Convincing Your Family That You’re Ready for a Pet

Sharing life with a pet can bring happiness, comfort, and plenty of fun for an individual or family. Pets can provide kids with companionship and plenty of learning opportunities and can encourage exercise.

The decision to adopt a pet is one that should never be made in a hurry. Pets are intelligent living beings that have thoughts and feelings. Dogs, cats and other pets can never be cast aside when we are busy or lose interest. When you decide to adopt a pet, you are taking on additional responsibilities that will last a lifetime.

The first step in convincing your parents to adopt a pet is to find out what they think about having a family pet. The more you can find out what concerns them, the better you can be prepared with your ideas. There are several reasons why your parents may not want a pet:

1. Cost. Not only is there the expense of the adoption, but there are routine veterinary bills, food and other supplies, grooming, and obedience classes.

2. Additional Chores. Dogs have to be walked several times a day. Cats need their litter boxes cleaned. All animals need to be fed and played with daily.

3. Long-Term Commitment. Pet owners must be prepared to care for their pets for its lifetime. Some dogs and cats can live for 15-20 years. That probably means that your parents will have to step in when you leave home to go to school or work.

After you find out why your parents are concerned, you can develop a plan. Explain to your parents why you want a pet. Tell them about the advantages of having a pet, and try to answer their concerns. If someone has an allergy, a dog that doesn’t shed may help. If cost is the issue, can you help pay some of the bills?

Will you be able to train a dog or know what to do if your cat suddenly starts refusing to use the litter box? Why not start reading some books on dog training or feline behavior?

If your parents need to think about the decision, give them the time to do so. Don’t nag about getting a pet. This will only irritate them, and if your parents still say no, be prepared to respect their decision.

If they say yes, congratulations! The Humane Society of Harford County has a loving, life-long companion waiting to be adopted into a good home like yours. We have more than 4,500 homeless animals pass through our shelter each year in need of a happy life and a family to share it with. In addition to cats and dogs, we offer rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, birds, reptiles, farm animals and so much more.

The process of choosing a pet is exciting and the rewards are many. All kinds of special animals are waiting to find their forever homes at the Humane Society of Harford County. Come visit and find a best friend!