If the kids are begging for a puppy, there’s a sure test to convince them whether they are really ready for a live pet at home. Ask them if they are willing to pick up dog poo. If they answer no, then there’s no puppy on the horizon. If they reply yes, let them prove it. Take them for a walk with a dog owner and let them see what happens in real life with nature. Better yet, let them prove themselves by picking up after that dog.
Too often, the kids get all excited only to ignore the realities of responsibility and mommy or daddy will end up having to do everything. Of course, if the parents truly want to take responsibility, that’s fine. But in many cases, they are already too busy and the result is yet another unwanted animal.
The maltese which my two lhasa apsos play with is a great example. Kid wanted a puppy. Wasn’t willing to pick up. Good thing the father loves the dog and is more than willing to do the dog care. Never see the kid even play with the dog outside much, never mind picking up after him.