And since they start asking for a cat or dog at age six, that adds up to 1,584 requests by the time they turn 18!

By Kelly Vaughan
October 29, 2020

Do you have little ones incessantly begging you to buy a pandemic puppy? Or do you recall a time when you, too, were that little one begging your parents for a new pet? As it turns out, you're not alone. According to new research, the average American child will ask their parents for a pet 1,584 times before they turn 18.

Puppy Licking Girl on Cheek
Credit: Larry Williams / Getty Images

A study conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Spin Master surveyed 2,000 parents of school-aged children and found that 74 percent of children have asked for a pet. But not just once or twice—on average, children ask their parents for a pet 11 times per month starting at the age of six. As for their pet preference, the survey says that 78 percent of those children ask their parents for a dog.

As the holiday season approaches, parents can expect to hear the phrase "can we get a dog?" even more often. In fact, 62 percent of children double-down during November and December and will ask their parents for a dog or cat up to 18 times a month.

"It's a dream come true for a child to receive the ultimate surprise on Christmas morning—a puppy," said Jean Gomez, Vice President of Marketing, Spin Master. "As some parents remember from their own childhood, receiving a pet for the holidays leaves a lasting impression—the ultimate surprise and moment of pure joy can be delivered during the holiday season, without the responsibility (or clean up) of a live pet."

To all the little ones, you may just be in luck. Eventually, parents give in to their children's requests. Approximately two-thirds of parents will get their children a pet after three years of hearing the same five words; 82 percent of parents who participated in the survey said they believe it's important for children to spend time with animals.

If you don't feel up for the challenge of raising a new puppy or kitten, consider getting a toy or robotic pet instead. "A toy pet can bring so much excitement and joy, while also acting as a step toward getting a real pet," said Gomez. "And while some parents may say no when asked 'can we get a puppy', an interactive pet like Present Pets that barks and paws its way out of the box can deliver that magical experience for the whole family."


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