National Pet Day

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Many of us parents have other “babies” in our home…our pets! April 11th is National Pet Day, a day to celebrate our furry (or maybe scaly) friends. This day was started by Colleen Paige, an animal activist, in 2005 as a way to bring awareness to the number of pets in shelters that are in need of forever homes.

Having pets and children can be a challenge for sure; it’s harder to meet the needs of animals after you have babies and kids in the home. And our pets sometimes take a backseat to the whole “parenting and keeping your kids alive” gig. But I think there are many advantages for kids to grow up with pets in the home. 

Anyone with a pet can attest to the adjustment period that happens after a baby enters the home. Sometimes it takes awhile for our dogs and cats to get used to the change, but once they do, it’s often so sweet to see how they love their new family member. As babies get older and become more mobile, it’s a nice way to teach “gentle hands” when interacting with pets. If you are thinking of expanding your family and purchasing a dog, here are some things to consider before getting a family dog.

As kids grow older, having pets is a great way to teach responsibility and contributing to the family. Kids can help feed pets or help with other pet-related tasks like letting them outside or taking walks. I think there is value in teaching children that’s it’s important to care for others, and this comes naturally when there are pets in your home.

And finally…is there anything cuter than babies and kids cuddling with furry friends? Let’s celebrate our pets and everything they bring to our families on April 11th!

If you are interested in adding a pet to your home, please consider adopting from a local organization. Both of our family dogs are both “mutts” and both are rescues; they are wonderful dogs who are amazing with babies and children. Columbus is home to many organizations that provide foster homes for animals, as well as many shelters. A few are linked below, but this is not an exhaustive list.

Animal Shelters and Adoption Centers in Columbus:

Cat Welfare Association

CHA Animal Shelter

Columbus Humane 

Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center

Pets Without Parents

Use this link: Cause For Paws Ohio to see pictures and information about some pets available for adoption. The list is updated twice daily.

National Pet Day

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Andrea Connell is social worker, wife, and mom to a smart, active, and sweet toddler, Brady. Originally from Lexington, OH (not Kentucky as commonly thought!), she moved to Columbus in 2001 to attend college at The Ohio State University, and it has been home ever since. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in social work, and has worked with children in some capacity for over ten years, including as a therapist, case manager, and early intervention service coordinator. She now works full-time for a large social service agency, but a flexible schedule allows her to manage work, motherhood, and domestic duties and keep (somewhat) sane. She met her husband, Brian, through mutual friends about six years ago and they have been married since 2013. Andrea loves living in Columbus and enjoys exploring all the fun places, events, and festivals that the city offers. Most weekends, you can find her and her family at the Columbus Zoo or any park that is conducive to expending toddler energy. She loves spending time with her friends and extended family, which includes ten nieces and nephews! Other interests include reading (when she can stay awake long enough to do so), occasional date nights with her husband, texting instead of talking on the phone, local coffee shops, live music, and attempting crafty projects that may or may not get finished.