By Robbi Hess — Managing Editor, Pet Calendar; Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor; Chief Cat Herder
National Kids and Pets Day was created by celebrity family and pet lifestyle expert, mother, pet lover and former EMT, College Paige. It is a day that the team at Positively Woof and Crimeless Cat embrace because we know the importance of introducing children to pets at an early age. Studies have also shown that children who grow up with pets in the household are more compassionate and empathetic — who wouldn’t embrace those tendencies?
To celebrate this day, we spoke with Caroline Golon, founder and principal at High Paw Media and asked her a few questions about the importance of kids and pets. Here’s what she said.
“I think my kids are confident around animals, which I think is a good life skill.”
Caroline said that her children understand that animals deserve respect and that it’s important to ask pet owners whether you can pet their dog or cat before they try to pet them. “It’s important to just nor rush an animal, not to bother them when they are sleeping or eating. I have taught my kids how to gauge our pets’ body language.”
Pet Calendar: Kids And Pets Day
Caroline summed up my feelings in this one sentence. “Our pets are non judgemental BFFs (best friends for ever) and they will always be by your side.”
I understand that so thoroughly because my diva poodle, Henrietta, never left my side when I was battling cancer and she offered silent, never ending comfort. I truly felt that she read my moods as much as I read hers and she offered me companionship and comfort.
When it comes to sharing life with pets, Caroline said, “There is always something funny happening between our kids and the pets. I think it brings our family closer when we are laughing together about how funny our pets are.”
We asked Caroline to give us some tips on how to introduce children to pets and how to make certain they get along safely.
Kids and Pets Safety Tips
- Space. Always give pets space, especially when they are eating, sleeping or playing with each other. If a pet moves away from you when you’re trying to pet them, give them space.
- Responsibility. Give kids easy and age-appropriate chores to help with the pets like making sure water bowls are filled, brushing them (if it’s a safe activity and the pets like it), feeding, cleaning litter boxes or picking up poop.
- Training. My kids love to ask the dogs to sit, shake, down. My ten-year-old even taught one dog to roll over. I ask them to practice these activities with the dogs because it’s fun and benefits all involved!
Caroline, what was your first pet?
A gerbil named Peanut. My brother had a black gerbil named Midnight and we would make them mazes. It was a great bonding experience with my brother and we loved those gerbils so much!
I understand you and your girls have a great story to share about the importance of fostering.
Last summer, my girls and I fostered a couple of batches of kittens; twelve total in all (they overlapped at one point) and it was AWESOME. Such a great experience that I highly recommend.
I told the girls their job was to socialize the kittens so they would learn to love humans and get ready for their forever home. They took it upon themselves to “work” with the kittens every day. They’d read in the “kitten room,” and play on their iPads in the kitten room and even eat lunch in the kitten room. Kittens are hilarious and it was a great way to spend some time over the summer break.
Fostering is SUCH a great thing for kids. The girls want to do it again this summer.
How will you and your children celebrate kids and pets day on April 26, 2019 and every day of the year?