Signs You’re Ready for a Pet — And How to Convince Your Parents

Convincing your parents to get you a pet can be hard. They might say that you are too young or otherwise aren’t ready. First of all, it’s important to understand how your parents might feel. Cats, cute dogs, birds, rodents, and even fish and reptiles cost money to take care of; for parents, it can get expensive to take care of a pet. There is also a lot of time and energy that goes into caring for an animal. You have to feed them, play with them, groom them and much more. If you are dreaming of getting a puppy, kitten or another type of pet, here are some ways you can show your parents that you’re ready for the responsibility.

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Choose Which Type of Pet You Want

Look up different types of pets to find out which breeds or species are best for new owners, families, and kids. Every breed is different. For example, many smaller dogs, such as Boston terriers, may have health issues that you will have to take into account. You might have a sibling or parent who is allergic to cats and dogs. If this is the case, you will need to look up pets that don’t cause allergies, such as fish and reptiles. Show your parents that you are serious about finding an animal that’s a good match not just for you, but for the entire family.

Research Pet Care

The internet is a great resource for researching pet care — use it! Read all about taking care of the type of pet you would like to get. Would you like to adopt a dog or cat? Read about adoption and find local animal shelters in your area. Or are you interested in something more unusual, like a bird or lizard? Keep in mind that exotic pets have special needs, so you’ll need to do extra research in order to care for them properly. Keep in mind as your research that not all care guides are trustworthy, so read from multiple sources and only read from reputable websites.

Be Consistent With Chores

Because pets are such a big responsibility, you have to show your parents that you can take care of things on your own, just like how you’ll need to take care of your pet every day. Make sure you take out the trash, do the dishes, make your bed, do your homework and clean up without being asked. Get off the phone, TV or computer before bedtime. Be polite, and try not to argue with your siblings. When your parents see how good you are at home, they’ll see how responsible you are and will have an easier time trusting that you’ll take care of a pet.

Make a Routine

Write down a list of all the things you would have to do every day if your parents got you a pet. If you want to get a dog, then you’ll have to feed them twice a day, give them fresh water, take them for a walk, play with them and clean up their mess outside when they go to the bathroom. Cat owners have to clean out the litter box and give their cats fresh food and water every day, too. Once you have a list of pet responsibilities, make a schedule that includes waking up, going to school, doing homework and caring for your animal. Then, show your parents. You can talk about taking care of the pet together, but first, you should show them that you understand how much time and effort it takes to keep a pet happy and healthy.

Be Patient

It may take a long time to show your parents that you’re old enough or ready for a pet. Don’t get too discouraged if you ask them and they say no. Keep researching animals, and ask your parents if they would be willing to compromise on a different pet.

Even if your parents don’t want to get you a pet right away, do your chores, and stay focused on your goal. Find ways you can help shelter animals, too! Even though you have to be 18 or older to volunteer at an animal shelter, there are still lots of ways kids can help pets that are in need of a home. When you are patient and show that you respect your parents’ wishes, they may realize that you really are ready to care for your own furry friend.

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