Updated on January 03, 2011
P.M. asks from Mechanicsburg, PA
25 answers

My husband and kids REALLY REALLY want a dog. I REALLY REALLY do not want a dog (been there done that). How do we resolve this??

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answers from San Francisco on

Do you know someone who is going on vacation and needs a dog sitter? Might be a good chance to see what it would be like.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I read something on the wall at the vets yesterday. It said "To err is forgive canine". Every dog I have every met loves you with it's whole heart and never complains or ignores you. If you want unconditional love....get a dog.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

A lot of rescue groups need foster homes for dogs. Why not foster a dog? It would be a way to help out a dog AND have a trial run with a dog with no long term committment. And if you fall on love with the dog, you can always "fail" at fostering (ie keep the dog).

PM me if you want more info on fostering-- we've done it several times. Good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

I have a dog and will always have a dog, but they are A LOT of work and are not for everybody. They bring soooooo much love and joy into a home, but they are such a mess. It is like having another child that never grows up. No matter how many promises your family makes to you, YOU will end up doing most of the work, so be ready. One thing I would suggest is to get a young adult rescue dog that is potty trained and possibly obedience trained, as well. If it is a reputable rescue group, they will be very informative on the personality of the dogs you can choose from. That would eliminate a huge majority of the work.

I once read a quote that goes something like this: Two things every boy needs: a dog and a mother who will let him have one. :)
Good Luck!!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

How old are your kids? IF they're old enough to help with the daily care of the dog, then you should let them get one. Make sure your husband is VERY clear about the fact that this is his ball of wax -NOT yours! He is going to be the primary adult as far as dog responsibilities go. It's very good for children to have pets and be around animals (it's actually really good for everyone). I wouldn't deny my kids that experience, but if your kids are really young and not able yet to take on the feeding, watering, walking and playing -then wait until they are.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from State College on

Here is my list of pros & cons we discussed. Obviously yours may be different but hope this helps!!

1. You don't want one
2. You already raised/are raising 2 kids & stopped @ 2 for a reason.
3. YOU will be the one taking care of it while kids are at school.
4. They are expensive. Who's paying vet bills? Professional grooming? (nails clipped, fur trimmed, etc). I'm assuming they don't have jobs ;) and an allowance won't cover it (which is your $ anyway)
5. Your everyday will be reminding & then fighting with the kids to do everything necessary to keep this creature (who never asked to be brought to your house) alive, healthy, & happy.
6. Barking, pooping, peeing-all take training/lessons. You will be responsible for paying for & transportation to those.
7. Kids will leave after high school (ideally;), leaving you to take care of it alone.
8. Remote possibility the dog could bite one of your kids or, god forbid, another child. Potential lawsuit. Dogs always have that wild card aspect to owning them. Unfortunately...
9. Fences, collars, leads, leashes, bones, toys, shampoos, etc, are all extras to be calculated in.

1. Having a loving animal the children will enjoy spending time with, bonding with, & (at least initially) taking care of together.
2. Children will always remember you were willing to get them a dog, thereby giving you leverage in the future =}
3. Possible defense against intruders.

In the end, it's your decision. You run the household. I told my kids they can have whatever animal they want when they have their own house/place to live. They have fully accepted that reality. Stick to your guns & they'll accept whatever substitute you offer (rabbit, hamster, cat,). We have a hamster. Typically live 2-3 yrs, fun to play with, easy to manage/take care of. It was also a test to see whether they would remotely continue interest in taking care of it. They didn't. Surprise ;D
Also, do you travel? Do you have a fenced in yard? Do you honestly have the patience to include another permanent toddler in your family? I obviously did not ;). Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I really like Julie B's answer, that sums it up well. Do you both work, and kids in day care? If you get a puppy, that first stage of chewing, digging, and potty training can really be a pain... check out doggie day care if possible, they're great, but spendy.
Labrador's make good family dogs, research breeds before you buy.
Good luck P.! You may even end up loving the dog too!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I've volunteered at an animal shelter for years, and the rule of thumb has always been that the 'really don't want a dog' wins this argument. We have too many dogs/pets coming in because they're not wanted. Since the responsibilities usually fall on the mother, you may end up resenting the pet and family members for sticking you with the tasks.

I'm not sure how other shelters work, but Animal Friends is so flexible for their volunteers. You come and go as you please, no schedule, and no obligation (I only did 27hrs in the entire year that I was pregnant, because it was high risk). You can do things as low key as sitting with dogs/cats/rabbits/etc. Or more maintenance things like walking/playing/cleaning/etc. You can also foster pets for as short as taking them out for an evening, to as long as watching them for weekends, weeks or months. It would be a great learning experience for everyone if you could sign up for some of that.

You could also go to pet stores to get the details on other pets (snakes, turtles, rats, etc) to see if any of those may fit the bill for you. The folks at PetSmart near our home are super knowledgeable and helpful. We have a few cousins who can't commit to the responsibility of a dog-owner and have found great pets in rats.

With either of those locations, someone else is explaining details to your family. Its not coming from you, and that may be the key here. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I love dogs, I have 3 that are non-shedding and small enough to pick up to put in the bathtub, remove from a situation if necessary, etc.

Since you do seem to be outnumbered on this issue, I would give in but take some steps to make sure you are as happy as possible with it. Jump on the band wagon and make sure you have a say in the type of dog it is. It should give you as little mess/work as possible because lets face it, Mom always remembers to care for the dog. I'd do a small to medium dog that is non-shedding and doesn't have a lot of energy or barking habits. Research the breeds and make sure it is right for your home and your family with regards to a fenced yard, etc. The bigger the dog, the more dirt it brings in the house and the bigger it is to bathe, feed and care for. Even larger dogs cost more for kenneling/dog sitters.

Remember that there are wonderful rescues out there for just about every breed so you don't necessarily have to get a puppy. Puppies can be a HUGE headache.

Since it doesn't seem you can beat them, you might as well join them and make the kids and hubby write down the schedule for dog care/feeding/brushing/playing/walking, etc. on a chart which will be monitored by you. They do need to realize the work and responsibility that comes with any live thing you bring into the house.

I wish you lots of luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

The thing is... WHO is going to be home all day with the dog? With a highschooler and middleschooler... my suspicion is that they aren't home much, and when they are the time is filled with schoolwork. So the kids will see the dog when they wake up, and when they get home from school/activities. Most highschoolers I knew were home for maybe 1-3 hours a day, and often less. And for kids like me (sports and drama) I'd often get home at midnight. So that means it's up to your 11yo... who is STILL gone for probably 8-10 hours a day. If Hubby is working, and you are either working or "not it"... how do your kids and hubby propose that that's fair to the dog?

Add in that in 4 years 1 child is moving out and 7 years the other (theoretically)... and most dogs live for 12-20 years... what happens to the dog? Can't take them to the dorm. Living off campus...okay... WHO gets to take the dog with them?

The moment the phrase "But you...." gets added "Nope. I'm not in this, remember? You think you can do this without me... figure out how."

They won't... unless your husband can take the dog with him to work.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lancaster on

Most animal shelters need volunteers to help walk and play with the dogs and clean up after them. Would your husband and children be interested in volunteering for a few months? They might get their dog fix and decide that they don't want one (or they they might fall in love with one and insist on bringing it home!) Either way they are getting a good idea of what it takes to care for a dog.

There are high energy dogs and low energy dogs. If you do get one, the most important thing is that it is a dog who already fits your lifestyle (active or low key, homebody or always on the go)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Are your kids old enough to help take care of the dog? Will your husband and kids agree to take care of the dog? From a previous posts if your kids are 11 and 14, if your kids leave for college at 18, the dog will still be around for years after that with just you and hubby to take care of it. I would say get a dog, but I LOVE dogs so I am biased. Some breeds are harder to care for than others, just do your research. Some dogs shed more, drool more, are harder to train, require more exercise, some require very little, some have very little odor or require less grooming, easily trained, etc. Size is something to consider too. Maybe you can compromise by getting an easier to care for dog. I have 3 and one has tons of energy and requires so much grooming, one is really easy but not friendly with strangers, one is very easy to care for but sheds like crazy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

There's two ways to look at it.

1. majority rules
2. make a pros and cons list, discuss them, and make your decission

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

i agree that a pros and cons list would be good. With all of your 'cons' reasons, have each member of the family sign off that they will take care of that issue (ie, husband will take dog to puppy school, son will clean up messes and puppy pads, everyone will take care of walks...) I think if you state your reasons (since they're valid, you've had a dog, you know what work it can be) - then they should respect your experience with dogs and as a family you can decide if now's the right time.

Perhaps, they could pet sit a friend's dog to see if it's really all it's cracked up to be.


answers from Denver on

Animals bring so much to a human - unconditional love, someone to talk to who doesn't talk back and when you're sad or sick a constant companion.

My husband came with 2 cats - I was not a cat person at all. I admit I don't mind them at all now.

I have a little Shih Tzu that I got from a rescue. Love her to death. I learned to groom her myself. It's easy enough to bath her in the kitchen sink. Walk her twice a day which is a total benefit to me!

Life changes after kids leave home or have friends they'd rather hang out with. Missy is my napping buddy and is always happy to see me when I come home from work! So, while I may not have my human children with me for long, I will always have my dog and the two cats. Ok, my hubby too.



answers from Minneapolis on

I haven't read all your responses so I hope I'm not repeating. Check out this website. You can check which kind of animal you're looking for, then check the characteristics you're looking for. ie... someone is willing to brush and walk the dog daily, it may come back and give you breeds with longer hair that are more active, like a sheltie, collie or golden retriever. If you're concerned about shedding, be sure to check that box. There's a few breeds that come to mind that don't shed, poodle for sure, and I believe maltese among others.


answers from Lansing on

Get a dog...and then tell your husband 'I told you so'.

It's good for kids to be around animals. And if you guys do get a dog, make it very clear that you want nothing to do with the dog, except maybe an occasional petting.



answers from Philadelphia on

I will say that having a small dog can be a help. (They pick up anything my son drops on the floor) Ha ha. My friend even has his small dog litter-boxed trained with an automatic scooping box! He uses an automatic feeder (on a timer) and one of those jug water bottles.

Maybe a short-haired dog wouldn't be too bad...
Or- if you think your family won't take care of a dog long-term you can try signing up to be a rescue dog family... or I believe there's even a site for people that want to foster animals or dog-sit for others (for pay).

Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

I would write the positve and the negatives down on a sheet of paper.

Also I saw somewhere that some places you can now rent dogs. If that is available in your area I would try that before you make a decision that would alter your day to day activities. Good luck.



answers from Redding on

I like dogs but they are so much work. I refuse to have one after ours passed away.
I would say to let them get one under the condition that you will never have to feed it or clean up after it, and that goes for vacuuming hair or applying Advantage or anything else, BUT, I have been tricked into this deal before.
"I'll walk it, I'll clean the poop in the yard, I'll feed it, I'll clean up after it."
It sounds good in theory until the fun wears off, usually in the first couple of weeks.
Once you get a dog you can't have the family freak out over getting rid of it if they don't do what they say and you end up doing everything you said you would not do.
Just my opinion and why I refuse to get another dog.
Love them.
But, too much work.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Suggest a fish instead ;)



answers from Raleigh on

A dog is a great way to teach kids responsibility. There are a lot of dogs out there which require a large amount of work and others which are more low key and low maintenance. I would suggest having a family meeting and laying out all the rules and expectations prior to even considering a new animal and making the kids take care of the dog (as much as they are able depending on their ages). My husband and I both grew up with dogs and got our own right after getting married. He is now 7 and we love him more than anything! We chose a Shih Tzu because that is what my parents got when I was in high school and I was familiar with the breed. They are small and don't shed, making it easy to travel with them and the smaller they are the smaller the piles they leave in the yard! (and less food they eat). Plus, they are sweet and gentle animals who are very loyal.
Btw, when my parents got married my dad said he would never have a dog in the house, now he has a dog sleeping in his bed with him.



answers from Las Vegas on

I was never interested in a dog, however we ended up with two. Both my daughter's love the dogs, however only participating in loving the dogs. My husband feeds the dog during the week and I do on the weekends. My husband picks up poop when I yell at him. One dog has passed and the other is growing older. No one walks her because she is too heavy and disobeys when around other dogs. She would knock us down and cause a lot of problems. She runs in the backyard.

Someone tried to break in our front door in May this last summer. I believe her vicious bark scared them away.


answers from Allentown on

Hi, P.:

I suggest you do a circle meeting about the dog issue.

Everyone come up with their reason for the dog and you give your reason for not wanting a dog and come up with a solution to meet both's needs.

Good luck.




answers from Detroit on

What are your specific reasons for not wanting a dog?

If you are not really on board, I would not get one, since you could end up being the one stuck with all the work. Everyone should be in agreement in wanting to get a dog. I don't know how old your kids are, but maybe if and when they are at an age when they can help out some (feed, water, walk outside for potty) it could be something to consider. I mean, is NO forever, or just for now? Maybe consider it in the future at some point?

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