My Son Really Wants A Puppy. But, Imagine the Downsides!

Can science resolve this ongoing family debate?

Warren Thurlow
Aha! Science

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Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

My son has been begging me for a dog. I don’t know if I should give in. Imagine the scenario, you’re a busy parent and your child begs you for a pet. Initially you resist, but eventually you give in. An adorable fuzzball joins the family, and the kids fall madly in love with it. They take it for walks; they feed it; they groom it; and they pick up after it. But, with time, this enthusiasm wanes. The love doesn’t falter, just the vigor for the mundane responsibilities. Eventually, it’s left to mum or dad to do all the daily chores, and of course pay for the seemingly endless expenses.

This scenario has led to endless debate in our household. Exchanges of views that always end in a stalemate, and reignite a few weeks later without an end in sight.

Frustrated by the fruitless back and forth I delved into the science hoping for debate-ending clarity. It turns out that the science is a little fuzzy on the benefits of owning a pet for the general population. But, on the subject of pets and children, the evidence is rather compelling – pets are good for kids.

If my son (JT) and I were to present the research in the form of a school debate, JT for the affirmative and me for the negative, I’m sure the…

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Warren Thurlow
Aha! Science

Engineer | Writer | Investor | Writing about science, wildlife and life.