Ask A Trainer

Convincing Your Parents You’re Ready for a Pet

Kids, here it is. The ultimate secret to getting the pony or kitten you’ve always wanted even though your mom said no.

First, do some online or library research on the pet you most want to have. You can present your parents with your research when you’re ready.
What do they need and how much does it cost?

Not to much
Not to much
A Lot
A Lot

Does your neighborhood have an Association that makes rules for the neighborhood? If you live in a subdivision with a name on a sign with some landscaping, there’s a good chance there’s an association. If there’s an association, there’s a good chance of rules. Including rules about pets.

no_pets_leashYou should be able to find this information online by googling the name of your neighborhood, city and state.

If your family rents the house you live in, your landlord may have rules about pets. If your family owns the house you live in, their insurance company may also have rules about what breeds of dog are covered (some people think certain breeds are more dangerous than others). Just ask what company they use (Allstate, State Farm). You can look up their policy limitations on line.


Volunteer at the shelter to find out about caring for dogs and cats, hamsters and rats, and even the occasional farm animal. Volunteering at the shelter will also help you and your family understand why adopting or finding a reputable breeder is so much better than buying from a pet store.
If that’s all good, ask your mom what you could do to prove that you are responsible enough to take care of a pet. Offer examples such as keeping the lawn mowed and mulched for 3 months or the dinner dishes washed and put away for one month. If you do it, maybe she’ll at least concede that you know how much work it is and you can do it – even if that still doesn’t mean yes.
You’ll also have to get real about the money.

Adoption Fee

$ 50- 300 (sometimes includes spay/neuter, shots)
Spay/neuter, shots

$ 0 – 600


$ 50 – 200 (some shots have to be repeated throughout the pet’s life)


$ ???? Kinda depends on the pet. Find out.


$ Dogs need crates and beds and sometimes kennels. Cats need litterboxes and cat trees. Horses?
Better find a good online calculator.


$ See above

Petsitting and boarding

$ Of course, you’re going to be responsible for your own pet, but what about when the whole family is away? Can your pet go along? If not, who will take care of it?

You can get this money by pet sitting for neighbors or working at a local stable, babysitting or washing cars. Ask for money from relatives who give you birthday and Christmas gifts. Tell them you are saving your money for something big.

Even if your folks are willing to pay for medical care and food, it’s a good idea to do some chores around the house such as keeping the floor vacuumed once a week (dogs and cats shed!) as a thank you.
4HlogoIf you want a horse or dog, you may be able to co-own the pet and only have it part time, at first. Horse stables offer shared leasing of riding horses and dog breeders sometimes participate in 4H junior handling programs. Farmers may allow people to hatch eggs in an incubator or care for a young animal through 4H programs.

Keep volunteering, pet sitting, anything you can do to be around the animals you like. If you love it, consider an animal career.
I know it seems like forever but you’ll be grown up so soon, and you can definitely get the pet you want then.
This almost always works. Parents are so proud of you when you do stuff thoughtfully and thoroughly.
It makes them want to help you get what you want.