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Want to Buy a Dog? Here’s How to Convince Your Partner That You Both Need One

Does your significant other say N-O to the idea of a dog? We have 15 ways to change the answer!

Want to Buy a Dog? Here’s How to Convince Your Partner That You Both Need One

Nellie, your beloved childhood dog, was the best beagle ever. Who cares if she stole entire bags of marshmallows and shredded the kitchen towels? And now you want to get a dog so your own family can enjoy the same experience, but your significant other is putting up a fight. Too much work, he says, and walking her in the rain just doesn’t appeal to him. But somehow, your home won’t ever really feel complete unless you buy a dog! What should you do?

Try logic and science: Kids raised with a dog are less likely to develop allergies, according to a study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. Think of all the money you’ll save by not having to buy all those allergy meds!

Or you could mention that having a pet means getting a great workout. Michigan State University notes that people who own and walk a dog are 34 percent more apt to get the correct amount of federally recommended exercise and reach their personal exercise goals, too. (Forget having to buy that Fitbit!).

By all means, don’t pitch a fit — even if you’re tempted. Instead, here are 15 ways to get your lover on board the doggie train:

  1. Use the Kids as Secret Weapons
    Desperate times call for drastic measures. Ellen Janssen of Suffolk County, New York, ended up using one of her children to get her way regarding a doggie addition. “My husband was dead set against getting a dog because he thought he’d end up walking him the most,” she explains. “Amelia, our youngest, was able to wear him down!”
  2. Do a Background Check
    There could be a good reason your spouse isn’t into dogs. Ask if there was some bad experience he had as a child or maybe just a plain fear of dogs. Then see if he is willing to spend time with friends who own dogs to see if he can start getting over his fear.
  3. Baby or Puppy?
    Hmm, which costs more, a third child or a dog? Enough said.
  4. Bring Out the Photos
    Steal this tip from Jackie Miles of Westport, Connecticut, who decided to show her spouse just what he’d be missing. “I presented my husband with the most adorable pictures of our dog-to-be, Rosie, and he finally came around.”
  5. Tug on the Ol’ Heartstrings
    Who wouldn’t feel compassion for a homeless puppy? Everyone has a soft spot for an animal in need. Once your spouse is a little teary, break the news that the dog you want also has a sister.


  6. Get Lost by the Shelter
    You’re going to the store with your spouse, but accidentally take a wrong turn. Oh look, you just happen to be driving past the dog shelter — what a coincidence!
  7. Male Lineage
    This dog will be the son he never had! He can even name him Henrik Lundqvist, after his favorite hockey player.
  8. Lighten His Load
    Vow to him that you’ll do all the work — and stick to your promise. Then after you buy a dog, get the kids to do most of it for you.
  9. Protect and Serve
    Who’s going to keep you company when your partner works late? Who will bark at strangers in the middle of the night? Your new dog, that’s who!
  10. Less Anxiety
    Is your partner a bundle of nerves? Let him know that having a dog can be a very Zen experience: owning a pet is associated with a reduction in stress.
  11. Buds for Life
    He loves to hike, but you, not so much. He wants to camp, while you’d rather chew tin foil than go camping. The solution? You guessed it. He can even take the dog — and not you fishing.
  12. Fetch His Slippers
    Tell your partner he’ll be treated like a king by the new dog. Promise to teach the pup to fetch your husband’s slippers, newspaper, book and more.


  13. Fewer Houseguests
    Do you have a crazy aunt, strange co-worker or other equally annoying person in your life as a couple? Inform your partner that the dog will stop these people from coming over (“Sorry, Bill, but the dog just doesn’t like new people!”).
  14. Remember That Fit You Weren’t Going to Throw?
    Okay, you weren’t going to pitch it, but if nothing else works, just go ahead and make a small fuss. It’s not like you’re asking for a Mercedes, a diamond necklace or a trip to Maui.
  15. Subliminal Advertising
    Stop talking about it. Instead, put pictures of dogs all over the house — dogs playing fetch with their owners, exploring the woods with their owners, lounging on the couch watching TV with their owners.

Significant other still not convinced? Check out The Top 10 Low-Maintenance Dogs.

Jennifer Kelly Geddes is a New York-based writer and editor who specializes in parenting, health and child development. She’s a frequent contributor to and the mom of two teen girls.