There are no secrets here. We are not going to tell you to do anything sneaky, or anything that your parents wouldn’t approve of. However, we do think that cats and dogs do make the world and better place, and help us to develop qualities that make us more well-rounded and responsible humans. So we’re going to help you get them to understand why you should have a pet! If you have been begging and begging your parents to buy a cat or dog, here are some helpful things you can do to win them over to your side

Talk to them. (Ok, you’ve done that, we get it.) But this time, don’t give all the reasons why you deserve that puppy. Instead, listen to them. Ask them what their concerns are. Are they worried that with practice, school, homework, and busyness that you won’t have the time to take care of a pet? Are the worried that buying a pet is too expensive? Do they think having a pet would just be too stressful, or is there just a lot going on in the family that requires all the attention? Are they worried about allergies? Is it a spatial concern? Find out what the hitch is, so you can help them find a way to resolve it.

Reassess the situation. After you discuss the details with your parents, try to decide if there is any way you can help them with the issues. Can you readjust your extracurricular activities, or change up your school schedule to accommodate animal care? Are there things you can do to prove that you are ready, or maybe help shoulder some of the responsibility? Here are some ways you can address their concerns:

Money issues. If your parents are worried about the cost of a pet, they are not just thinking of the purchase fee, but all the food, toys and items that come with it. (That’s not even considering any medical bills that might come up down the road!). Think about what you can do to help. Is there an after school job you can take on? If you can, offer to babysit, pet-sit, or become a dog-walker for people in your neighborhood. If you are artsy, make some beautiful projects, or host a yard sale and post signs that say “Help Me Save Up For a Dog.” Parents love it when they see their kids set goals and work responsibly to reach them.

Settle on an agreement. If finances are a concern, but you are not sure just how you are going to cover ALL the vet bills, food, toys, leashes and objects the animal will need, see if your parents would be willing to strike a deal with you. Maybe if you offer to save up for the purchasing price of the dog, they could help out with buying the food/toys/paying for the shots, etc.    Don’t be too discouraged if your parents agree to this, not every dog or cat breeds costs more a whopping $1,000+. Many adoptions places will let you get a new pup for about $200-300. As long as you are flexible and keep your eyes open, you could find a great deal!

Alternative options: If your parents are not willing to budge there are a few things you can do. See if you can volunteer at an animal shelter, or a pet store nearby. If getting a ride is an issue, ride a bike, skateboard to the shelter. Many rescue homes like having consistent people come in regularly to socialize and play with the animals. While you are saving up for your pet, or unable to have one of your own, there are plenty of dogs and cats that need love and affection. Who knows, maybe your parent’s circumstances will change, and they will note your reliable care for the rescue pets. Another way you could spend time with animals, is to make a fliers and business cards for pet-sitting, and dog-walking. You might actually get enough clients to have a small business develop, where you get paid to play with pets! Even if you don’t succeed in getting your parents to agree to a new animal, there are still plenty of ways to have the company of a dog or cat without owning one yourself.