walks outside, helping to train your dog to learn new tricks, and keep your dog calm at the vet’s when the entire family goes.

22 Ways why take a dog

Getting a new dog can also help to make you more sociable. By taking your dog out for walks, taking him to the park to play frisbee, or simply letting him roam in dog parks with other dogs can help you introduce yourself to new people.

Dog owners are just as sociable as their pets, and they’re always willing to swap stories about their dogs and even offer training tips that may help you in the future. Meeting new people is certainly a way to help you build self-confidence and make it easier for you to develop social skills that you’ll need in school and in the workplace once you’ve got a job.

Taking your dog out will also help you to get the daily exercise that you’ll need. Sunshine and fresh air can do a world of good in improving your mood as well as your concentration when you’re working. Staying inside all day and playing video games can be detrimental to one’s health, both physically and mentally. It has been shown that having a dog can significantly increase the quality of your life, as interacting with them can reduce stress, and lead to longer, happier lives.

Dogs have been evolving along with mankind for centuries, and have learned to adapt themselves to our moods and activities. It’s like having a personal therapist that you can visit anytime you want and not have to pay an exorbitant fee. Engaging in a bit of physical activity with your dog gets the blood flowing throughout your body and to your brain, as well giving your muscles the workout that they need. You’ll also develop better memories of playing with your dog rather than sitting inside all the time, staring at a computer screen.

Little girl with puppy

Getting a dog is the perfect way to show your parents that you’re a responsible human being. By taking care of a dog all on your own and on your own initiative, they’ll start to consider you as someone they can rely on in other circumstances. However, once you’ve proven this to them, you won’t get the chance to slack off on your duties. Stick to your guns and stay on task when it comes to taking care of your puppy, or your new dog may have to suffer on your behalf and be returned to his original owners or the adoption center.

Lastly, having a dog can make a home feel safe. Dogs are protectors of their pack, and will take any means necessary to ensure the safety of those they regard as their family. You will feel more secure with a dog around in your house, and with some careful training, can learn who and who isn’t welcome in your home. Training your puppy to be a guard dog can be difficult, depending on the breed of your dog. It may be easier for some dogs to adhere to their lessons than others.

Show them you are responsible

It can be extremely to get exciting about getting a new dog, but taking care of the dog is something else entirely. It’s more than simply having a furry companion at home that you can play with all day long. Your new puppy will need food, toys, a bed to sleep on, all of his annual shots, registration, microchipping, and the expenses required to take care of a dog for the rest of his life. However, by taking care of your new puppy on your own, you can show your parents that you’re responsible enough. The first step towards responsibility is doing some research.

Kid drawing and research

When it comes to new dogs, not all breeds are alike. They were bred for different purposes, have different dispositions, and are capable of varying levels of patience and training. Some dog breeds take onto new tricks quite easily, while other breeds are more content with being lapdogs and providing you with company. The kind of dog that you get all depends on how much time you believe you can dedicate to taking care of your dog every day. Doing your research will teach you what the different kinds of dog breeds are, and help you decide which one is right for you.

Once you’ve decided on a dog breed, present the facts to your parents to show that you’re interested in caring for the dog and that you’ve put a lot of thought into it. Create a plan of the daily routine you expect to have with your dog and show them that you can adhere to it. Also, by looking for a particular dog breed, you’ll have a rough estimate of how much the dog is going to cost and what the future costs will be. Be aware that buying a new puppy from a breeder will be more expensive than adopting, so you may have to seek that as your option for a new dog.

Adoption centers rarely have pure breed dogs, and when they do, they’re snatched up very quickly. However, mixed breed dogs can be just as endearing; they are already microchipped, and would have already had their first few rounds of shots. You may not get the perfect dog that you want, but saving on the costs will leave you with more pocket money to spend in the future.

In order to prove just how responsible you are, you can consider taking a dog for a “test run.” There are plenty of jobs as dog walkers and dog sitters that expose you to the experience of having and being around a dog. It can teach you patience, how to adjust your attitude to cater for the needs of different dogs, and keep you on a schedule that is conducive for the dog’s well-being.

Dog walker test

And you get to earn some money in the process. Keeping the home clean with a dog around is paramount to displaying your responsibility, your attention to detail, and providing the dog with enough attention so as not to destroy things around the house. Doing well at these jobs can show your parents how well you can take care of a dog.

If there’s no one that’s hiring, volunteer at a dog shelter. Learning to clean the kennels, taking the dogs for walks, and providing them with the general care that they need makes it easier for you to build your case that you can be responsible in the care of another animal.

Another step you can take in showing how responsible you are, is to consider fostering a dog. Adoption agencies can sometimes get overcrowded and need some space while dogs recover from surgeries, operations, delivering litters of puppies, or simply dogs that require special needs.

Ask your parents’ permission first before signing up for being a foster home for dogs, and you can learn together what it would be like in your home if you had a dog. Many people who foster dogs do end up adopting, but be prepared for your parents saying no the first couple of times when you’re fostering a new dog.

Another key area of responsibility is medical costs. Dogs, despite having twice as many legs as humans, can still be clumsy sometimes and end up with injuries. They also age and develop certain genetic conditions over time. These instances can be nerve wracking, and not having a veterinarian beforehand can delay the care for your dog and make it even more expensive. Take the time to research the veterinarians in your area and find ones that are both close to your home, as well as are reputable. Finding the cheapest vet isn’t always the best choice.

Kid at vet with puppy

If push comes to shove, start helping out more around the house. Do those chores that you absolutely hate without being told. Pick up after yourself and keep your room neat and tidy. By showing that you’re willing to take the initiative to take care of yourself and the home that responsibility can be extended to a new addition of a pet into the home.

Take care of your mother’s plants or the next door neighbor’s hamster, and your parents may consider that you’re mature enough to handle a pet of your own. Getting a part time job also displays your responsibility, and will help you to generate income that you’ll need to take care of your dog in the future.

The tasks to consider before getting a new puppy

Before getting your new puppy, it’s helpful to make a list of the daily tasks that you’re going to have to keep in mind in order to ensure that your puppy remains healthy. Creating the list shows your parents how well thought out your plan is, and how you intend to provide the right amount of care that your puppy needs. The first task is ensuring that your puppy gets meals every day. Because he is still growing, you’re going to need a brand of dog food that is full of the vitamins and minerals that he needs in order to become healthy and strong.

Quality is important just as much as quantity. You don’t want to overfeed your puppy, or he can end up getting too fat. If you’re not sure how much you should be feeding him each day, speak to your vet. Table scraps should also be completely avoided. Water is also essential, as puppies can be quite active and dehydration can lead to serious complications.

Puppy food chart

Exercise is also very essential for a puppy’s growth. He learns to play, learns what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour, and learns how to socialize with you and the rest of your family. Exercise also makes puppies more tired throughout the day, so they’ll tend to be less restless and chew on things. Puppies like to be active and challenged, so giving them mental stimulation and something to overcome can certainly wear them out while keeping their brains going. Even a simple walk or jog down the street can be enough to satisfy your puppy, depending on the breed.

With exercise comes picking up after your dog. You can’t afford to be squeamish when it comes to picking up your dog’s poop, as it’s against the law to leave your poop lying on the ground in some states. Be responsible and carry a plastic bag with you whenever you go out with your dog. It’s the responsible thing to do, it keeps the environment clean, and it’s considerate to everyone else.

Along with picking up poop, getting your puppy house-trained is key to a happy household. New puppies aren’t used to their surroundings, and may have a few accidents from time to time. But being patient and taking your dog out at the same time every day can help him to learn a schedule and use the bathroom at the appropriate time. You can start off with pee pads inside the home and gradually move them closer to the door until they’re using them outside.

Grooming is an essential part of your dog’s health, as it can prevent infections and reveal signs of your dog’s overall health. Brushing on a regular basis can remove mats and tangles, and keeps your dog’s coat looking shiny. You can also check for fleas and ticks during this time to ensure that you don’t have an infestation, as well as any wounds or sores that may have gone unnoticed. Bathing can be included in your regimen of care, but it should not be done too often.

Dog grooming

Shampoo can strip your dog’s skin of the essential oils that it needs for their fur, and can cause serious skin irritations. Depending on how long your dog’s hair is and how often he may get dirty, you may need to bathe him as often as once a week to once every few months.

Teeth are also essential in the grooming process, as that’s what dogs rely on to eat their food, chew on their toys, and pick up other things. Providing chewing toys can keep their teeth and gums healthy, preventing the tartar that can cause decay and pain. If your dog isn’t very interested in chewing, then you might have to get a dog toothbrush and toothpaste in order to get the job done.

Lastly, you should be doing some kind of training with your new dog every day. Start off with simple things, like learning how to sit and lie down. These are the basics that you’ll need to move up to bigger things, like heel, fetch and recall. Teaching your dog these essentials will help to keep you and him safe, especially during those times when anything can happen.

A good recall is quite essential if you lose control of your dog’s leash, as he will learn to come back to you, regardless of the distractions that are around. Don’t become discouraged if your puppy doesn’t learn everything as quickly as you want. Be patient and consistent with your training, and your dog should learn at his own pace.

Address your parents concerns

No matter how responsible you show yourself to be, there are still some matters that may trouble your parents that continue to dissuade them that getting a dog is a good idea. One such concern is that they are worried about your attention to your school work. Studying and doing homework for all of your classes can take a lot of time out of your day, as well as being involved in extracurricular activities. That may not leave you with a lot of time to take care of a dog, or will distract you from focusing on your work.

Understand that they’re trying to do what’s best for you in ensuring that your studying doesn’t suffer. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up. Demonstrate that you can still balance your schoolwork and having a dog. You may have to give up on a few extracurricular activities and cut back on time with your friends on the weekends, but if you have your heart set on getting a new dog, then you should be willing to make a few sacrifices of your social life.

One or both of your parents may also have allergic reactions to pets. This is a major concern, as allergies can range from mild to severe, sometimes even life-threatening. Having a pet within the home can make it very uncomfortable for one parent to remain within the home, and constantly taking medication for the condition isn’t conducive to one’s well-being. There are hypo-allergenic dog breeds, however, that don’t shed and are good for those who typically have pet allergies.

If possible, try to find someone in your area that has such a breed that your parents can meet. This can be a good test in discovering whether there will be a reaction, and it can also demonstrate how loving a dog can be to your family. However, if this isn’t convincing enough, don’t push the issue.

Destroyed furniture and shoes is another concern that a lot of parents dread. Puppies can be quite energetic, and if they don’t have anything to play with, they can get into a world of trouble. They will find anything that they can sink their teeth into and turn it into a new chew toy. Saying that you’ll play with your dogs is a lot different from doing it, and parents have a tendency to err on the side of caution. Buying products such as bitter apple and providing enough exercise to your dog is enough to dissuade them from chewing on anything they can find.

Dog chewing phone case

Being prepared for these concerns is paramount and demonstrates to them that you’ve put a lot of research into getting a dog and that you’re fully prepared for handling any problems that may arise. Perseverance is key but it is important to remember that hounding your parents isn’t going to help your case.

The last thing you want to do is annoy them, and constantly asking if you can get a dog will only make your case worse. When they do say no, don’t get angry and start yelling. That not only displays immaturity, but it communicates to your parents how you deal with pressure and being disappointed, which can translate to a dog who is still learning to behave. Be calm and patient, and continue to display behaviour that demonstrates how responsible you are. In time, your parents may reward you with a new puppy when you least expect it.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

  • Seth Weaseley

    It was the opposite in my case… my parents were already dog lovers so they ended up convincing me ;)

  • Michelle Drew

    Dog ownership hasn’t always been a part of our household. For one thing, there’s the financial aspect of the care of the dog and for another we have the space and lifestyle to worry about. Our parents would love a dog along with our cats, for the added security that they lend but it seems like there’s little hope. Until my parents saw a great opportunity and they took to adopting a pup. It’s been a long ride to NOW but even with our schedules wrapped around Sapphire (chihuahua), she’s still a fun bundle that we all love!

    • It is really amazing how much having a dog can change our lives. I look forward to hearing more about your story.

  • Elizabeth

    When I was little, I asked my parents to buy me a dog. I gave them the book with a description of different breeds and they chose Newfoundland because he took very good care of the children and the host. I was the happiest child in the world!

  • It can be a challenge sometimes but if you have something to backup your request, then you might get a yes (and you did!)

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