Mom, Dad, Can I Have A Pet? Three Reasons To Consider Before Answering


This is a partnered guest post.

If you didn’t grow up in a pet owning and loving family, or if you dislike the idea of having animals around the house, your kid’s request for a pet can turn into a dilemma and even a conflict. Many children ask for a pet in their early years and if you didn’t yelled a categorical “No” yet, means you have to at least give the matter a thought and offer your child reasonable arguments for your decision. But unless you are allergic to anything that has fur (although fish and birds make excellent pets too), let’s see what you’re afraid of:

–          The mess: yes, you may have fur and hair floating all over the house, not to mention dirty paws when the new family member enters the apartment. If you own a house with a yard, the cleaning and maintenance seems twice as hard. And having a dog jump on the bed is a nightmare many families would do anything to avoid.

–          The delegation of responsibility: many parents fear that the child will only want a pet for the fun of it, but all the chores will fall on the others’ shoulders. Walking the dog two times a day, be rain or sun shine, feeding the animal, curing it when it’s sick, watching not to get hurt, discipline it, train it and so on, make the parents be reluctant to getting a pet.

–          The financial burden. The vet usually costs a lot, not to mention regular maintenance, vaccines, treatments, food and even toys. Your child will be more than delighted and excited to get the fluffy pet all possible toys and accessories and they are plenty. Visit here to get a clue of what can make the child and the pet feel like seventh heaven. Prices? Not always comfortable, especially those for medical purposes.

So reasons to say “No” are plenty, and usually parents invoke all of them. But before stomping your foot to the ground, let’s take a look to the other side of the moon and explore the reasons you should take into account before reaching the verdict.

            1.      Having a pet does teach your child responsibility

Maybe they won’t walk the dog in the rain at 7 a.m. but with the right guidance, they can learn to feed the pet, protect it, clean after it. Experts say that having a pet teaches a child not only a direct sense of responsibility to a life that depends on him, but develops the child’s self esteem, self – confidence and decision making abilities, it teaches a lesson about consequences and problem solving strategies.

            2.      Having a pet makes your child more adaptable

Having a pet means something to care about, grow attachment for, play with and learn different levels of communication. Studies show that having pets from early stages helps children develop empathy, emotional intelligence, non-verbal communication skills and even cognitive intelligence. It means it’s more useful for him or her as a human being than watching TV.

           3.      Having a pet makes the child more comfortable

We are talking about psychological comfort and even physical one. Parents work most of the day and kids spend quite a significant amount of time alone in the house. Pets make them feel safe, less lonely and more prone to overcome shyness, anxiety and emotional conflicts. In other words, pets make the children become more sociable, friendlier, less introverted and a lot more spontaneous.

There are a lot of reasons why parents should allow pets in the house, from the scientifically proven fact that pets improve a child’s social and intellectual skills to the anecdotic proof that it can build stronger, healthier relationships between the parents and the child and the parents themselves. But letting go of the cost – benefit balance you are inclined to make, maybe one of the strongest reasons to let your child have a pet is that it will make the kid happy.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. we’ve definitely seen a difference in how our daughter(s) take care of the pets. We first got a dog, now we have 2 dogs, 2 birds, and 2 fish. They love taking care of them like getting their food, changing the bird water, feeding the fish, and sometimes even taking the little dog outside. Our bigger dog would drag the kids everywhere if they tried to take her outside, lol

  2. We have oodles of pets and the boys definitely understand that they have to help take care of them.

  3. We have a dog & we had her even before we had our son. My son & I were begging my husband for another dog a few months ago- I half-think that’s why he agreed to another kid {so we wouldn’t get a puppy}!

  4. We have two dogs and they are spoiled rotten.

  5. All of these are great things to consider. We really didnt understand how much weight it would put on our family when we got a lizard.

  6. Our long time rule was no pets until all three of our kids were potty trained. We stuck by it and we all couldn’t be happier, including our dog Harvey!

  7. We don’t have any pets right now. Our cats passed away shortly after kids came along, and we haven’t wanted to put another pet through the terror of our two young boys. In the future, we will probably have a pet.

    My one bit of advice… if you truly are unsure, stick with the NO!

    Bringing a pet into your house is a commitment, and I’ve seen too many folks get a pet and then just get rid of it when it turned out to be less convenient than expected. That’s not fair to your kids or your pet.

  8. We have a small dog and our girls love her. I didn’t grow up with a pet, so I’m glad my girls have one.

  9. I’ll never forget the summer when the girl I babysat for wanted a dog. She talked about it so much that her family told her if she talked about it anymore they wouldn’t get one, so then she talked to me all about it. 🙂

    We have two cats that we’ve had since we moved in together. I’m sure Nick will want a dog some day. I refuse to get one until we get an underground fence though.

  10. With my allergies, unfortunately to my husband and sons dismay, I do not think we will ever get a dog/cat.

  11. I can tell how having a dog has been great for the Little.

  12. We currently have 12 pets. TWELVE PETS …. sigh … and, yes, my daughter is asking for another. But, yeah — we are DONE. Pets aren’t cheap!

  13. We have had our dog for almost ten years, so my three youngest kids don’t know life without a pet. I think he’s a faithful friend to all of them.

  14. Great reasons – we have a few years to wait until my son is old enough to take on this responsibility

  15. My daughter is in love with out two dogs. I’m so glad we adopted them for her!

  16. We have one dog and I’m trying to teach my three children to properly care for him.

  17. We have two dogs and one is a little more kid friendly than the other. Our kids love them both though.

  18. My daughter really wants a dog but I’m allergic so our pet consists of one fish.

  19. I don’t have any pets lately. That’s weird for me because I pretty much always have in the past. At the very least I’d always had fish.