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Top 8 Classroom Pets
Many teachers choose to keep pets in their classrooms. While these are stereotypically used for teaching about science, they also teach children about things like responsibility and kindness. Plus, animals often bring out the best in children.
Not all pets are suitable for classrooms, though. Here is a list of the best classroom pets.
The 8 Best Classroom Pets:
Mice may send shivers down some people’s spines, but they make good classroom pets. They are easy to care for and require little space. They are often good-natured and may enjoy interacting with others.
They also don’t typically need a fancy diet like some other small pets.
However, they can be a bit nippy, which is often a huge turn-off for children. Mice explore things with their teeth, including small hands.
2. Leopard Gecko
A Leopard gecko isn’t an animal that most people see frequently, so it is often interesting to children. These reptiles don’t require much room due to their small size, but they do need a heating source. You can tame them with regular handling, though smaller children often aren’t gentle enough.
They do need to eat insects. While some kids may find this entertaining, you have to consider where you’ll store these insects. These geckos will only eat live food.
Guppies are pretty fish that are also inexpensive. Fancy guppies can cost more, but they are still quite cheap compared to most other fish out there. Guppies will breed in a tank easily, so you should never need to purchase more.
However, aquariums can be complicated to set up and require a great deal of maintenance. Also, due to overbreeding, guppies can quickly overpopulate a tank.
4. Pac Man Frog
Frogs are always great teaching tools, but the Pac-Man Frog is probably one of the best options out there. They are easy to care for and don’t need much space at all.
However, they only eat live food, usually in the form of crickets. Therefore, you’ll need to consider whether you have the time or ability to feed them this food source. They also have teeth and can bite a, though this is rare. Usually, they only bite if they mistake you for food.
These creatures have a bad reputation, but tarantulas can be great pets for a classroom.
These spiders can bite, though, so they often can’t be handled by children. They are not toxic, but the bite will hurt similarly to a bee sting. For this reason, they are animals that should only be viewed, not touched.
6. Betta Fish
While they can’t be kept in a bowl as commonly advertised, these little fish can make a great classroom pet. They can actually live for several years when taken care of properly, so you won’t have to continuously purchase a new one. In many cases, these fish can become “tame” and may even allow little fingers to pet them.
That said, an aquarium can be hard to maintain. These fish need at least a 5-gallon tank and a heater too. Startup costs can be somewhat expensive for this reason.
7. Guinea Pigs
These small rodents are often kept as classroom pets due to their low care needs. They are fun to watch and decently interactable, and you won’t have to do much care behind the scenes.
However, these animals typically can’t be left in the classroom over the weekend, so you, another faculty member, or a student will need to take them home. This can be difficult to schedule every week.
These unique creatures can also make good class pets. They don’t require much care, though they do need a decent amount of space. They don’t move much, but they are quite interesting to look at, anyway.
These pets are getting more popular, so they aren’t that hard to find.
There are many pets out there that can make great classroom pets. However, keep in mind that each one has its own specific care needs. When choosing a pet, be sure to choose one that you don’t mind taking care of, since you will be doing most, if not all, of the work.
If you can’t stand lizards, you probably shouldn’t get one for your classroom.
You’ll also need to consider space constraints and similar issues. Sometimes, you may simply not have room for a certain pet. Other times, their food may be impossible for you to keep in the classroom, as is often the case with mealworms (which need to be kept cold).
Featured Image Credit: JenJ Payless2, Shutterstock
Kristin is passionate about helping pet parents create a fulfilling life with their pets by informing them on the latest scientific research and helping them choose the best products for their pets. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one day!