I am a 9-year-old girl and I really want a dog. I have been a kid who wants a dog for years now. When I ask my parents, they usually say I am not old enough or not mature enough yet. How can I convince them that I am old enough to have a dog?
– Kid who Wants a Dog
DEAR KID WHO WANTS A DOG,
Why a dog, why not a cat? Ok, I know that kids and dogs are the American way. The advice I have for you really is for a kid who wants any kind of pet.
Younger kids usually are not ready for a pet of their own. Even if your parents allow you to have a pet and you are an older kid, the adults are still responsible for it in the end. So it is your parents’ decision. However, if they have said things like, “You are not old enough yet,” and they have said this for years, your chances are good. You may be able to prove to them that you are able to be a responsible dog owner.
You, being nine-years-old, are just about old enough to take care of a pet, or at least to be a big help with its care. I recommend that anyone getting a pet for the first time do their research on what it takes to care for that type of pet. So look into what it takes to be a responsible dog owner. You can read books or go online. Maybe make a list of all of the important things you would do for your dog. As well as how often you would do them.
A PRESENTATION FOR YOUR PARENTS
You could put together a slide show or speech for the benefit of showing your parents that you have what it takes to care for a dog. Include things like: the breeds, sizes and ages of dogs that would be a good fit for your family; the things you need to do for a dog’s care daily, weekly, and less often; and the items needed for dog ownership. There are many great dogs out there that need good homes. You might include statistics on that, like how many dogs are in your local shelters. You could also mention reasons for a kid to have a dog.
For a kid who wants a dog, it is important to talk to your parents about this subject when they are calm and not too busy. And don’t argue about it. That is one way to show them your maturity.
There are other methods of showing your maturity and responsibility. One is to ask your parents to help you volunteer at a local shelter or animal sanctuary to prove your animal care abilities. That will also give you training on caring for animals. Another is you could offer to care for the pets of your family or neighbors while they are away. Lastly, make sure you are doing your regular chores without your parents reminding you.
Remember, actions speak louder than words. Good luck proving that you are old enough, mature enough and responsible enough to own a dog.