Colossal (and Cute) OC Pet Expo

Love your lizard? Dig your dog? Coo over your kitten? Your convention is just ahead.

SLIPPING OUT THE DOOR, without your best pal in tow, can be difficult on any day of the year. If your Chiweenie has become accustomed to joining you on most outings, breaking the news to her that you'll need to go alone -- think the dentist, the opera, a board meeting -- can make all involved a little bit blue. But when you tell her that you'll need to slip out, on your own, to attend America's Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, the end of the story will be different. Unlike an appointment, or the opera, a trip to this huge animal-oriented convention is all about bettering the life of your furry or scaly or feathery companion back at home. Nope, your precious pup can't attend -- this is a humans-only deal, save for the visiting pet performers and demo participants -- but know that your at-home pet will absolutely reap the benefits of you attending. It isn't called...

THE WORLD'S LARGEST... Pet & Pet Products Expo for nothing. It's huge, it is rife with dozens upon dozens of vendors, people who know food and toys and grooming implements and health and play. The 2016 dates are Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24, and there will be many opportunities to awww over animals around the OC Fair & Event Center. Over one thousand beasties are expected, so look for snakes, tarantulas, and more -- some can be held, oh yeah -- as well as a bird show, cat-themed programs, and the always popular police K-9 demos (think agility, grace, smarts, loyalty). Splash dogs will also be on the grounds, showing off their swimming chops.

WANT TO ADOPT... a lap-ready pumpkin before heading home? There shall be adoption fair action, too, so come ready to cuddle and commune with some animals who need a home (there are groomers on hand for those adoptable pets leaving with their forever families). The long-running expo is both a mix of animal presentations and products/expertise that help enhance your animal's life back at home. And if your at-home beasties include the aquatic sorts, look into your young'uns joining the Kid's Aquarium Contest. Details, admission prices, and more? They're all here, woof woof.

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