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The Columbus Pet Expo Is Great Family Fun in Central Ohio

Updated on August 1, 2017

Bring the Whole Family

Each spring, Columbus is the home of the annual Pet Expo. Animal shelters and humane societies from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and other neighboring states bring some of their pets that are available for adoption and put them on display, hoping to find a great fit for everyone involved.

In addition, vendors run booths promoting pet products, including food, doggy clothes, leashes, toys, and most anything that is related to animal care. You will also find gifts, souvenirs, and customized tee shirts.

There is an area set aside for kids where they can jump in inflatables, visit a small petting zoo, and even purchase a wrist band for the various rides. Plus, they can get their picture taken with the Easter bunny. If face painting is their thing, there is always at least one booth set aside for it.


The Vendors

Wherever there are crowds, you will naturally find companies and local businesses looking for new customers. Many creative individuals are showing off their talents at the event. Some of them are painters, clothing designers, lamp makers, bakers, or even seeking investors in new ideas for a better litter box.

There are also bigger corporations that advertise here. The more familiar names would include Petsmart, Petco, PaperMint, Kroger, and the Sunny 95 radio station. They usually have freebies to give away, discount coupons, and various promotional offers.

Pet supplies are the most popular item available for sale. You will see every possible variety of leash, dog or cat toy, and bird feeder that you can think of. Additionally, you will see new improvements in the pooper scooper and in the electronic training dog collar.

It is also quite common to see crafts that are available for purchase, such as a homemade "dogs playing poker" item.

Many vendors sell their animal-related crafts
Many vendors sell their animal-related crafts | Source

My own personal favorite is the snack booth for dogs. They create treats to look like human food but made with ingredients that are perfect for canines.

One of the booths that sell pet snacks
One of the booths that sell pet snacks | Source


Have you ever adopted an animal from a shelter/humane society ?

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The Petting Zoo

Courtesy of The Farm at Walnut Creek, there are several animals that children and adults alike can pet, feed, and sometimes even brush their hair. These include goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, camels, chickens, and rabbits. You can get brochures and information about their amazing farm in Sugarcreek, Ohio or just ask the Amish family any questions you have about their attractions that are open year-round.

Baby camel from Walnut Creek Farms
Baby camel from Walnut Creek Farms | Source
Petting zoo
Petting zoo | Source

Kid World

There are tables set up where children can color and paint pictures, courtesy of the event sponsors. If you trust your kids, you can let them decorate your face or arms with washable paints

After they get bored sitting down, which won't take long, they can head over to the inflatables and bounce around for a while.

Fun for the kids
Fun for the kids | Source
Slide right out of a dalmation's mouth !
Slide right out of a dalmation's mouth ! | Source

They can also entertain themselves on the small selection of kiddie rides, which includes swings, a merry-go-round, and a few other assorted attractions.

The popular swings ride with an Angry Birds theme
The popular swings ride with an Angry Birds theme | Source

PBJ Connections

No visit is complete until you stop and say hello to the wonderful people at PBJ Connections from Pataskala, Ohio. They provide mental and behavioral health therapy to youth with the help of horses. They are a leader in the field of equine-assisted psychotherapy. The horses help in the healing of a variety of issues that clients may have. I personally send a small donation each year to their facility through a program called Kroger Community Rewards.

While visiting their section of the Expo, you simply MUST see Rocky, the gorgeous pony and self-proclaimed "Rock Star" of the clinic.

Rocky the pony from PBJ Connections
Rocky the pony from PBJ Connections | Source

The Shows

Throughout the weekend, you can enjoy a number of various animal shows. The entire family can find at least one performance that each will be excited to attend.

One of the popular areas is Horse World. You can watch local riders jump fences and race around barrels. The owners are always friendly and will let you visit their horses or even take a ride if you are up for it.

Jumping exhibitions take place  in the outside arena
Jumping exhibitions take place in the outside arena | Source

You can also visit "That Guy with the Birds", John Lege. His interactive Parrot Education Program includes music and magic from his highly-trained parrots.

In Reptile World, you can see up to 50 different species and even touch a few if you are brave enough !

Dog shows are also quite popular to the visitors. You can watch them catch frisbees or run around an obstacle course. Usually, the police will bring one of their trained "deputy dogs" to educate the public on their role in the force.


Volunteers from dozens of shelters walk around the event with dogs and cats, hoping they will entice you into considering adoption. They are always friendly, courteous, and eager to answer any questions that you have. The animals crave your attention, so be sure to give them a friendly pat when you get a chance. Don't forget the hand sanitizer, though, so you don't give them cooties.


Dock Diving Dogs

Perhaps the attraction that garners the most interest is the huge pool where local canines show off their diving skills. You can watch the top competitors in the state as they leap into the water and try to break the records for distance.

Additionally, for a fee, you can attempt to let your own dog take a turn. However, that doesn't always work out the way that the dog owner plans. It's fun to sit in the bleachers and watch the animals splash around and bark in excitement.

Food and Drink

A food court area is set up where you can purchase all of your favorite concession foods. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, cotton candy, french fries, and popcorn are all ready for consumption.

I also recommend a tasty snowcone from Kona Ice !


Time to Say Goodbye !

After a fun but exhausting day, you can grab a souvenir or a new toy for your pet at home. Unless, of course, you go through the adoption process and take a new family member with you. Regardless, the Columbus Pet Expo is a great way to spend the day !

Feedback is appreciated. Thanks for reading !

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