National Kids and Pets Day on April 26th raises awareness of the importance of picking the right pet for children at the right time. It’s an important decision that can lead to a lifetime of bonding between pet and child.

The day also celebrates the bonds children and pets can share and a day to remember safety where our pets and children are concerned. There are many benefits of having a pet in a child’s life. From fostering natural nurturing abilities to developing responsibilities, pets have a lifelong impact on a child’s development.

It is also important to remember that small children as well as the pets may not know their limitations and should not be left alone with each other. They should always be supervised to prevent injury to both the child and the animal.

Even though dogs and cats are some of the most beloved pets in the United States, pet homelessness is a huge problem in the country. There are about 70 million stray animals in the United States. Up to 8 million of these animals end up in shelters. There are 3,500 animal shelters in the country. It’s at these animal shelters that pets receive a second chance. According to the ASPCA, over 3 million shelter animals are adopted each year.

No matter the breed, size, or demeanor of the human, or, canine, the shelter will take the time to find the right home for their animals. They schedule visits and have procedures in place to promote healthy adoptions for families and individuals. While some dogs have experienced injury or illness, the shelters work with veterinarians to heal the animals before making them available for adoption.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalKidsAndPetsDay

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In 2005, Colleen Paige, Celebrity Family and Pet Lifestyle Expert, founded National Kids and Pets Day.  

Kids and Pets FAQ

Q. My 10-year-old wants to get a pet. Is one pet better than another?
A. The right pet for your family may not be the right pet for the next family. It’s important to analyze the amount of time, space, and energy your family has to invest in a pet. Dogs require more attention than cats and cats require more attention than fish. But all of them need proper care, though they may be different kinds of care. Sit down with your 10-year-old and talk about the kinds of care required for the animal she’s interested in getting. Have her help a friend or neighbor care for their pets or ask her to volunteer to bring the class guinea pig home for the weekend. Volunteering at a local animal shelter will give your child hands-on experience caring for cats, dogs, and sometimes more exotic animals.

Q. Do dogs and cats get along?
A. Some do. When they’ve been raised together, they’re likely to learn to accept each other sooner than older animals that have just been introduced.