How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet


Parents are often reluctant to get a pet for a number of reasons: there's too much money involved, they don't want to clean up after them, and there's just a lot of work to do to keep them happy and healthy. However, there are a lot of good sides to getting a pet too – it can increase the time you spend together, give you responsibility, and make everyone a bit happier to come home. Before you ask your parents, plan out your course of action with the steps below.

Part 1
Showing You’re Mature and Responsible

Showing You’re Mature and Responsible on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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Get some books or do research on the computer for your desired pet. Ask friends who own, or have previously owned, that particular type of pet and how to care for it. The more you know about what you’re getting into, the more convincing your argument will be when you have to ask later. Do your best to know all of the facts about your prospective pet. If you find out something about the pet that you don't like (such as eating live food, lives for 30 years, needs lots of outdoor space, etc.), then don't hesitate to check out other similar animals to find the perfect pet for you. Knowing information, you can casually tell your parents drop in a fact or two about your pet that will start the thinking process in their minds. Make sure to check into state laws if you are considering an exotic pet. For example, it is illegal to keep a skunk as a pet in Tennessee, so even though you may be able to buy one or might know someone who has one, it's probably not a good idea to make the purchase.

Showing You’re Mature and Responsible on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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Remember, having a pet is a considerable lifestyle change. Your parents will need time to think, and this could take anywhere from a week to a few months, depending on the animal. If you keep cool in the weeks before, you’ll make it clear to them that you’re mature and ready for this responsibility. Remember that you will have this pet (depending on the animal) for at least a few years, and will need to take considerable care of it. If you lose interest in having a pet over a few months, then perhaps a pet isn't right for you. Take this time to think about the investment you'd be making.

Showing You’re Mature and Responsible on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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Do your chores, complete your homework, and be respectful. If you behave in a mature manner, they may consider your request in a good light. In addition to "getting on their good side," this will help you show them that you are responsible and mature enough for a pet. Good grades are a huge part of having a pet. Your parents might be worried that having a pet will affect your performance in school. Get your grades up as high as they can go to relinquish this worry before it even comes up.

Showing You’re Mature and Responsible on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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” If you get an allowance, save up your money and show that you are willing to contribute your own money toward the pet. If you don't get an allowance, then do odd jobs and extra chores. If you are a teen, consider getting a job to pay for the pet yourself. Think about talking to your parents about the potential of “earning” a pet. What can you do around the house and neighborhood to chip in for the funds? What kind of grades would you need? Could you take on more chores, volunteer, or help out some other way? For example, community service.

Showing You’re Mature and Responsible on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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Do you have to wash the dishes every other day? Then do it – before you’re asked. Did you say you’d babysit your little sister? Then do it (and with a smile on your face). Follow through on your word to show you’re not flaky and that you can handle a pet. While pets seem so fun on the outside, there's a lot of "follow through" when it comes to them, too. It's not just playing with Fluffy and feeding him, it's taking care of his poo and wiping up the floor when he pees on it. Showing you can handle your responsibilities without being pestered may prove that you can handle the downside of having a pet, too.

Part 2
Getting a Yes from Your Parents

Getting a Yes from Your Parents on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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In a calm, diplomatic way, tell them about the animal, and tell them some important facts about it, cluing them into all the research you've done and time you've spent taking this seriously. When you are done, they will most likely ask you some questions. Answer them honestly, being sure to suggest solutions to any problems they see. Ask them to at least consider it, since getting a pet is a big process. Give them some written information to look through, a website to visit, or give them the number of someone who can provide information and tips about caring for your desired pet. Show them that you’ve done your homework and that this means something to you. Don't pester them or whine; respect their need to troubleshoot the idea. This is a life-changing decision that they’ll need to think over. A "yes" will not likely come immediately.

Getting a Yes from Your Parents on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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Emphasize what you are going to do to help look after it and how it will better your family’s lives. For example, did they know that having a pet can lower blood pressure, ward off depression and increase immunity?[1] There are benefits to having a pet they're probably not even thinking of. Include how you might work out the financial part of it, like vet fees and who is actually paying for the pet. Money is often a reason parents shy away from getting a pet. If your family has a specific necessity that has to be addressed, such as being unable to walk a pet, arrange an agreement or compromise to accommodate the need and mention this as a selling point.

Getting a Yes from Your Parents on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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Instead of focusing only on how much it costs and the work it will take (though these points also need to be addressed), make sure to spend time talking about how great it will be for the entire family. You'll spend more time together, take the pet out together, and have something to bond over. What's more, it'll be great for you. Or so they'll think if you tell them it'll teach you responsibility if you have to take care of it and it'll get you outside and off your computer. Show them that it could turn you into quite the kid.

Getting a Yes from Your Parents on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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Create a chart with categories, such as "Daily Needs," "Monthly Needs," and "Yearly Needs." Include information such as estimated food, vaccinations, vet checks, etc., and show this to your parents. You're making it as easy for them as possible. This shows them that you are willing to do the work, and that you're not going to let go of the idea easily. If they seem hesitant, ask them what problems they have with you getting the pet to show them that you are willing to see all sides of an issue, even if you don't want to.

Part 3
Changing Your Parents’ Minds

Changing Your Parents’ Minds on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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When you find out new and interesting facts, be sure to tell your parents. This will keep the subject in the back of everyone's mind without nagging. If they seem resistant, lay low and keep your mouth shut on the topic for a few days. Change your argument, if need be. Instead of “But Mom/Dad, a cat is cute and fluffy!” change it to “Cats are easier to care for than dogs, are generally smaller, and won’t stink up the house.” You could also tack on a few numbers on how many homeless animals are out there that need rescuing. You may just need to attack them from a different angle.

Changing Your Parents’ Minds on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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If your parents are being hesitant to commit to an answer, find out why. If you've thought this through, you may have an answer for them to help calm their worry. Is the reason financial? Offer to pay for as much of the pet as you can (including expenses that come up later). Is the reason that there isn’t enough space in your house? Then get to cleaning! Is the reason because of a different pet? Come up with a space that will be this new pet’s area. Is the reason an allergy? If this is the case, you may have to come up with an alternative idea. Is the reason because of religion? Some religions don't allow you to own a dog.

Changing Your Parents’ Minds on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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If your parents are adamant on not getting a dog, for example, tell them you want to make a compromise – could you get a hamster instead? They likely want to make you happy, and knowing you’re making a sacrifice could push them to say yes. You could also compromise for a later date. Is your birthday or Christmas coming up? Say that you'll take the time until then to do your best around the house and at school, and then they could consider it a gift.

Changing Your Parents’ Minds on How to Convince Your Parents to Let You Have a Pet

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If your parents are on the fence, see if you can “adopt” a pet for a few days from someone you know – sort of like doing a trial run. If all goes well, it’ll show your parents that you can handle it. It may also show them how cute and cuddly the pet is and tug at their heartstrings. If they’re still saying no, revisit the argument at a later date. A surefire way of shutting down any chance at your parents saying yes is to nag, whine, and complain. If they’re giving you a hard and fast no, drop the conversation for now. Keep up being an awesome kid, making them wonder if they're making the wrong decision.