Classroom pets have been showing their (sometimes furry) faces in the classroom for decades!
They have been used as a teaching tool and to provide the class with some non-judgmental friends.
If you’re debating getting your class a pet, you will want to make sure to choose the best one for the class!
We’re here to help you with your conundrum. We’ve put together a list of some of the best pets for your classroom environment as well as some of the worst!
This article will help you to decide which pets you should opt for in your classroom. Let’s dive in!
Best Classroom Pets
It is useful to look into the experience of other teachers when it comes to classroom pets.
The most common class pet is a fish, and this pet has worked for teachers all over the world.
There are countless types of fish that you can add to your classroom to your kids excited about learning!
Fish are self-contained, meaning you won’t have to worry about your kids handling them too much.
Fish are also very soothing creatures, who will provide you with a tranquil addition to your room. You can add them to a chill spot in your classroom, making this area even more relaxing for the kids.
Students will learn a lot from having a fish in their classroom, too.
They will learn about the biology and behavior of fish, and how to provide a suitable and safe environment for their pet.
Depending on the type of fish that you choose, you may need to invest in a temperature-controlled tank.
Students will also have the opportunity to learn all about life cycles by having a fish in the classroom.
Fish are first on the list of suitable classroom pets, so this is one to consider!
Hamsters are another common classroom pet that is always in fashion! They make excellent classroom pets because they are very easy to care for, and they are very fun to watch.
With a hamster in your classroom, you will have the kids’ attention, for sure! You can teach them all about the interesting habitats and eating habits of the animal.
Hamsters are also great for the classroom because they are nocturnal animals. For this reason, they are likely to be asleep during the day.
Hamsters are not very social animals, so they don’t mind being alone in a cage. In fact, they much prefer it! They often fight with other hamsters if they share a cage.
Turtles are another pet that is perfect for the classroom. They take very little maintenance, so they will not take your time away from the kids!
Aside from this, these animals are perfect for the classroom.
They will simply need an aquarium that is temperature controlled, and they will need little maintenance aside from that!
They will not need to go for regular walks like some other pets!
Having a turtle in your classroom is a great way for the kids to learn.
It will encourage your kids to learn about the differences between reptiles and amphibians, as well as vertebrates and invertebrates.
Turtles are also very sweet-natured animals that bring calm to a chaotic environment.
As they do not like loud noises or too much activity, having a tortoise or turtle in the classroom can help kids to stay calm and focused.
It is a good idea to have a quiet corner where the turtle or tortoise is kept and where the kids can go for quiet reading or art projects.
These animals are very therapeutic, providing a listening ear to certain children who may not be very confident. They are also great at listening to the kids read!
Turtles have a very long life expectancy, sometimes living over 100 years of age.
It is important to bear this in mind when you are choosing your pet, as this may put you off committing to this pet.
Axolotl are wonderful animals that originate from Mexico. They require very little maintenance, only needing a clean tank and regular feeding.
These are things that the kids can learn to do themselves.
These animals are carnivores, and they are very interesting creatures that will give you lots of great topics to teach your kids about.
They have external gills and the ability to regenerate, which are super interesting facts for the kids!
These animals are very valuable for the classroom, and they make the perfect classroom pet that the kids will absolutely love!
Frogs make very good classroom pets. They are very easy to care for and can be left unattended for days at a time.
It is also very rare for students to have allergies to these animals.
Frogs are very common class pets. They only require feeding two or three times per week, and they are very well-behaved.
The one downside of having a frog in the classroom is the risk of salmonella. You will need to encourage frequent hand washing before and after the kids have touched these animals.
However, aside from this, frogs do not need a lot of cuddling or exercising. This means that they won’t be too distracting in the classroom.
Depending on where you live and the time of year, you will likely be able to catch most of the frogs’ food yourself, so they won’t cost very much, either.
Frogs can live for up to 15 years, so there’s not much risk that the frog will die during the school year!
6. Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are great classroom pets because they interact very well with children. They fit very well into the classroom setting because they are small enough to fit in a cage.
They are very social pets, so they are perfect for elementary-school-age kids. They love to be around people and they do not need much looking after!
These animals live a lot longer than other rodents which is important for small children who can get very attached to their classroom pets.
These animals will also provide very important lessons to the kids.
You can get them interested in the habitat of guinea pigs and their eating habits, among other things!
They have very individualized personalities, with some of these animals being very shy and reserved, and some being very comfortable with kids.
If anything, these pets are great listeners. They will provide a listening ear to the kids who are lacking in confidence.
Adding a pet to the classroom will help the kids feel comfortable and at home, and guinea pigs will definitely be able to provide this.
Worst Classroom Pets
There are lots of animals that could make this list, as there are plenty of animals that do not belong in the classroom!
One of these animals is a rabbit. Although rabbits are small and fit very nicely in a cage, they should not be kept in a classroom for many reasons.
Rabbits are not meant to be cooped up, they are meant to be able to roam around quite large areas.
They are also scared by noisy environments, so a classroom is not ideal for them!
Keeping a rabbit in the classroom is unfair to the rabbit, as it will not be getting the care or the environment that it needs.
Rabbits are also very distracting for the kids, as they demand quite a lot of care and attention.
They will end up hindering the kids’ learning rather than helping them!
They can also bite if they are in stressful situations, and a noisy classroom has the potential to make them feel very stressed.
You don’t want your kids getting bitten by the class pet!
Ferrets do not make very good class pets, either.
This is because, although they would fit nicely in a case in the classroom, they have been known to bite!
While they will not bite your kids badly, they may nip them, and this is not suitable for a classroom.
Biting is a natural behavior for these animals, and they cannot be trained otherwise. They are not aggressive, but it is playful for them to bite.
Ferrets also have a very specific, musky smell that can seep into your classroom. This may make it quite an unpleasant environment for learning.
All in all, ferrets are a terrible idea of a classroom pet. You are much better off with one of the other pets on the list above.
Chickens do not make good classroom pets for many reasons! They are not indoor pets, so they should not be kept in a classroom.
If this isn’t enough to put you off, chickens are also very loud animals, who are notorious for making lots of noise!
While chickens and chicks are very tempting to bring into the classroom because of the valuable lessons they provide, they are definitely not suitable for the classroom.
Chicks require a lot of care. They will also need to be under warming lamps which cannot be turned off when you head home on the weekend.
Chickens are also very messy animals, and they require you to do a lot of cleaning up after them.
You really should think twice before you bring a chicken into the classroom!
Don’t be tempted by those great lessons you can picture on chickens and their eggs!
Instead of bringing chickens into the classroom, you could always organize a field trip to the local petting zoo to see animals like this.
Petting zoos are very educational for the kids, and they will provide them with the opportunity to see lots of great animals.
Again, while birds are very educational creatures, they are not suitable for the classroom. They are very loud animals, and they require a lot of care and attention.
This is not suitable for a classroom environment as it will get in the way of the children’s learning.
As well as this, most birds do not like loud noises, and the classroom is a very loud environment!
This would not be fair to the bird, as it may alarm them and make them stressed and unhappy.
Bringing birds into the classroom will only result in stress for both the teacher and the animal, and it will end up interfering with learning.
On the surface, it may seem like caring for lizards is fairly straightforward, however, lizards need very specific temperatures to flourish.
This means that you are likely to have fatalities when you leave the lizards in school over the weekend.
This could end up being traumatic for the kids instead of providing them with a positive experience.
It would take a large amount of organization to bring lizards into the classroom, and it would not be worth the hassle!
What Is The Most Common Class Pet?
Class pets are very useful for aiding children’s learning and encouraging kids to enjoy school.
We have found that fish are the most common classroom pet, as they are very easy to care for.
Is It A Good Idea To Get A Class Pet?
This is a very important question and one you should seriously consider before committing to a class pet.
It can be a big commitment, and having a pet in your classroom may not be right for you and your teaching methods.
It is important to consider the lifespan of the pet. You will only have your class for a year or two, and your class pet is bound to live longer than this.
You’ll need to ask yourself if it is worth the commitment!
Pros Of Having A Class Pet
There are many benefits to introducing a pet to the classroom.
- Having a pet in the classroom provides the kids with important learning experiences like taking care of another living thing
- Caring for pets will teach the kids responsibility and compassion which are key aspects of social learning
- Having a class pet will help students develop an awareness of living things
- They are great for anxious students who lack confidence, they can be a listening ear or a friendly face to struggling students
Cons To Having A Class Pet
Deciding to get your class a pet is a big decision, and it can be a large responsibility. You need to make sure that you’re providing the animal with the care it needs to have a comfortable life.
You will need to consider the following:
- What the temperature is like in your classroom, and if it is safe for your pet, especially if the pet is being left in the classroom when no one else is there
- Who will care for the pet during the weekend or the school holidays?
- Whether the lifespan of your pet is a reasonable commitment
- The cost of caring for the pet and who will pay for it, including any vets bills
So, now that you have all of this information on the best and worst class pets, you should be able to make your decision on what is right for your classroom and your kids!
Remember to consider all of the pros and cons before getting your class a pet. They are a big commitment and the decision shouldn’t be made lightly!
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