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National Kids and Pets Day 2023: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

children with pets

National Kids and Pets Day was first launched in 2005 by Colleen Paige as a way to celebrate the strong bond between children and pets and to help raise awareness of pets in shelters. Owners are encouraged to help develop the bond between their children and their pets while also learning and teaching safety practices between children and animals.

The day is part of National Pet Month and National Kids and Pets Day is celebrated every year on April 26th.

Kids and Pets

There can be a very strong bond formed between children and pets. Many adults fondly remember their childhood companions, whether they were dogs, cats, rabbits, or small animals. And, while we may not have realized it at the time, our childhood pets were helping teach us valuable skills that would stay with us into adulthood.

Parents teach children to be gentle with pets. Rather than rushing in and grabbing at a cat or poking a dog, pets teach children that they need to be gentle. It is especially important to remember that while family pets might put up with some more rambunctious behavior from their own family members, other animals in the street may not be as forgiving or understanding.

Pets can also be a good way to teach responsibility. While parents are ultimately responsible for the health and well-being of the pets, children can be encouraged to feed, exercise, and provide other elements of care for their pets. It is important that you monitor whether your child is performing the required tasks, and make sure your pet is properly cared for.

They can also teach compassion. Children will learn to recognize when a pet needs exercise or when they need feeding. Empathy is a learned skill and pets can help children develop it. Not only do pets teach children essential skills, but they also provide several benefits.

Pets have been shown to be beneficial for people of all ages, including children. They can help improve physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. They provide companionship and friendship, and they can offer a source of comfort.

young girl playing with a cockapoo dog on the grass
Image Credit: platinumportfolio, Pixabay

National Kids and Pet Day Recommended Activities

National Kids and Pet Day is generally celebrated at home, and there aren’t any organized events, although this may be different in your area. Use it as an opportunity to get pets out for exercise and to spend time playing with the children or go out on a family walk. You can also buy toys that they can enjoy together, or even get a portrait done of your child and pet together. And be sure to get plenty of photos that you can all look back on in the future.


National Kids and Pets Day is marked on April 26th every year, having been started in 2005. It celebrates the strong bond that often forms between children and their pets while celebrating the mark that pets leave on children, even as they age and mature. It is also a good time to remind children of safety and care instructions for their pets and how to deal with other animals they might see outside the house.

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Featured Image Credit: Oksana Shufrych, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is a lover of animals of all sizes but is especially fascinated with the feline variety. She’s the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese, and works every day so he can relax in the sunshine or by the fire. She’s always had a cat in her home and has spent countless days with others, observing behaviors and softening up even the grouchiest of the lot. Nicole wants to share her kitty expertise with you so you and your cat ...Read more

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