7 Subtle Ways to Say No when Your Child Wants a Pet ...

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It's hard to say no when your child wants a pet, and they keep begging you to let them have a puppy or kitten.

But pets are a huge responsibility, and you shouldn't let your kids have one just because they keep pestering you.

If you don't have the time, money or inclination to deal with a pet, you should say no.

Here's how to respond when your child wants a pet and you don't …

1. Offer an Alternative

One way of responding when your child wants a pet and you don't, is to offer them an alternative treat as a distraction.

It won't work if you offer them a choice, as they might opt for the pet.

But if you say they can have a gift or trip out instead of having a pet, they might enjoy the alternative so much that they forget about the pet.2

Just be careful that it's not a bribe, though.

2. Borrow or Foster

Children (and some adults) tend to have a rather rose-tinted view of a pet being all fun and no hassle, if they haven't dealt with the realities of pet ownership before.2

You may be able to cure them of their puppy obsession by borrowing a pet from someone else;

after dealing with the mess and effort, they might quickly lose interest.

You could also foster as a way of showing them the commitment involved.

3. Volunteer

If your kids are old enough, send them along to the local animal shelter as a volunteer.

Tell them that you'll discuss the issue again after 1 or 2 months of commitment from them.

A few weeks of cleaning out pens and walking dogs in all weathers should make them realise that pet ownership isn't all fun and play.

4. Toy Version

Younger children may be distracted by offering them a toy alternative such as a stuffed toy or a robotic dog.

This will give them the fun of having a 'pet' without giving you the responsibilities.

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