How to Show Your Parents You Are Responsible Enough to Own a Pet

A lot of children have a dream to own a special pet, but many parents don't allow them to because they think that their child is not responsible enough. Don't give up though - all you need to do is to show that you are responsible and mature enough by following these suggested tips.


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    Be honest with yourself. Are you responsible enough? Consider these questions and answer them truthfully:
    • Are you ready to feed, brush, clean, bathe, walk, and play with the pet on a regular basis?
    • Are you ready to clean out their cage, bed, living area, etc. regularly? Many pets need daily cleanup to keep odors manageable.If smells get too strong, parents can get angry. Besides, your pet won't be happy in that environment either.
    • Do you have too many other commitments that might prevent you from having a pet and looking after it properly? Think about sports, after-school activities, weekend homework, etc. Taking care of a pet requires time that you have to make sure you have.
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    Research the animal you think you want (try your local library or the internet). Write down what you learn. This will prepare you for the care of the animal, help you choose the right animal, and demonstrate to your parents that you know what is involved, as well as letting them know you're responsible and interested.
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    Make a list of things you will do to care for the pet. Show this to your parents to demonstrate that you are ready, and see what they think about letting you have this animal.
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    Buy a small soft toy in the shape of whatever pet you want. It may sound strange, but it will help. Care for it and pretend it is real for however long you want to (it will show your parents that you have patience). Don't keep asking if you can have a pet yet; just show that you are caring about the toy. Some people are quite happy with the soft toy and may not even want a pet anymore and some may think it is too much work and give up altogether. If you still want a pet, proceed to the next step.
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    Start off small. Show your parents what you have done with your soft toy and if they approve, then politely ask them to buy you a fish. The aim is to start small, then work up. A fish doesn't smell and doesn't make noises. You only have to feed it and change the water regularly. If your parents still do not agree, then ask for sea monkeys. They are cheap and you only need to feed them.
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    Progress to larger animals. After your parents have seen how you look after your small pets, slowly move onto the bigger, more high-maintenance animals. If you only want a mouse, this will not take long, but if you want a dog then it will take longer.
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    Tell your parents about friends who have pets. Don't overdo this, in case they think that your only reason for wanting a pet is because a friend has one. Do use it show that someone your own age is already caring well for a pet.
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    (Alternative to the above) Offer to buy the animal yourself (if it's something small like a rodent, e.g. a gerbil, mouse, etc.). Look up the expenses for the animal and the items it needs online, make some kind of poster or Powerpoint presentation and show it to your parents add in many things you have researched about this animal and why it would be a good pet for you. If it's something like a dog (that you obviously can't afford), offer adopting a rescue. Many of those are barely $100, and many also come house trained, and are better in the long run.
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    Begin to take up more responsibilities around the house, also start to clean up around the house without being asked. Be as helpful as possible to your parents, but don't over-do it.
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    If someone in your family is allergic to dogs, look into getting a dog that does not shed much (make sure the allergic family member has a chance to meet the pet before you take it home), or choose a different animal. Perhaps a cat, bird, tarantula, or fish might be easier on the sinuses. Many of these creatures also require less space and care than a dog. Make sure your parents are okay with these animals though, you don't want them to hate your new pet!


  • If your family already owns a pet, show that you can care for it. On a regular basis, fill its water bowl, clean out its sleeping area, tidy its playthings and ask if you can help feed it. All of these demonstrate that you can care for a pet.
  • If you get the pet you've been trying to get, follow through with your promises. Sometimes that pet may not work out, but if you're responsible with it then your parents may let you get another.
  • If your parents don't let you have a pet, don't throw a tantrum or beg incessantly. It won't help at all. Accept the fact that they say no at this point in time and be patient. Do extra chores around the house to get extra cash. Ask again in a few months and show them that you have earned the money to pay for the pet and its supplies. This will definitely impress them!
  • Go and help out at a shelter to show your parents you are responsible.
  • If you're old enough, see if you can volunteer at an an animal shelter or pet-sit for neighbors' critters while they are on vacation. These are both good ways to spend time with animals while you are waiting, and they will help you demonstrate your commitment and responsibility. Pet sitting or dog walking could even earn you a little spending money.
  • Be patient with your parents - they do love you. It may not be that your parents don't think you are responsible enough, but that they do not like pets or they don't feel they have the room or time. In this case, put on a smile and wait until you grow up, when you are the boss of the house. You may then choose a pet.
  • Watch Animal Planet and other animal shows to learn more about animals. Tell your parents the things you have learned about animals.Ask your parents if you can foster care for the kind of animal you want or another animal. When they see you taking care of it they might agree that you are ready or not.
  • If you are looking for a dog or cat, research local animal shelters. ( is a great website to find pets in your area that are for adoption.) This will show your parents that you are thinking beyond just what you want, but also thinking about how you can help an animal and the community. Adopting a pet saves an animal who needs a home and family. Also, adoption fees are frequently low and include vet fees and other expenses.
  • If you enjoy computer games or toys, try a Tamagotchi or join Neopets or Club Penguin and take care of virtual pets until you are able to have a real pet of your own.
  • If you have tried these tips and nothing works, try this: try harder in school! practice something you're not good in class at home! Your grades will go up! After your parents see your grades and how high they are, they will think you're almost there, you just have to help out at home more often! Then, your parents most likely will give you a pet! Well pets like hamsters, mice, guinea pig, fish and other little pets!
  • Get a pet that the whole family would be fine with, if a family member is allergic to a dog don't go for a hyper allergenic dog instead just remove the dog from your pet choices.
  • Do not buy Sea monkeys. They are very fragile and will die easily. If your parents see that you can't take care of what appears to be a simple aquatic creature, they will use it as an excuse against you getting a pet.
  • Try offering to take care of other peoples pets to show your responsible enough for a pet of your own. Make sure the pet you want is the pet your taking care of. For example, Maria wants a pet cat but her parents need her to show responsibility. She goes over to her neighbors house and offers to take care of her cat while she's in the hospital. If Maria does well, her parents have agreed to get a cat.
  • See if you can look after a neighbors pet for a period of time to try and prove yourself.


  • Pets are a lot of work. Make sure that you are prepared to own one. Are you ready to devote lots of money and time to your pet? If not, then maybe it's time to reconsider.
  • If wanting poultry, Have you checked that poultry and wildfowl are allowed to be kept on your property? It would be a shame to have to get rid of them.
  • Sometimes the reason you cannot have a pet (like a dog or cat) is not because you are not responsible. Sometimes members of your family may have allergies that will cause extreme discomfort.
  • Pets requiring a huge investment of time and money include: large breed dogs, horses, ponies, venomous snakes/spiders, etc. Be realistic about these sorts of pets and perhaps reconsider your desire for such a pet and change to one that is less expensive and is low maintenance.
  • Never get a pet without your parent's consent and knowledge. Not only will this have them distrusting you (and you will get found out if you're trying to hide it) but they may be disinclined to let you have a pet in the future.
  • Keep in mind that some people have trouble with the idea of mice, rats, insects, and reptiles as pets. If you run into a problem like this, consider choosing a different animal.
    • If you want a pet, look after it properly, treat it the way you would like to be treated.

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Categories: New Pets