National Kids and Pets Day 2024: When & What Is It?

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There are dozens of interesting holidays throughout the year that are dedicated to bringing attention to animals in one way or the other. One such holiday is called National Kids and Pets Day, which is observed every year on April 26. The name of the holiday gives an idea of what the day is all about, but let’s explore in more depth when and what this event actually is and how it can be celebrated!

What and When Exactly Is National Kids and Pets Day?

National Kids and Pets Day was created in 2005 by family and lifestyle expert Colleen Paige as a way to bring awareness to animals in shelters that need loving homes, to highlight the magic of creating bonds with animals, and to educate the public about child and pet safety. For example, the day offers a great opportunity to teach children how to properly handle cats so they can safely interact with their pets.

What’s the Importance of National Kids and Pets Day?

woman introducing dog to kids
Image Credit: gpointstudio, Shutterstock

National Kids Day is significant in various ways. It brings attention to the benefits of bonding with and caring for pets that children can enjoy for a lifetime. For instance, when a child bonds with a cat (or any other pet), they have a safe outlet for their secrets and the thoughts that they don’t feel comfortable communicating with humans. Bonding with and caring for pets also offers children the opportunity to learn responsibility and respect for other living beings.

Pets can teach kids various lessons about important things like compassion and patience. Another benefit of pet ownership for children is the ability for them to be more active and get rid of pent-up energy. Getting to know pet cats and dogs as a child helps ensure that animals are looked at in a caring way as adults, which can help reduce the instances of animal abuse, neglect, and abandonment.

This holiday is also important for bringing much-needed attention to the fact that countless cats and other animals are living in rescue centers and homeless shelters around the United States and the world. The more attention that is brought to these animals, the better chance they have of finding happy forever homes.

Parents can also benefit from observing National Kids and Pets Day because it’s a reminder of the responsibility that they have to teach their children how to properly care for and treat animals, whether they are pets or strays.

How Is National Kids and Pets Day Observed?

two kids petting a cat on the street
Image Credit: Luidmila Kot, Pixabay

There is no right or wrong way to observe National Kids and Pets Day. No official events are organized or promoted, so you can be creative and come up with a few things to celebrate. If you have pets, spend the day participating in activities with them. Consider gifting catnip to your cat before a play session or spending time reading about how cats give birth, for example.

If you do not have any pets, consider taking your children to the humane society and volunteering to care for kittens for the afternoon. Maybe a friend or family member needs a pet sitter, in which case your kids can take the opportunity to learn more about animal care throughout the day. Another option is to make art at home that highlights your kids’ favorite types of pets. The options are limited only to your imagination!

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A Quick Recap

National Kids and Pets Day offers an excellent opportunity to teach children about the beautiful world of pet ownership and the plight of needy animals. It’s also a day to learn about and reflect on the importance of bonding with pets. So, mark your calendar for April 26 and start brainstorming ideas about how to celebrate this exciting day!


Featured Image Credit: Bear Fotos, Shutterstock

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