Can I Get a Dog, Please?

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Dear Edda,

I really want a dog, but my parents keep saying no.  I have promised to take care of the dog and take it for walks and everything, but they give me lectures about how much work and responsibility it is, and then they say no again. How can I convince them that I can take care of a dog?


Responsible Kid

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Dear Responsible,

Why don’t you ask your parents if you can start with a smaller pet – say a turtle or a fish?  Tell them that you’d like to show them how responsibly you can take care of that pet; by feeding it and cleaning out its aquarium, etc.

If they still don’t think you’re ready, look around for a neighbor who might like some help walking or playing with their dog, and offer your assistance. The more experience you get, the better you’ll do when you eventually get a dog of your own. 

Good luck!


Edda is not a medical professional but a local lady who loves to give out advice, even when it's not asked of her. Submit your question to for Edda to answer.

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Basicinfo805 Jan 02, 2021 06:02 PM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

Dogs are great for kids. How old are you? I doubt anyone of us who grew up as kids with dogs would ever say that wasn't good. Parents obviously have to be able to bear the bulk of the financial responsibility, but that being said having a dog is a great way to give kids graduated responsibility.

SBSand Jan 02, 2021 07:34 PM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

Dogs are a massive responsibility and if they are renters instead of homeowners that is another consideration. Edda, I can't believe I'm going to say this but the advice was dead on today :)

a-1609753799 Jan 04, 2021 01:49 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

Yes. And the parents have to support and want the addition to the family 100%. And anyone other humans in the household.

a-1609647591 Jan 02, 2021 08:19 PM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

How about you pretend you have a dog for several days and show your parents you can do it? Set out (pretend) food and water. Clean up after the (pretend) dog eats. Take it for three or four walks a day. Clean up poop in the yard (or house!). Sweep and vacuum. Feed it again. Clean up again. Walk again. Show your parents you understand the relentless nature of caring for another life. Then maybe they’ll see you are ready to have a real dog that will make all the responsibilities worthwhile.

SBSand Jan 03, 2021 08:38 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

Hahaha!!! The humane society is asking for temporary foster families for dogs... they could do that and practice on a real dog and once the kid has had to pick up real poop, has had toys destroyed and had to get up in the middle of the night to take the dog out to go potty they may be able to see first hand how hard it is. There is no pretend substitute for picking up real poop though....

Lando Jan 02, 2021 10:22 PM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

the kid should pretend pick up dog shit? clean up after the dog pretend eats? :D thank you - laughing so hard. this made my night

Ahchooo Jan 03, 2021 11:12 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

It’s kind of like the exercise they do in some high schools, tasking students to “babysit” a raw egg, or in some districts a fancy electronic baby doll, for two weeks. That’s to give them an inkling of what it is like to care for a baby. The foster dog option would be more helpful of course.

a-1609691626 Jan 03, 2021 08:33 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

Adopting a dog is nearly as much responsibility as adopting a human. Please consider a cat - they are so much easier to care for. You'll need to earn their love, but once accomplished, you'll have a faithful friend for as long as they live.

AvaHowlingWolf Jan 03, 2021 08:36 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

It just sounds so nice in my head for a kid to have a dog. However, well mannered dogs take a huge amount of time and responsibility. This morning I had to get out early because the puppy, a blue heeler, ate late last night and didn't poop at 9:30 before bed. He was in need of that early morning poop. I don't care for him pooping anywhere without me picking up after him. He found a pine cone and became very interested in having it in his mouth rather than pooping. After convincing him to abandon the object in his mouth, he then decided to poop and run around like crazy. He doesn't stray far from me.
I know him by now. He is a double pooper in the morning. It was now light enough to get off the property and walk him for a mile or so and to allow for the second poop call, which he did, and I placed it in his blue, poop bag which I carried back to the house. I let him off leash and we roamed around the property for a bit and played with his ball. Back at the house I gave him his morning meal. All of this took about an hour.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed almost every minute of being outside with my buddy who is very eager to please me at 8 months old, about like a five year old kid, he also lacks some impulse control and it is challenge for me to make him the best dog that he can be. I am working on that. However he has a long way to go, but he is getting there.
I guess what I am saying is if you get your kid a dog, YOU have to really, really, want a dog. Pick the right right dog too. I wouldn't get a heeler for a kid.

greytfull Jan 03, 2021 08:44 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

Dear Responsible Kid,
Lean more on the facts that you'll be saving a life, learning to care about something other than yourself, learning to teach, to trust, and finding out what unconditional love is. These are invaluable life lessons that parents can't teach. You can tell adults who have experienced unconditional love from a dog from those who haven't. It's a privilege.

a-1609692519 Jan 03, 2021 08:48 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

And, the parent needs to commit to doing all those things when novelty wears off and the kid loses interest. It's not the dog's fault that this happens and the dog will really become one of the parents' companion, so the parent needs to be all in.

Andrea Smith Jan 03, 2021 10:08 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

Your parents are hesitant for a reason. Either they know you will tire of the responsibility and it will fall on them, or something else. Want to convince them you'll walk the dog, pick up after it, feed it, clean up, etc.? Start a small business walking dogs and if it's still allowed w/ COVID, volunteer at the shelter and commit to 2 days per week. Get back to us in a month or so.

biguglystick Jan 03, 2021 11:47 AM
Can I Get a Dog, Please?

I used to walk a seeing eye dog. I got to visit this dog every week and play with her while her owner worked. It was a great solution for me, since I can't have a dog of my own. Maybe you should look into dog walking? It was a win-win situation for me and the dog's owner. PLUS, I didn't have to pay for food, care and vet bills!

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