9 Reasons to Say No When Your Child Wants a Puppy


Puppies are cute, cuddly and can be a lot of fun. However, they can also be a lot of work. Getting a dog is a big decision that shouldn’t be made on impulse. If your son or daughter has been asking about a furry addition to the family, it may be in everyone’s best interest to postpone or even pass on that pet.

Here are nine reasons to say no when your child wants a puppy:

1. Your child isn’t ready for the added responsibility

It’s important to make sure your kids are responsible enough to care for a new puppy. If they’re too young to really grasp the concept of caring for another living being, it’s probably a good idea to wait on adopting a dog.

2. You don’t have the time

If you know that your child isn’t old enough or interested enough to take on the responsibility of caring for a pet, you’ll be the one who gets stuck with feeding, walking and cleaning up after a puppy.

Between your job, errands and chores around the house, you may not have the time to devote to taking care of a dog.

3. You travel often

Whether you take frequent business trips or you just enjoy several vacations with the family each year, throwing a new puppy in the mix can throw a wrench in your plans.

Unless you have a trusted family member or friend that can “puppysit,” you can bid bon voyage to all those weekend getaways.

4. You don’t have the space

Puppies are full of energy and they usually need a lot of room to burn it off. It’s crucial that you have a large space for your dog to run, especially if you are considering a more active breed that will grow to be fairly large.

If you live in an apartment or your yard is quite small, you may want to pass on the puppy until your living arrangement changes.

5. You’re a renter

Many apartment buildings and condominium complexes ban pets entirely. You certainly don’t want to breach your contract and risk being thrown out of your home. Even if your landlord allows pets, dog odors and stains can be difficult to get rid of.

You’ll probably end up losing your damage deposit and paying fees for repairs and replacements. It may or may not be worth the trouble to you.

6. You have an infant or toddler

While your older children might be ready to take care of a new puppy, adopting one may not be appropriate for those with younger kids. Certain breeds of dogs can cause respiratory problems in infants and toddlers.

They can also chew and bite unexpectedly. Keep your littlest ones in mind before you begin the adoption process. You always want to make sure health and safety are the top priorities in your household.

7. You or another family member has allergies

If anyone in the household has allergies, that’s a very good reason to reconsider a puppy purchase or adoption. Puppies may be lovable, but it’s not worth it if you or a family member is in misery.

Prevent all the coughing, sniffing and sneezing by opting for less allergenic pets like fish or reptiles.

8. You have other dogs or cats that are temperamental

For families that already have dogs or cats, adding a new puppy to the equation can have unpleasant results. Some animals are more moody than others. Those pets may have a hard time adjusting to the new addition.

If the pets you currently own aren’t exactly friendly, it will probably be easier for everyone to leave things as they are.

9. You aren’t an animal person

Some people just aren’t animal lovers. That doesn’t make you a bad person; it just makes you a potentially bad pet owner. Animals can usually sense when their people don’t like them. That can end up having negative effects on a pet’s behavior and emotional well-being.

Trying to force yourself to be a dog lover won’t be beneficial for you or any dog you might get. It’s better to give that puppy the chance to be adopted by someone who will be thrilled to have him or her.

We all want our kids to have happy, fulfilling childhoods. Owning a pet can be a part of the quality upbringing we hope to achieve. However, making the decision to bring home a dog isn’t the best choice for everyone. When your child comes to you begging for a new puppy, sometimes you just have to say no. Any of the red flags on this list would be an acceptable reason to forgo that furry addition. Weigh your options carefully and consider your unique situation before making a final decision regarding obtaining a family pet.