How to Get a Pet (For Kids)

Three Parts:Creating a Game PlanShowing How Responsible You AreTalking to Your Parents

Are you wondering how to ask your parents for a pet? If you show your parents that you are responsible and ready to care for a pet, they will be much more likely to say yes. With careful planning, you might be able to get your parents to say yes.

Part 1
Creating a Game Plan

  1. Image titled Get a Pet (For Kids) Step 1
    Think carefully if you really want a pet. Pets require time, responsibility, money, and work. You will have to change your schedule and spend time taking care of your pet. Getting an animal is a long term commitment. Animals live for years and years. Ask yourself some questions to see if you truly want to be a pet owner.[1]
    • Do you have other extra-curricular activities (e.g. sports, music, dance class, etc.) that take up your time?
    • Are you willing to wake up early to care for your animal before you go to school?
    • How will you fit your pet into your current schedule?
    • Are you willing to use your allowance or chore money to help pay for your pet?
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    Decide what type of pet you want. There are so many options when it comes to pets. Some pets require very little maintenance while others will take up quite a bit of time. Also consider how much space you have in your home for a pet and how your pet may affect your family. Is anyone allergic to the pet you may want? Is a family member afraid of a pet you may want?[2]
    • The lowest maintenance pets (e.g. fish, snakes, lizards, and turtles) require about 15 minutes a day for feeding and one hour a week to clean the tank. These animals will be fun to watch, but they will not interact and play with you like other animals.
    • Low maintenance pets (cats, rabbits, canaries, parakeets, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, mice, and rats) require about 15 to 30 minutes of daily maintenance and weekly cage and litter box cleaning.[3][4]
    • Dogs are medium maintenance pets that require one or two hours of care every day. They will require much more attention than cats, and you will need to walk them every day.
    • The highest maintenance pets (horses, parrots, pot belly pigs) require a lot of time and space, and your parents will probably not agree to this.
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    Learn about the pet you have chosen. Once you have chosen a pet, learn as much as you can about the animal. Figure out the supplies you will need to take care of your pet. How will your pet get along with other people? How will your pet behave? How much will it cost to take care of your pet?[5]
    • How long will your pet live?
    • Why do you want a pet?
    • How much will your pet cost?
    • What type of food your pet will need?
    • What type of accommodations (e.g. tank, aquarium, cage, kennel) will your pet need?
    • How you will help pay for the pet?
    • What time will you wake up in the morning to feed your pet before school?
    • Who will take care of your pet when your family goes on vacation?
    • What type of exercise will your pet need?
    • How big will your pet be when it is full size?
    • When does your pet like to sleep?
    • What areas can you take care of the pet yourself (e.g. walking the dog, feeding your pet)? What areas will you need some help with (e.g. giving your dog a bath, cleaning the cage, taking your pet to the veterinarian)?[6]
    • If you have any friends that have a pet, talk to them about their responsibilities. They can give you some good advice.
    • The more information you know, the more your can impress your parents.
    • Take notes as you learn all of this information. You can use your notes when you talk to your parents.
    • Read about your potential pet in books, magazines, and the internet. Watch any television shows or videos about the animal.

Part 2
Showing How Responsible You Are

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    Demonstrate to your parents that you are responsible. If you show your parents that you are responsible, they will think you are ready to have a pet. Do your chores on time. Help your parents around the house. Do your homework before your parents tell you to. Wake up on time to go to school.[7] Keep your room clean and take out the trash.
    • Always complete your tasks on time. If you can get your chores done earlier than your parents expect you to, you will win extra points.
    • If you have done all of your chores, ask your parents, "Is there anything I can help you with?"
    • If you do not do your chores and show your parents that you are responsible, they will not think that you are ready or mature enough to take care of a pet.
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    Create a written plan. Telling your parents that you are ready for a pet is not enough. With all the reading that you have done on your choice of pet, you can demonstrate to them that you clearly understand the responsibilities involved in keeping the pet. Write or type out a plan that details all of the research you have done.[8]
    • Giving your parents a plan will let them know that you are serious and have put a lot of thought into this.
    • There are online resources to help your organize the pet information,[9] pet expenses,[10] and weekly pet care schedules.[11]
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    Ask to volunteer at an animal shelter. Volunteering at an animal rescue organization, shelter or humane society is a good way to show your parents that you are serious about having a pet. You can also use this time to learn about animals and decide what type of pet you would be interested in having. Lending a hand with your friends' pets can be helpful too.
    • Make a mental note of the things you like and you do not like when you are spending time with the animals.
    • You can visit the Petfinder website to find an animal shelter in your area.[12]
    • If you are not old enough to volunteer at an animal shelter, try to pet sit for someone you know or bring home the class pet.

Part 3
Talking to Your Parents

  1. Image titled Get a Pet (For Kids) Step 7
    Ask at a convenient time. Make sure your parents are in a good mood when you talk to them about getting a pet. Also, make sure that your parents have time to talk and will not be in a rush. For example, talking to your parents right when they get home from work or when they are driving you to school is not a good time.[13]
    • Before you start the conversation, you may say, "Mom/Dad, do you have a minute?"
    • You will probably have to talk to your parents more than once about getting a pet. Always try to choose a good time to start the conversation.
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    Present your case to your parents. Now that you have your parents attention, you can make a presentation about your desire for a pet. Tell your parents the pet that you would like to have, the research you have done, how you plan to take care of the pet, and how you would like your parents to help you. You should also give your parents the written plan that you created.
    • At the end of your presentation, tell your parents, "Please don't say yes or no right now. I want you to think about everything I said before you answer." This will show your parents that you are patient and willing to wait for an answer.[14]
    • Your parents will probably ask you some questions. If you take the time to plan for a pet before you talk to your parents, you will be prepared.
    • Don't forget to tell your parents about all the benefits of having a pet.[15]
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    Be prepared for your parents to say no. Your parents may say no when you ask them. Do not get upset, angry, or yell. A bad response will show your parents that you may not be ready or mature enough for a pet. Accept your parents answer and continue to show your parents that you are responsible. They may change their mind.[16]
    • If your parents say no, ask them if there is anything you can do to turn the "no" into a "yes."[17] Think about what you can do to address these concerns.
    • Try to understand your parents reasoning and thank them for explaining things to you.[18]
    • Do not whine or beg your parents for a pet after they tell you no.
    • Wait a couple of weeks before you bring up the topic of a pet again.[19]
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    Be prepared to compromise. Your parents may suggest a different pet than the one you asked them for. Your parents may also ask you to continue to be responsible for a certain time period and then they may allow you to get a pet. Be open to your parents suggestions.
    • Have a positive attitude when you are negotiating with your parents.
    • It may take awhile before your parents decide to let you have a pet. Be patient throughout the process.


  • A good thing to do is ask for a small, easy-to-care-for pet. Some parents sometimes don't like big pets such as dogs or cats.
  • Your results may vary. Always be polite and your persistence might eventually pay off.
  • Try to begin planning before your birthday or Christmas. If you can show that you are willing to wait and can be responsible for a long period of time, you may get a special gift.

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Categories: New Pets